Most people approach social media like it’s fun and games. So what, you say? That approach may be fine for individuals who use social media to keep in touch with friends and family and grow crops in Farmville, but for businesses, such a carefree attitude could lead to the downfall of the company. Here are five mistakes businesses should avoid when developing their social media plans:
- Not having a plan. As with anything related to business, you must create a social media strategy with clear goals. Otherwise, your efforts may look unorganized and messy to your audience. Most social media goals boil down to three concepts: increasing brand awareness, increasing customer loyalty or increasing sales.
- Working up the totem pole. Most businesses assume they need to start small to get big. However, working backwards will actually reap more benefits and faster. Rather than just tweeting to an empty room or engaging in small conversations hoping someone will follow you, think big from the beginning. Reach out to larger sites for partnerships, tweet about important topics in your own voice rather than retweeting someone else’s content, interview big names in your business and share what they have to say with your followers. The possibilities are endless, so don’t limit yourself just because you’re starting out.
- Being a copycat. Another thing you shouldn’t do in social media is try to copy the competition. The biggest success stories come from ideas that are new, inovative and outside your box. By trying to be just like your competition, you’re putting a cap on the success you can achieve.
- Not responding. Once your social media profiles build up followers, chances are your audience will have something to say – both positive and negative. Failing to respond to either type of feedback can reflect poorly on your brand.
- Failing to porofread. This is probably the simplest mistake to avoid. Don’t send out tweets and Facebook posts cluttered with poor grammar and spelling errors. Make sure you proofread every post before it goes out to avoid looking incompetent. (Did you see what I did there?)
When managed correctly and with the right attitude, having a social media presence can be a great asset for any company. But when treated with lack of respect, it can do more harm than good.