Social media platforms are some of the easiest tools to use for marketing and reaching the masses. However, utilizing social networks for business purposes still requires planning, professionalism and organization. Here are five social media mistakes that every startup or entrepreneur should avoid.
1. Beginning Without A Plan
Before creating a profile on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network, a business needs to be organized. This means planning out when updates will be made, exactly what updates will be made, and how frequently to make them, depending on the platform (think: “Calendar”). Consistency can let other social network users know that an account is worth following. To ensure that the social media marketing plan stays on track, companies may want to assign these specific responsibilities to one person on their team.
2. Forgetting To Set Up KPIs
Spending dedicated time to defining and then tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is critical to determining how effective any marketing strategy is, whether it’s outbound or inbound. Startups that are just beginning on channels, such as Facebook, should have KPIs to gauge how helpful the social network is to their marketing plan and whether or not the activity on that channel is actually growing their brand and their business. Some common social network marketing KPIs include a target number of followers, post interaction / engagement (e.g., comments, retweets, shares), and number of customers gained through social media (i.e., conversion). Over time, entrepreneurs may notice that one social network is excelling in the area of customers gained versus another. However, none of this information can be gathered or compared without defining the KPIs to track up front.
3. Failing To Respond To Other Users
Startups need to keep in mind that social networks place them in the public eye. This means they need to be prepared to respond to users – customers or not – in order to build their personality and maintain their reputation. Not all feedback is going to be positive, but startups should be ready to reply in a professional manner. Thinking of it as customer service can put entrepreneurs in the right mind to handle all inquiries that come in via social media.
4. Making Social Media Content Too Bland
Social media marketers should always be thinking of ways to make their content stand out from the crowd. On a social network, like Facebook or Twitter, there may be millions of updates posted onto the Web each day. Startups can make their posts stand out by incorporating links to engaging content, using compelling imagery, highlighting use cases, or encouraging followers to interact with them by asking questions. Sharing insightful content from other industry leaders can also make an account more valuable to its followers.
5. Focusing Too Much On Self-Promotion
While promotion is certainly a part of marketing, it shouldn’t be the only thing that makes up a social media profile. Startups should avoid over-promoting their services and products in hope of gaining more customers. Social media platforms are notably more personal outlets – businesses can use them to share their story and connect with prospects on a different level. Furthermore, Facebook and Twitter users don’t expect to be sold a product every time they log in. “Casual yet professional” is the name of the game for companies on social media.
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