By Jillian Chopin, Published November 2, 2012
You may be a social media-savvy business owner who logs in to your social media accounts regularly, or a social media newbie who panics over every status update. In either case, you are taking steps to boost your Web presence, and that’s going to take some practice. So in order to minimize major social media mistakes, here are a few quick “dos” and “don’ts” to make sure your social media profiles show the best side of your business.
Don’t: Brand Inconsistently Across Your Pages
We have all experienced it: you follow a brand on Facebook, but when you visit their website, it doesn’t even look like the same business. Avoid this error by consistently branding your business across your entire Web presence, from your logo and imagery to fonts and even the way you spell your business name. By streamlining your Web presence, you not only ensure a smooth user experience but also present a professional identity online. Make sure you are using a consistent business name, logo, address, colors, and message on all your assets, not just on your your social media profiles, but also on directory listings, online advertising, landing pages, your business website, and your blog to establish your brand online.
Do: Know Your Audience
When it comes to publishing content on social media, it’s critical to know your audience and the type of content they prefer on each channel. What conversations are they having? What are they looking for from your business? Chances are you have some of the same followers on Facebook and on Twitter, so cross-posting the same content may not be effective for engaging both audiences, so think twice before you “spam” the same content on every one of your social media accounts. Also, keep in mind the preferred content type and limitations of each platform; for instance, a long post on Facebook would not work in the 140-character limit of Twitter.
Do: Promote Your Social Pages
Too often, business owners fail to grasp the importance of creating buzz about their social media pages. They spend hours upon hours creating and optimizing their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or their blog, but their customers still may be unaware that those pages even exist! So, promote them. For instance, you can include your social media icons on your website, business cards, email signatures, newsletters, and in-store signage. Also, simply ask people during conversations or at the point of sale to join your business online. Turning an already-existing customer into an online fan or follower is easier than you would think…if you just ask.
Don’t: Set and Forget
One of the most common social media mistakes made by SMB’s everywhere is viewing social media as a one-time thing rather than an ongoing process. Your fans and followers connect with you on social media because they want useful content and information, but they won’t come back if you don’t give it to them. So, you need to regularly post fresh content like photos and videos, coupons and promotions, useful tips, and more, in order to engage your audience. Then, review your audience’s responses on each channel to determine what types of content work on each platform and how often you should post. Remember that building your Web presence and driving engagement is a marathon, not a sprint, so you won’t see results overnight. But keep at it; the more you become an active participant in your discussions online, the more your audience will come back and share your business with their friends.
Social media can provide boundless opportunities for you to connect with your customers online. Following these few simple social media dos and don’ts will ensure that you and your business reap the benefits of social media marketing.