The social media trail comes with its own bumps and pitfalls, especially if you’re new to the whole shebang. We’ve put together a handy guide on the most common mistakes businesses make and how you can avoid them. We’ll soon have your social media game on par with the best of them, don’t you worry!
You don’t have a lead generation strategy
And just what on earth is that, you might ask? It may sound complicated, but all you need to ask yourself is this: Am I encouraging my followers to take an interest in hiring my business? That’s what it boils down to, and there are many ways to go about it. Think about sharing seasonal special offers (for example, a 10% discount on winter storm drain cleans for everyone who mentions your Facebook post), linking back to your website regularly (where customers can learn more about your business) and sharing great reviews to inspire trust. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself, as long as it’s mixed in with more natural content so you don’t hammer home the sales messaging too hard.
Got a business logo? Good stuff! Now it’s time to make sure the same version is visible across all of your social media platforms, and not just your website. It’s also essential to get your brand colours nailed down, as this ensures that people can recognise your business across multiple platforms, and adds to your professional credibility. As a general rule, your colour scheme should be 3 colours or less, and match the colours of your logo. Keep the design clean, and if you choose to use a bright or bold colour, complement it with a couple of more muted tones.
Sticking to the same posts
The truth is that social media is fickle, and most people will see your posts for a split second before scrolling on to something else. That means if you want to keep people interested enough to follow you and stay engaged, you need to mix things up a bit. The stuff you post should be a balanced blend of text, photos, videos, links back to your website, relevant content from other websites, and so on. Let’s take a florist business as an example. Your week’s posts might look like this:
- Monday: Text post advertising a special coupon code for 10% off bouquets over $60
- Wednesday: Photo album or image of some beautiful wedding flowers you’ve recently created
- Friday: Link to your blog post about how to keep cut flowers fresh for longer (driving clicks to your website)
- Saturday: Shared True Local review that goes into detail about the service you provided, and why it was so great
- Sunday: 1-minute video tutorial on how to create gorgeous arrangements from the garden
Of course, as you try out different types of posts, platforms and timings, you’ll get a feel for the types of content your audience wants to see, and you can use tools like Facebook Insights to see what’s performing best. It’s all about testing and learning to discover what sticks.
Not responding to messages
Times have certainly changed, and customer service isn’t just about answering the phone anymore. Make sure you regularly check anywhere you have an inbox (email, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and promptly respond to any queries you’ve had come in. Leaving it too long could be the difference between a new customer choosing you or running off into the fast-responding arms of a rival business. The same goes for reviews – whether you’ve received a glowing testimonial or some negative feedback (it happens to every business), it’s important that you respond promptly to show you care about your customers’ opinions.
Not using social media at all
Yep, we realise we may be preaching to the unconverted here (good job on making it this far, if so). You might think that having your own website is enough to get by on, but you’d be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage. Social signals are important for sending traffic back to your site and boosting your overall online presence, especially your ranking in search engines. Based on the services you provide, you should pick a couple of complementary platforms (True Local, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter) to help it out.
If you’re a local business, True Local is invaluable in not only lending credibility to your business in the eyes of potential customers, but also giving you a boost in local search results on Google. If you’re a visual business such as a hairdresser or food provider, Instagram is a great way to show off your expertise. Whatever platforms you choose, be sure to give them TLC via frequent updates, as it all works in tandem to spread your brand and bring in new customers.
Now that you know what not to do, what does doing social right look like?
We think Mary Mary Studio’s social media game is on point. On their Facebook page, you’ll see a mix of high-quality photo albums, videos, longer text posts, and links to interesting articles. There’s also a link to their Instagram account in the sidebar, so both platforms are working together. What’s more, the “Message Now” icon notes that they typically reply within an hour – so people know that if they need answers fast, Mary Mary will be there to deliver!
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