4 Common Mistakes Most Small Business Make with Social Media

May 27th, 2011 by | Print

With the possibilities of social media continuing to evolve rapidly and the many new-found “gurus” making very attractive claims regarding its possibilities, it’s easy to become hypnotized into believing that social media is the magic solution to all of your problems. However, if you caught one of my previous posts, “Can Great Marketing Save a Bad Business Model?” you should realize that while social media is a powerful tool, it alone can’t save your business.

Here are 4 common mistakes social media newbies make:

1. Treating it like a numbers game.
While frequency is key, so is quality. Have you heard or uttered the expression, sales is a numbers game. Far too many companies treat social media the same way. Producing more volume in hopes of an increase in the volume of business is a big mistake if you aren’t keeping up on the consistency of your quality. While you do want to include content that shows off your personality, you don’t want to flood your tweets and your Facebook posts about where you’re eating or what you’re eating.

2. Making it just about business.
While this may seem to negate the previous common mistake, social media is about striking a balance. People don’t want you to always be selling them. Your ideal customers need to know, like and trust you before they buy from you. If they feel like you don’t care to get to know them and only want to push your products and services on them, they will stop following you. Provide your customers and prospects with quality content that is useful to them. Add in some humor or other personal interest content, too. The appropriate balance of business, personal interaction and free quality content will vary somewhat depending on your type of business and what’s important to your target market.

3. Using it as another medium to push your message.
Yes, it is another medium … a very effective medium … to connect with your target market more effectively than other marketing methods. However, the key to social media and social networking success isn’t just the quality of the content, but the conversation. Since you can converse with people via social media and networking, they expect it. When you post to your Facebook fan page, or tweet on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn, ask questions and respond to your followers questions and statements. This starts the dialogue to get them to know, like and trust you … and ultimately buy from you.

4. Assuming success will happen overnight.
While you may be able to put the right message in front of desperate people looking for an immediate solution to their problem, you aren’t likely to see big changes immediately to your sales. Instead, set your expectations to creating credibility and visibility so you can increase your following and engage in bonding conversations. From there, the sales will come.

If you’re tired of struggling with social networking and media, SmallBizMedia.TV is here to help.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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