Social media is often the most affordable marketing tool available to small businesses. Businesses have hopes of gaining tons of followers and generating new business. Unfortunately, you may not be getting your desired results because you may be making one or all of the following social media blunders.
1. Failing to Develop an Authentic Brand
People want to do business with those they know and trust. Develop a consistent brand so users can get an idea of who you are. Your mission statement may be well-crafted, but does it offer insight into who are you, the culture at your business, and why people should do business with you? Your brand voice can be described as an adjective that’s appropriate for your target audience. Will you be playful, sarcastic, or strictly professional? A playful mortician may not be appropriate. Your tone should mirror how you interact with customers – formal or casual? Developing content based on how you speak will keep your brand consistent and authentic.
2. Winging It Without a Social Media Plan
If you’re just getting started on social media, you need to address the Five W’s before you start posting.
- WHO – Define your target audience. Who is seeking – and will pay for – your product or service? What are they looking for and how can you provide value to them?
- WHAT – What do you hope people will gain from your social media content? Develop a sales funnel to encourage users to visit your website and complete a transaction.
- WHERE – Which social media platforms are appropriate for your target audience? You don’t have to be on every platform, just the ones where your target audience may be.
- WHEN – When are your potential customers online and when is the best time to post? When will you – or your team – find the time to post content? Unfortunately, the ease of creating a presence on social media often leads business owners to not taking into account the time and effort required to get desired results. Develop a marketing calendar to minimize the stress.
- WHY – Define your purpose and top goals. What is your purpose in using social media? What do you hope to gain from social media? How will you measure the results of your social media efforts?
3. Not Having Enough Content
Your business social media profiles should have a purpose – gain attention, attract new customers, or answer customer questions. Social media requires having content that’s informational and easy to share. Often business owners fail to create the content that will generate more business.
Here are some ideas to help get you started.
- Create a quick guide or e-book for people who sign up for your e-mail newsletter.
- Create a schedule for sending out your newsletter. What content will be included in each email? Create a content outline that takes into account related holidays. What’s your call to action? What would you like a person reading your e-mail to do? Encourage users to visit your website, share the newsletter, make a purchase, or possibly register for a workshop.
- Develop a blog with high-quality, original content that is updated on a regular basis. Make sure you make it easy for users to share on their preferred social media platforms.
- Take pictures of your top-selling products to post on social media. Encourage people to share pictures of themselves with your product.
- Encourage people to test out your service or product by creating demo videos or online webinars.
- Offer free services or discounted products to users who share your content to increase visibility.
Social media is a valuable tool for small businesses and is constantly changing. By planning ahead, you can attain better results and generate more interest in your business.
This blog post was written by Rochelle Robinson for SCORE and re-published with permission.