Are You Doing Your Social Media Wrong?

Social Media EngagementWhatever kind of business you run, if you are not engaging with prospective customers through the use of social media there is no doubt that you are missing out on business that you could be getting for nothing, well at least without actually spending money.

Certainly, engaging in social media involves time, so in that sense there is a cost; it is obvious, therefore, that you should ensure that the time spent is effective. Check out the following list of common errors to make sure you keep on track.

  1. You fail to update on a regular basis. This is where so many businesses fall down because they “don’t have the time”. You go to a lot of trouble to build up a following and then you don’t post anything for a fortnight. By this time you have probably lost half your followers. It is absolutely vital to post on a regular basis so that your followers become used to a routine and expect information from you. It is essential to make sure that they get it when they expect it, otherwise they will quickly lose all interest.
  2. You are not getting many, or any, new followers. This is an indication that what you are saying (providing you are posting on a regular basis) is not of interest to sufficient people. You need to come up with something new that will engage followers and keep them interested.
  3. You simply write posts that express your own feelings, without considering your followers. Social media is a means of ENGAGING with people; that is a two way street. The way to get a conversation going is the same as if you were talking face to face. Asking “What do you think?” or “Please let me have your comments below” will get your followers active and will also help your posts to go viral, since people will connect with their friends and tell them “He asked me what I thought, and this is what I said”.
  4. You treat your posts as simply a form of advertising. Nothing is calculated to lose followers more quickly. They do not go on to Facebook or Twitter to be “sold to”. They want information and entertainment, so give it to them. Yes, of course you want to promote your business, but do it in a subtle way.
  5. You post the same content across all the different social sites. This is a big mistake. People who use Facebook are different from people who are on Twitter, who are different again from people on Tumblr, who are different from people on LinkedIn, who are…. you get the idea?
  6. You don’t have guidelines for your business when it comes to posting on social media. You need a set of rules which dictates how often you post, who is responsible for making posts, what subjects will be posted, whether or not you will use images in posts, whether posts should be humorous or just factual, and how your posts integrate in your overall search engine marketing strategy.
  7. You fail to plan your posts. You could be forgiven for thinking that you simply log on and post about whatever takes your fancy at any given moment. However, it is far better and more productive to plan a strategy, so that you know where you are going and so that one post logically follows the last.
  8. You don’t take any notice of negative comments, or simply delete them. Remember that other followers will have seen the negative comment and will be expecting you to reply. This may take the form of an apology where you hold your hands up and say “Yes, sorry. We got it wrong. We’ll give you a full refund. We have changed our system so that this won’t happen again”. It could also be that the negative comment is either wrong, or even malicious, in which case you can say “I see your point of view. However, the fact is that…….” But never, ever, ignore a negative comment.
  9. You fail to respond to posts quickly enough. A recent survey showed that 32% of customers who made a post expected a reply within half an hour. Worse still, 24% expected that even if the post was made at three in the morning. This means that when a customer asks a question, or makes a comment you need to reply as fast as you can. Of course, monitoring all your social media profiles that closely may be a problem, but there are tools you can get to help with it. Hootsuite is free.
  10. You are not keeping track of your ROI. While you may not be physically spending money on your social media profiles, nonetheless you need to get a return for the amount of time and effort spent on them compared to optimizing your website. Make sure that you know what results you are getting so that you can tweak your efforts to the best advantage.