If you’re an entrepreneur and feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the idea of using social media to market your business, you may just be putting too much pressure on yourself. So breathe a sigh of relief and ask yourself if you’re spinning your wheels with one of these common social media mistakes:
1) Trying to do too much too soon – There are dozens (possibly hundreds) of different social media outlets. You do NOT have to be on all of them. Or even half of them. Or even half of half of them. As a small business owner, your time is precious and you can’t possibly have the resources to manage all those social media accounts effectively.
Figure out what your target demographic is and where they hang out (Is it Pinterest? Twitter? LinkedIn?) and meet them there. It is better to be active and engaging on a few social media outlets (or heck, even just one, especially if you’re just starting out) than be haphazard on several. Don’t open an account and leave it unattended… you’ll just let down your followers when they find out it’s nothing more than a virtual ghost town… and then you’ll lose them.
TIP: Chances are, if you’re on a couple of the “giants” (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) you’re reaching your target. Don’t worry too much about the others.
2) Trying to get a zillion followers – We all want lots of followers. Alas, we can’t all be Kardashians. In business, it’s more important to have an engaged fan base than it is to have a large fan base. Work on creating and sharing content that will appeal to your niche demographic. It is far more worthwhile to have 100 enthralled, diehard, appreciative followers who will sing your praises to other like-minded people and businesses than it is to have a million followers who really couldn’t care less.
3) Trying to take the “social” out of social media – I often get new clients who want their social media campaign to be strictly business, with no personal flavour whatsoever. They think it’s the only way to appear serious about their work and professional. I have two problems with this:
1) talk about making social media BORING.
2) ultimately, people like doing business with people they like. This is true in the real world and it’s true in the social media world. Naturally, you always want to be professional and upbeat, and steer clear of politics, religion and other volatile topics, but do you know how many business contacts (and friendships, I might add) I’ve solidified over baby photos, cat videos and The Walking Dead memes? It’s like doing business on the golf course… but with cat videos.
NOTE: As in real life, there is a time and place for everything. LinkedIn is a very corporate and business-y social media platform, so I wouldn’t post The Walking Dead memes or similar content on LinkedIn. I would, however, post such content on my Twitter and Facebook personal profile (but not on my Facebook business page… unless it somehow had something to do with my business in a fun way). It comes down to knowing what is appropriate and where; and understanding the different cultures of the various social media out there. It also depends on the nature of your business. Use common sense for this one!
What business are you in and what are your favourite social media avenues? If you’d like to discuss what approaches are right for you and your business, consider booking a social media training one-on-one session with me 🙂
Nishi (Your Friendly Neighbourhood Social Media Trainer)