When you’re busy running a business, chances are you’ll make a mistake or two when it comes to your social media. It’s super common, and I’m here to help! Don’t make these 6 mistakes that small businesses often make with their social media–or if you are already, I’ll tell you how to fix them.
1. Sharing the same exact post on each network
Each social media channel is very different, so the copy-and-paste method just won’t work. For example, hashtags are great for Twitter and Instagram, but useless on Facebook. Create unique content for each, and even when you have a similar message to get across, tailor the way you say it for your different networks.
2. Only talking about themselves
The small businesses that get nowhere on social media are always the ones that don’t talk about anything but their business, their products, blah blah blah. Yes, you’ll get your chance for your business to shine, but to build your community and actually see some results, you need to be sharing things with your community that will be useful and valuable to them, that will make their lives better.
An example of this is a hair salon that only tweets about their offers, services, and links to their site. That’s boring, even for the most loyal of customers. By sharing hair care tips, inspirational photos, and other hair-loving content, their customers (and potential ones too!) will get something out of joining their social media community. They will be thankful for advice that helped make their life (and hair) better, and this helps to build community as well as customer loyalty.
3. Not being professional
I recently saw a small business post something on social media about #PigGate (which, if you don’t know what that is, all you need to know at this point is that it involves the UK Prime Minister and his you-know-what) Now, if this small business was involved in politics or the news, then this would be a smart move. But they aren’t, so it was actually quite inappropriate and probably turned some of their customers off.
Here are some rules of professionalism to follow on social media:
1. If you wouldn’t say it around your customer in person, don’t say it on the internet.
2. Always use correct grammar, spelling and capitalizations (turn caps lock off please!)
3. Be careful of photos and videos that portray your staff or business as unprofessional. Appearance is important both on and offline!
4. Using and sharing non-awesome images
You don’t have to have a fancy and expensive camera to take great pictures, so there’s no excuse to be sharing photos on your business’s social networks that are blurry, off centre, and just downright boring. Images are an important part of your brand and your social media strategy, so you can’t afford to ignore how crap yours are! 😉
You have three options when it comes to getting photos for social media:
1. Take them yourself — doing this means you can have real-time photos that showcase your business and your staff in fun and interesting ways. If you’re awful at photography, it would be worth doing a quick and basic online photography course. It’s incredible how much your photos improve when you know some basic techniques!
2. Use free stock image websites — there are plenty of sites out there that have lovely photos that are free for you to use. Here’s a (pretty big) list of sites to find images on.
3. Use photos that your customers have shared with you— this is a fun way to let your customers have their 15 seconds of fame. Just be sure you have permission to use their photo!
5. Not being consistent
If you only post on your business’s Facebook page when you need some extra bookings or have a sale on, you might as well not do it at all. You won’t attract new followers or potential customers if you haven’t tweeted for days, and when it comes to Facebook’s fancy algorithm, if you don’t post once per day, it means that even less people will see your posts. Believe me, maintaining consistency is one of the best things you can do when it comes to your small business on social media.
If you’re struggling to find the time to prioritize social media for your business, this post will tell you how to do it.
6. Letting an intern run the show
Unless you’ve got a solid strategy for your business’s social media that you can help the intern execute, then handing this off to an inexperienced intern is pretty much useless! Just because interns are young doesn’t mean they know how to operate social media for a business, so you’re better off doing it yourself or hiring a freelancer who knows what she’s doing to help you out.
7. Not being a part of the conversation
As simple as it may seem, if someone posts something on your Facebook page, respond to it! Even if you get a one-word “nice” on one of your Instagrams, take that as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone who could turn into a customer. Social media is a two-way street and isn’t much different to making friends — if you don’t put in an effort to create a conversation, you can bet that that person who you’d like to be friends with won’t want to be friends with YOU!
Are you making any of these mistakes? What mistakes have you made in the past when it comes to your small business on social media? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.