4 Social Media Mistakes You Need To Avoid
By now, most business owners understand that social media must be part of their marketing strategy. Yet, recent research has shown that 95% of small businesses are failing to use social media marketing effectively. Many companies aren’t aware of how to maximize best outcomes and avoid common social media pitfalls that can detract from their efforts.
Serial entrepreneur Allison Maslan has created and successfully run 10 different companies, including a 20-year practice as a holistic physician. Her company, Allison Maslan International, offersPinnacle Global, a three-tier business coaching program that teaches entrepreneurs how to accelerate their growth, capitalize on their success, and balance it all with a meaningful life. She shares the top mistakes you should avoid when investing time, money and energy in social media.
- Missing Your Target Audience
When it comes to social media, you want to direct your efforts squarely at the venues that are most used by your ideal clients. “Take a moment and think of three or four of your very best customers—the ones who really ‘get’ your business and your products and support you wholeheartedly,” Maslan advises. “If you aren’t sure which outlets they use most, you are likely expending unnecessary time and money targeting the wrong outlets. The simplest solution? Don’t guess where your best clients spend their social media time; ask them!”
- Pushing a Product Before Building a Following
If you’re out there trying to promote your business and your products before boosting connectivity and dialog with your potential customers, you’re doing things backwards. “It’s like having a store front out in the middle of the Mojave Desert—no one is going to see what you’re offering! The first step to being able to use any social media platform is to create a fan base. It’s your fan base that will proceed to drive traffic to your main website and convert fans into customers for your products. To accomplish this, you’ve got to focus on engagement and become a giver—giving support, information, checklists, resources, advice, and inspiration. Focus on what you can give, not what you need to gain,” says Maslan.
- Short-Term List Building vs. Long-Term Relationship Building
The name of the game with social media is relationships — and that takes time. “You wouldn’t expect to walk up to someone on the street and have them be instantly interested in what you have to sell,” Maslan says. “When businesses treat social media outlets in an equally impersonal way, they lose valuable time that should be spent building relationships. It takes time to create trust, so be a giver (as detailed in #2 above) and focus on the relationships via media just as you would in person. Your fans—and potential customers—are people with needs and expectations, not just numbers of clicks to boost your stats. Ads can help you get more followers, but from there, you’ve got to work to create the relationships.”
- Focusing on Paid vs. Free Products
It may seem counterintuitive, but Maslan says your best path to the kind of trust building and relationship building you need to succeed is to focus on free content promotion. “You need to ask: what can we give away — from product samples to contests to free webinars and in-person events.” Maslan explains. “Some clients will engage with one free give-away and be ready to move forward as a customer with your business. For many others though, it will take time for them to “feel out” your products and your message to decide if they are in alignment. The less you sell up front, the more you stand to make in the long run. This ties into being the giver in #2 and to focusing on relationship building in #3. If you focus primarily on getting paid, you’ll miss out on the greater payout that can come from focusing on free.”
Maslan’s tips can make a big difference in your ability to turn an audience into paying customers. If you need more guidance to get started, check out a few of these Amazon customer favorites to help build your social media business roadmap.
Article written by Kate Harrison. @kate_l_harrison and find her marketing consulting business online at katelharrison.com.0