Are You Making These 5 Mistakes on Social Media?

Social Media is a very powerful tool for small businesses.
If used correctly, and I’ve seen it used correctly, it can bring in loads of new customers and repeat business.
But when social media is used incorrectly and inconsistently then you’re asking for trouble.
Social media can either be your best friend or your worse enemy.
In order to ensure you stay in the game with social media you need to try and avoid these 5 mistakes.
Now although every business is different, as I’ve said many times on this blog, if you’re in business you have to remember
Your customers are always going to be 100% human!
That is why social media is so powerful.
Human beings are social animals.
With the explosion of social media on the internet we’re now to the verge of starting a second “internet”. (as if the internet were a land mass?!?!?!) 
Why is social media so important for your business.
Well let me tell you a story.
One day I went on Facebook looking for a company.
It turned out they had a Fanpage, I found everything on their fan page, but I had a questions about one of their posts.
So I did what any normal person would do on Facebook. I commented on the post.
Guess what happened?
Soon I forgot I even made a comment.
Two weeks later!
Yes Two weeks later.
I see a notification – a reply to a thread I’m following.
I wondered what that could be?
When I went to check it out – someone from that company replied.
Two weeks later.
Of no use to me now.
Social media isn’t a website.
Social media isn’t even a platform.
Social media is the new way to communicate.
And if businesses don’t get with it, they will lose it.
So those 5 mistakes that you shouldn’t be making on social media.

1. Don’t try to be a magician and spread yourself too thin on Social Media

Trying to be everywhere will only hurt you.
Now you can “appear” to be everywhere without actually being there. (These strategies I teach in our Small Business Social Media Workshops)
But for small businesses and even solo entrepreneurs you want to pick one platform to be on consistently and engage with your audience.

2. Refusing to be social on social media

Really? Did you think you could be a robot on social media and get away with it.
Don’t you just hate it when you’re in a group and the only thing you’re seeing is ads?
Or if you’re following a page and then all of a sudden you’re only seeing ads?
I call ads on social media spam!
I don’t know if anyone else calls it that but I absolutely hate it!
Give me something to laugh at.
Give me something to read.
Give me something to watch.
Don’t just advertise your product to me.
That’s a sure way for me to NEVER buy it.
As small business owners regardless of how “unique” you think your product or service is,
always remember customers have choices!

 3. You don’t understand your market

To be honest this is could take an entire day of training (which we’ve boiled down to 90 minutes in our Social Media Workshops).
But knowing and understanding what your market or audience wants to hear is very important.
And it’s not too difficult to do get an idea.
Run poles, send out online surveys.
Get to know your audience.
Remember social media is about social interactions.
You actually build trust with your audience to more to show you want to know them.

4. Treating all Social Media platforms the same

Many of my followers know I use parenting metaphors and you can probably guess one is coming.
If you were to treat Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest the same, that is pretty much the same as you treating all your five children the same.
True enough they are all YOUR children.
They must share some characteristics.
You did bring them ALL up the same way or pretty much the same.
But are they the same?
One likes to sleep in late, the other likes to wake up early.
One likes to study for hours, the other likes to cram the night before an exam.
The same principle applies with social media!
Which is why you don’t want to be everywhere on social media.
Unfortunately or fortunately as a parent you have to be all things to all your children. You don’t have a choice.
But for your small business social media strategy you get to choose!

5. Measure Measure Measure

One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make with social media is not measuring their ROI.
But to first measure your ROI you have to create your KPIs.
Now remember I’m an engineer – I love measurement and acronyms.
KPI – Key Performance Indicators.
ROI – Return on Investment (for those who don’t know).
Most marketing professionals often had a hard time measuring the ROI to their business’ marketing spend.
I believe that social media is making it easier.
All you have to do is define what you want to measure.
The rest is easy.
I hope this article put you straight in avoiding some of the common pitfalls small business make with social media.
If you live in Trinidad and Tobago there will be a Small Business Social Media Workshop hosted at the Normandie Hotel. 
Learn how to take control of your own Social Media strategy.

I’m Hilary De Freitas
Online Marketer, Operational Nerd and Mom
I invite you join my newsletter and you will learn how to continue to grow your business online.
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Hilary De Freitas is a wife, mother, engineer and marketer. She is dedicated to helping mothers build a successful online business from their passions, so that they don't have to choose between career and family. Hilary has been involved in network marketing, affiliate marketing and digital marketing consulting for the past 10 years. Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

    6 replies to "Are You Making These 5 Mistakes on Social Media?"

    • Carlease Burke

      Hello, I’m joining you on the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Thanks for the tips especially number 2. I try to impress upon my colleagues the importance of having an online presence. Many of us are baby boomers but thank God for people like you who can teach us what we need to know to stay in the game.

      • Hilary

        Thanks Carlease for stopping by! Online presence is key. Keep sharing that knowledge with your colleagues.

    • Melinda

      Very useful information! I am on two social media platforms and try to be consistent, but you’re right. They are different. Thank you!

      • Hilary

        Yes it is true, every social media platform is different.

    • Ruthanne

      Your 5 points are stellar. Thanks!

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