It almost goes without saying – almost – that social media has become critical to the success of your online business. WHY this is true almost doesn’t matter, as long as you understand that this is true. Of course, the reason is actually kind of simple – it’s because using social media allows you to build relationships with your target audience, thereby building loyalty and enhancing your online reputation.
Based on my own experience (and yours too, I’m sure!), we tend to follow others on a social network based on the value we receive from them. This means that we either learn from the information they share with us or that they somehow animate or invigorate us. (Of course, they may also entertain us, but that usually has little to do with using social media for your online business.)
The value of social media as a tool to help you build your audience and following. This is something that I love helping clients to achieve, so I’m sharing my list of the 7 Deadly Social Media Mistakes that I see online business owners make every day.
Choosing the Right Social Network
Each social network has its own identity and its own audience. The success of each depends on how they appeal to their target audience. Each has certain conventions that you should follow to avoid angering your audience, and each has certain limitations on the types of content you can offer. Keeping these things in mind will help you greatly when you try to choose the best social media network to use.
- Choosing the Wrong Social Network – Can you explain your business concept or philosophy in what is essentially a short headline? If you can’t say what you want or need to say to your audience in 140 characters or less, you should probably avoid Twitter. If you want to truly engage your audience in a conversation, you’ll need to get involved with Facebook, or perhaps Google Plus.
- Irregular Posting – Keeping to a regular schedule is critical to your success with social networking. You can’t just “drop” something and ignore it for days at a time. What if you piqued the interest of a potential client, then ignored their response to your post? Well, you’ve probably lost any chance you had at converting them and making a sale.
- Content is Not Effective – Your content should be either educational or inspirational – or both! Why? Because these are the types of content that engage people; that compel them to respond – and share – your posts. Building a relationship requires both sides to be engaged, so you need to share content that gets a reaction.
- Lack of Engagement – as I just mentioned, relationships require at least two people so, once you receive a response to a post, you’ll need stay engaged with that person. Answering questions or expanding on the information they reacted to is a key element in keeping them engaged and interested.
- Misunderstanding your Audience – While it may be great fun to share a video of your dog playing fetch to Facebook, it’s inappropriate to do so in a business setting – which your business page most definitely is. Save those for your personal profile, where you share with family and friends. Your social media business content should remain business oriented – and should always be targeted to helping your audience with high-value information.
- No Call-to-Action – No, a call-to-action does not have to include the words “Buy Now”. You can simply ask for a response to your post; or ask them to participate in your latest poll; or ask them to sing up for a free article, eBook, or webinar on a subject that is critical to your niche. In fact, asking your audience to share their email address for some free, high-value information you’re offering is one of the most effective calls-to-action you can employ. Be patient, and let the sale come later.
- No Identifiable Brand Image – Letting your audience get to know and trust you is one of the greatest benefits of using social media but, if they have trouble placing you and your identity in their minds, they may forget you when they most need you. An identifiable brand is critical to helping them keep you at the front of their minds – and an effective, custom-branded and designed brand image will help immeasurably. Virtually all social networks allow the uploading of images like these, so use one to your advantage.
I sincerely hope this list of the 7 Deadly Social Media Mistakes has been educational, inspirational and will help you to rock your social media! For a more detailed exploration of this subject, including the benefits and drawbacks of specific social networks, feel free to download my free eBook, the 7 Deadliest Mistakes You’re Making On Social Media. If you would like me to help you improve your image on social networks, or even help you get started, get in touch with me today and apply for that 45-minute free strategy session.
Like these tips? I won’t know unless you tell me! Comment below, and let me know to “keep it comin’!”