Social media platforms have been around for a number of years now, and we’ve all become pretty used to them. But, many businesses still aren’t using it to promote their business or engage with their customers. At the same time, new social platforms keep popping up all over the place, giving us all something else to get the hang of.
It can be pretty daunting when you start something new, and this definitely applies to using social media for marketing. You might be worried about making a big social media faux pas, especially if you’ve never used the platform before.
So, if you’re new to using social media for your business or are joining a new platform for the first time and are looking for some social media tips, here are a few things you should avoid.
Excuse the confusing double negative, but one of the worst things you can do when you first create a social profile is not do anything. You need to share content to encourage people to follow you and engage with your brand.
Plus, not only will an inactive profile not help your business, it could even actively harm it. Imagine someone is researching your business online – perhaps they are thinking of buying from you and want to find out more. If they find a Twitter profile that has never posted anything and isn’t following anyone, you wouldn’t blame them for assuming that your business isn’t trading anymore.
You need to post to get anywhere on social media!
Doing too much
On the other end of the scale, businesses can end up doing too much on social media when they first start out. This comes in two main ways – posting too often, and trying to be active everywhere.
If you spam people’s timelines with dozens of posts in a short space of time, they’ll probably get annoyed with you and stop following. How often you should post varies from one platform to the next – check out our guide for finding the perfect frequency on social media.
The other mistake businesses make is assuming that they need to be active on all the platforms. Unless you have a dedicated team in charge of your social media marketing, you won’t have time to use all the big social networks out there. Or at least not enough time to do it well. Pick one or two platforms and dedicate your time to them.
Getting too personal
Maybe you’ve used Facebook and other social networks in your personal life. Here, it’s fine to share pictures of your dog, baby, and breakfast. When using social media for your business, however, these things should be avoided (or at least limited). It’s good to put across your personality and not be 100% business all of the time, but there’s a time and a place for personal stuff.
Being too opinionated
Potentially controversial topics, such as politics and religion, should generally be avoided in your business use of social media. No matter how strongly you feel about a certain issue, this has nothing to do with your business. What it can do is attract the wrong kind of attention. Anyone who disagrees with your personal beliefs could be put off from buying from your business.
Posts that contain typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or embarrassing autocorrects are not a good look for your business. They make you look unprofessional and lacking attention to detail. Not many people are going to want to work with a business like that, especially not in the B2B world. Make sure you give your posts a once (or twice) over before posting, or get someone else to proofread them for you.
Relying too much on automation
Automation tools can be a real life-saver for businesses. Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and MeetEdgar let you schedule posts on social media so that you don’t always have to be online posting in real time. However, it’s a mistake to only automate your posts and never actually be active on the platform.
Social media shouldn’t just be about delivering messages into the void and hoping they attract attention. You need to engage with users on the platform just like you would in a real social setting. Ask questions, answer questions, and get involved in discussion. You should at least check your notifications regularly to respond to any interactions from your followers.
It looks great when a business has thousands of followers, doesn’t it? Oh, and you’ve just found a website that says it can get you 10,000 followers in a day. Perfect, right? Think again! Using a service like this leaves you with a following full of bots, fake accounts, and people who generally have no relevance to your business.
Building a strong following on social media takes time, but it is worth it. Post interesting content, engage with your target audience, and follow other accounts that are related to your brand.
It’s not too late to get your business on social media. If you avoid doing these seven things when you start out, you’ll be on the right track. We’ve got plenty of social media tips to share with you. If you want to know which social network you should start out on, take our quiz to find out.