All small business owners know that they need to be on social media. It’s on the news, websites and advertisements. Every magazine article explains the importance of social media. So many small business owners jump in with both feet only to exclaim several months later that social media marketing doesn’t work.

That’s because social media marketing done wrong can be more detrimental than not doing it at all. Here are the mistakes to avoid.

  1. Don’t Try to Be on All Platforms.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn? Many small business owners try to be               everything to everyone.  Decide where your customers are and concentrate on doing that platform well.

  • Facebook — Good general place to capture all customers. Targeted advertising can help you reach your ideal client.
  • Instagram — Great for visual content. Great to capture under 35 audience, although the audience diversity is expanding.
  • Twitter — Helps to promote your brand and establish you as an expert. Not the primary platform for most small businesses.
  • LinkedIn — Great for Business to Business transactions.
  • Pinterest — Has the highest conversion rate for all platforms. That means that people who see a product on Pinterest are more likely to purchase it.

2. Have a social media policy for employees.

Employees can be your greatest asset or your biggest detractor on social media. Make sure that you are clear as to what are your expectations when it comes to social media.

  • Employees should know it is unacceptable to ever make negative comments about customers, even on their personal Facebook page.
  • Although you cannot control all the content on employees social media pages, encourage them not to post any defamatory comments. They should also refrain from negative racial slurs and foul language, especially if they identify themselves on their page as working for your company.
  • Encourage them to support your page. Ask them to please like and share information on the company page. Anything that helps increase the success and visibility of the company will help all employees.
  • Do post photos of parties or other office functions on your company Facebook page. Customers like to see who they are dealing with and it increases employees identification with their company.

3. Not paying attention to the company social media platforms.

Social media is not about pushing out information to your customers. It’s about creating a dialog with your customers and potential customers. It’s not only important to keep your social media sites current, but it is also important to respond when individuals comment on your page or message your company. Be sure that you respond quickly. Facebook actually will rate your company on its response time. With Apps and notifications on your phone, there is no reason, not to respond. If there is a complaint, don’t delete it. Respond appropriately and give the individual an email or phone number where their issue can be handled off-line. How you handle these types of situations can make or break your company on social media.

Need help handling your social media? Contact me on kparis@itsallgeek2me.org.