Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Mistakes to Avoid when Using Social Media for Your Business

According to a recent study by Reportsinc.com, from the start of last year 74% of all internet users were using some form of social media. This stat alone shows how important it is for you to use social media correctly if you want to benefit your business - there is a captive audience. To get the most out of it, make sure to avoid these 5 mistakes that many business owners make.



1. Giving the Wrong People or too many people Access
Social media gives your business a wider voice, which can be used to portray your brands personality. The personality represents how you want customers to perceive you and the messages you want to send out. If you let too many people have access to your account, those messages will be unclear and there will be no consistency. Furthermore, letting inexperienced people generate content for you is risky for many reasons. They won’t be aware of the messages you wish to get across and their content may not be relevant to that of your strategy. This type of inconsistency disconnects followers and certainly won’t generate much extra traffic.  If you are giving other people access to your social media accounts ensure they fully understand your brand personality.  Establish a list of keywords that describe your brand e.g. "Jolly" or "professional" that each post should reflect to help team members to follow a uniform approach to posting.
2. Not Creating Original Content
You should be creating original content that is relevant to your industry and appealing to your followers. Of course it is important to also shares other information such as videos and links, but it’s important to balance. This will generate traffic, reach a wider audience and show you as an expert in your field.  Utilising tools like Google Alerts can show you the key themes that everyone is talking about relating to your industry. You can use this as a prompt to create your own original content that shows your take on it. 
3. Using Every Platform for the Sake of Using Them All
It is certainly sensible to try out multiple online platforms, but you don’t have to be on all of them just for the sake of it. Research your audience, what social media sites do they use? Focus on those ones and become efficient at using them, instead of wasting time trying to think of content for all platforms. In this case, less is more.  Are you operating business to business or business to consumer? This will also effect your choice as different sites are tailored to different ways of working. 
4. Spamming Your Followers
It’s really important to be active on your social media accounts to keep your followers engaged and to reach new customers. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Your loyal followers will get bored if you start to flood their newfeeds and timelines, no matter how relevant the content. Research what times of day your followers are most active and utilise management tools to send posts out at these times. 

5. Not Managing Your Time

Managing all of your social media channels at once can be very difficult and time-consuming. However, there are tools out there to help you with this. Hootsuite links all of your social media accounts together and allows you to schedule posts to go out across your channels, or via specific ones at different times. Doing this saves time and helps keep your accounts fresh. Hootsuite is currently free to use with up to 3 social media accounts, so you can give it a try and pay only to upgrade when your social media presence is ready to build.

The Women's Organisation offer introductory advice on social media via our 'Building a Social Media Strategy' course, available FREE to women in Merseyside who are in the process of starting up a business. For more information contact 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk


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