Social media has radically transformed the way communication works in all aspects of life, especially in the workplace. If you’re running a business, opting out is not an option.
Effective social media use is an indispensable tool for building a customer base, so if you aren’t using social media strategically and consistently, you’re already behind the competition. Don’t worry, it’s not too late! Here are four mistakes to avoid as you get back on track.
Going In Blind
Going into social media management without a concrete idea of what you want to accomplish will result in confusion, poor time management, and a lot of unnecessary stress. Getting started can be overwhelming, so if you’re unsure of where to start, consider hiring a social media consultant.
According to Entrepreneur.com, “A social media consultant is essentially the eyes, ears and voice of your company online.”
Check out the rest of that article for essential questions to ask when hiring a consultant.
Getting your team social media savvy is a smart investment,
A lot of steps should go into your overall plan, but by addressing those steps and sticking to a schedule, you’ll start getting on track. Do you want to use Facebook for advertising, Twitter for outreach, Instagram for building company culture?
Ignoring Your Audience
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring exactly who your audience is. If you are reaching out to a demographic that isn’t ideal for your product, or worse, aren’t considering your audience at all, you’re missing out on hundreds (or even thousands) of potential clients.
A good way to tackle your approach to audience is working to find a solid voice for your company. You can do this through reflection on your company culture, your values, and your favorite buzzwords.
You’ll want to be specific here; Cori Padgett of Copy Blogger says “Lack of purpose is the death of success. When you write something that has a clear cut purpose it’s reflected in a positive way. There is flow, there is rhythm and there is direction.” By developing this distinct voice, your business will draw like mind customers and your social media will reflect that.
The fastest way to get your social media use back on track is to set a schedule and stick to it. Be realistic in your expectations; if you know you won’t be able to post more than once every two weeks, that’s fine for now. Choose a day and time, and work to get your content out consistently.
As Vital Marketing explain in their article “Why it is Important to be Consistent with Your Content Creation,” “If you publish content rather infrequently, it’s easy for your audience to tune out…You can’t expect people to stick around and wait for new content if you don’t already have an established reputation of regularly developing high-quality content.”
This makes sense; your audience is inundated with constant information, and you can’t afford NOT to start out strong. Make it worth their time.
Taking It (Too) Public
One of the best things about social media is that you can instantly connect with clients, which leads to problem solving on the fly and quick feedback. This can turn ugly, however, when a disgruntled customer takes to Twitter instead of your email to blast what they perceive as bad service or content. It only takes one furious client to spin out into a firefight, which looks unprofessional.
It’s important to stay honest online and not delete all feedback, but if the comments you’re receiving are leaning closer to crazy than constructive, the professional thing to do is to get it off your main page and take it to email, a phone call, or DMs (direct messaging).
By personalizing your approach and directly asking how you can fix their problem, you can more often than not win the customer over. That being said, some people just won’t be reasoned with, and there’s a point where you have to step away from the keyboard and stop responding.
Salesforce cautions in an article dealing with “trolls”, “However, as social media is a highly visible, public forum, commenting once to the effect that what they are saying is inaccurate and unfair (and providing the facts to support this) will at least give other viewers the true picture.” After that, step away and focus on making your work better, not on the one unreasonable Twitter fight.
By making and sticking to a plan, finding your audience, sticking to a plan, and knowing when to tackle criticism, you will be on the fast track to dynamic social media marketing. Knowing what NOT to do is a great starting place for a growing business; now your social media can grow with you.