While social media can be a powerful way for businesses to interact with audiences, there are many costly mistakes that can be made in this area. Hardly a week goes by without hearing about a scandal or faux pas made by a company on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Many mistakes, of course, never reach the media but they can still harm the bottom line of your business. To help you avoid this, take a look at the five biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs often make on social media.
Not Responding Appropriately to Criticism
If you’re on social media, sooner or later you will be attacked. Attacks may be reasonable and factual or they may be obnoxious trolling. Either way, you need to think before you respond. You should never get caught up in back-and-forth arguments on social media. If someone is making a legitimate complaint, respond in a reasonable manner. If it’s a personal issue, try to resolve it by offering the customer a refund or credit, if appropriate. If people are spamming or trolling, on the other hand, you should delete the comments and block the user. It’s never in your best interest to get caught up in social media flame wars.
Not Making the Most of Your Content
You can get a surprising amount of leverage from good content. It’s possible to take a blog post and turn it into a slide show, infographic and video, for example. A video can be placed on your own website and also shared on sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo as well as many others. There are also more creative ways to get more mileage out of content. If you translate website content into other languages, you can reach many more readers. Similarly, you can have videos translated or use subtitles in other languages. 80 percent of youtube users come from outside the U.S., many of these from non-English speaking countries.
Not Targeting the Right Audience
Many entrepreneurs and businesses have topics that are too broad. For example, if you upload content having to do with very broad areas such as fitness, self-help or online marketing, you might be better off narrowing your focus. Rather than trying to reach everyone who’s interested in fitness, you might target people who want to learn effective strength training exercises. You can then target specific topics and keywords that will be of interest to this audience. You can more easily achieve market penetration when you target a select audience.
Offending Your Audience
This is the type of social media mistake you’re most likely to hear about in the media or on the internet. It’s very easy nowadays to let inappropriate content slip through. Avoid publishing content that is likely to be offensive to people, including controversial humor and anything to do with politics or religion. It’s important to have a firm social media policy that everyone on your team follows to the letter. It’s also helpful to insist that people who work for you maintain separate personal and business social media accounts.
Not Having a Clearly Defined Strategy
One of the challenges of social media is knowing how to measure your results. 46 percent of B2B marketers aren’t even sure whether or not social media has generated revenue for their business. This points to the need for having a clear-cut strategy, whether it’s building website traffic, building a mailing list or selling products directly from your website. You should then employ analytics tools to measure your results on social media.
By having a well defined social media strategy and avoiding common mistakes, you can get more leverage from your efforts. The above mistakes can result in losing customers and damaging your reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully plan every aspect of your campaigns before moving forward.