For small business there has never been a time like now. The opportunities for promotion and marketing are readily available and often at a very low, or even no cost once they’re willing to spend some time and make some effort. Social media and online marketing are a free for all in more than one sense of the word and small businesses shouldn’t be intimidated and need to get involved i.
When we discuss social media with, or evaluate small business attempts at social media we often find that the same mistakes are made again and again. Businesses want to make the most of these readily available tools, however in in their eagerness often things are overlooked and issues occur. So, here are some of the common mishaps that SMEs need to avoid when it comes to social media.
Be there and Use the Right Network for you
Not being on social media obviously means you can’t take advantage of all it has to offer – so that’s our first faux pas.
Finding the correct network is a must. Like TV stations, newspapers or any other form of media, different social media sites are used by different demographics. It’s worthwhile looking at the sorts of numbers that utilise social media sites in your country and then the demographics.
For example, Pinterest is utilised by around a 70% female audience. Alternatively, Facebook isn’t the top social network in Brazil or China – so if you market in these nations you should be using their more popular network.
Half Doing Things
Another problem we commonly see with small businesses is joining social media with great gusto and signing up to half a dozen social media sites and then seldom posting on any of them. The reality of social media is that a business is better off on a few, posting regularly, rather than a dozen posting very seldom. The former makes for constant usage and allows a company to develop a following, the latter doesn’t. So, if you’re going to make the effort to use social, start small to ensure you can post constantly.
Networking is one of the most important things for small business and whether that’s online or offline it’s pivotal it’s done.
Talking about themselves
People don’t want to hear about the fact your business changed the colour of the bathrooms – they want information that interests them – one of the very common social media mistakes made by SMEs.
As anyone who knows the newspaper business will tell you, what’s published is based around what people want to read, not what’s most important or news. You social media accounts should take this idea and run with it. Creating content that resonates with, helps or interests the reader or social media follower is important. Ideally, social media posts should be 80% about interesting things and 20% about your business.
Angry and Customer Service
A lot of small businesses we meet don’t want to use social media for fear of customer complaints being visible.
Reality is that there are always going to be people who complain for right or wrong on a social media site and in real life too. Generally speaking however a business isn’t judged on the complaint, but more so on how it handles the issue. In fact, there are numerous accounts of businesses that received complaints via social media and dealt with them in an exemplary manner. In turn, it’s very evident to customers the high level of customer service received by the complaining customer. This can be a huge positive for companies as they get to showcase their high level of customer service. This article offers some great tips on how to deal with complaining customers.
Social media is a positive thing and something all small businesses should make the most of in my opinion. Grasp it with both hands and make as much effort as possible to win friends and influence people through it.