Every entrepreneur understands the importance of an online presence, owing to the rapid growth of the number of people who spend time online, and rely on the information found there for their needs and requirements. What every entrepreneur doesn't understand is the importance of using this critical tool in the right manner.
Simply posting updates is not only what social media marketing centers on. Such a process requires time, patience and skill that eventually results in a fool-proof social media marketing strategy. Until then, the right kind and amount of attention on the process is essential.
Here's a look into the mistakes you should avoid on social media as an entrepreneur, at the start-up level, as well as when you ease into your business.
Common Social Media Mistakes Your Start-up Should Avoid
You know you are supposed to be out there, but how should you go about making that mark, a presence that people remember you for and by? Facebook, Twitter, your own blogs, and other social bookmarking websites are integral tools you need to make your presence felt in the worldwide web.
What you must understand is that most people are resistant to marketing, particularly when their feeds are being spammed by a lot of organizations trying to grab their attention. So you have to establish a certain amount of credibility to ensure that your efforts at social media marketing are duly rewarded.
Before you hit enter on your first online post, here's what you should be avoiding, particularly at the start.
Starting Off Without a Plan/Goal
If you don't know what you're going to be doing online, there is no point of starting off your social media strategy. While most businesses will benefit from social media marketing, there are others that may just not benefit from it.
Before you begin, analyze whether your business really needs all the time and effort you are going to put in it online. Next, when you do start, ensure that you have a plan and understand the goal you intend to achieve with this program. Highlight your business and direct your consumer to a reliable brand.
Maintaining an Incomplete Profile
Your profile is a sign of authenticity of your business; and leaving it incomplete has the consumer wondering whether you are actually reliable as a business and a person.
As has been mentioned earlier, credibility is what people look for in any company promoting itself online. So not only should your profile be complete, your business should be clearly described with an address and contact number so that people can interact with you via different media.
Lack of Consistency
You post an update today and then forget about your profile for the rest of the week. No one will remember you if you are not around enough. Moreover, if you are looking to optimize your searches, you ought to know that search engines even crawl through your Facebook and Twitter updates based on their frequency, and help direct traffic to your website.
So now, you have two reasons to be consistent with your updates. Consistency also refers to the fact that if you are present on more than one social media site, you should be updating all of them with the same frequency and maintain the same profiles on each.
Being consistent is one thing, and spamming your readers with posts about irrelevant information is another. Keep spamming and you will find that your readers will simply unsubscribe to your posts and you will lose a major following.
Don't panic and post something just for the heck of posting something. Ensure that it is in keeping with your brand image and will be useful to the reader.
Beating Around the Bush
In the desire to be artistic, a lot of entrepreneurs end up posting articles or updates that end up appearing irrelevant to the actual subject they are talking about.
While verbal artistry is commendable and even helpful, in some cases it can backfire, and there are only a few people who give others a second chance. It is hence, better to keep the update to the point and specific to what you are actually referring to. Also ensure that the language you use is grammatically correct and professional.
Giving Up too Soon
Creating an online presence takes a fair amount of time. However, the biggest mistake entrepreneurs tend to make is to stop their regular updates once they develop an adequate following.
Remember, maintaining your online presence is as demanding as creating it. Don't undermine your followers by simply stopping your regular updates about the latest in your business and still expect them to remain loyal to you.
Giving the Job to Someone Else
At least in the initial stages, you, the entrepreneur have to be involved in creating a social media presence. Hiring someone else to do it may benefit you in terms of strategy, but the passion that you can exude in your effort is bound to be lacking among those who work for you.
Give the job to an image management consultant or to a junior whom you don't know what to do with, and find that they are not likely to have that visible drive as you do. Even in the later stages, keep yourself involved in this area of your business. It will show and it will work.
Not Valuing Feedback
If you have put in effort to make a mark among your followers, then ensure that you respond to their queries, their appreciation, and their criticism.
The whole concept of social media revolves around interaction. When you don't interact and start having a one-sided conversation where you continue promoting without addressing the reader, you are bound to lose your following.
Also, a lot of people tend to recede into a shell when they receive negative feedback. On the other hand, there are some who get defensive upon receiving negative feedback. Accept that this is all a part of the game, and instead of hiding or lashing out, it is a good idea to accept your mistake or clarify the issue if it has been misunderstood.
There is a thin line between being friendly with your reader and getting personal with her/him. The idea is to mark a clear difference between the two so that you know where to stop.
Don't give your opinion on matters that don't concern you or don't have a direct connection with your business, at least not when you are just starting out with your social media program. Perhaps later, when yourself and your followers begin to find you a credible person capable of giving an opinion, only then should you go about doing so.
Not Connecting with Others in the Business
No business can thrive without another and this is the philosophy that you should keep in mind whenever you enter social media to market your business or brand. You have to connect with others around you, who can help leverage your brand, while you simultaneously help leverage theirs.
Social media marketing consists of stiff competition. There are people who are already masters of the game, and for newbies like you, the going may be tough initially. However, a clear idea of what you should and shouldn't do is sure to get you ahead.
While being thoughtful about the mistakes you should avoid is important, don't get too cautious. Not much has been achieved without risk, and this fact is no different even for you. Good Luck!