Social media has emerged as a powerful tool to make or break any business. Much like how word of mouth can bring more customers to a small shop, marketing on social media is an effective strategy for small businesses to rise above big brands and other competitors.
More than merely striking a conversation with online users, your social media plans should always include an organic funnel to turn your followers into buyers and clients. Unfortunately, if you fail to use social media properly, you might end up worse than when you started creating your Facebook page or posting your first product photo on Instagram.
Social Media Marketing Mistakes That Small Business Owners Need To Avoid
If you don’t want all your effort and money down the drain, steer clear of these five unexpected mistakes that you may be committing in terms of social media marketing:
- Posting purely for promoting your business
If someone persistently offers you their product in a discount store at the mall, wouldn’t you be annoyed and turn the other way? That’s the same case with social media marketing: publishing promotional posts will turn away potential customers.
An industry-accepted principle is the 80/20 rule. Roughly 80 percent of your social media feed should contain value-adding content that your followers will appreciate, and only 20 percent for promotional content.
- Dismissing the website to focus on social media
Even though you’re spending time on social media marketing, you still need to create a stunning look and outstanding user interface for your website. If you run a physical therapy website, for example, look for a web tool and suite to keep your followers returning to your site frequently.
- Using every social media platform available
Note that each social networking site has a specific set of followers. As long as you know which user demographic or financial status you’re aiming for, you may choose from only a handful of platforms to maintain for your business.
According to Pew Research Center, YouTube and Facebook are the top social networking platforms in the U.S. Meanwhile, people between the ages of 18 and 24 – which is considered by many business experts to be the golden client base – make use of Instagram and Snapchat.
- Jumping in without any plan
Social media may sound like a fun and entertaining place for casual users, small business owners should treat this resource seriously. Don’t expect to gain traction in client base and profit when you’re posting random stuff about your cat.
In other words, you need to create a social media marketing plan or strategy, which should include the following:
- Content to publish: Make an outline of the topics that you will post on social media. Make sure that everything is related to your business (but not necessarily about it). Remember the 80/20 rule!
- Posting schedule: Know when to publish your content, keeping in mind the regular frequency as well as some special events (such as your company’s anniversary or any upcoming holidays).
- Assignments: If you have a team, have each member commit to a particular task, complete with deadlines and expected deliverables.
- Hurrying the results
Lastly, don’t expect that your first few posts will make your company an instant online sensation. Most of the time, social media marketing techniques take time to bear fruit. Keep pushing your strategies, because you will eventually see positive results in due time.
Don’t worry too much when you make mistakes in marketing your small business on social media. As long as you don’t commit catastrophic blunders – say, arguing with your past customers online – you can always bounce back and make necessary adjustments to your social media strategies.