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5 mistakes Small Businesses make when first using social media

It’ s no secret that social media is the new hype – and social media marketing is not only growing in numbers – but in success rates too. With half the population now tuning up to their lives, friends and family using a variety of social networking sites – it’s not like any of this is a surprise either. After all, it’s a great way to target your customers and users, where you know they’re going to be (day in day out).

However it’s not just as easy as signing up – and many businesses I see out there at the moment are failing at social media massively – just because of simple (and foolish) mistakes. Things that could so simply be avoided, should you take that little bit of extra time to research the process of social media marketing and management.

Here are the most common mistakes I think brands are currently making, and how you can avoid them.

1. Signing up to everything and anything
Lots of brands and businesses assume that to be successful on social media, you have to be on every single network. Anything and everything. But let me start off by saving this is simply not the case! As a small business – you don’t have time to be spreading yourself too thin anyway – and your main concern should be joining up to networks you know works well for your niche. Doing this is pretty simple – take a look at your main competitors with your niche – and see what they’re doing and which networks they’re most successful on. These are the ones that are likely going to work best for you too. I’d say, to start off with – perhaps aim for 2/3 at first. Once you’ve become comfortable and built a reputation and flowing – then expand. But don’t get too big for your boots!

Here are some of networks you can choose from:

  • Linkedin
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Digg
  • MySpace
  • Flickr
  • Google+
  • StumbleUpon

2. Trying to hard-sell
This is a big annoyance on social media – and unfortunately something the small businesses seem to get wrong more than others. Social networks are a place to be social – not a place to spam people with slaes pitches and hard sell techniques. Honestly now, that’s the biggest way to drive people away from your brand – so stop it now.

3. Posting too much, too soon.
A lots of small businesses join up to their social media sites – and they assume they need to populate their profiles with as much content as possible as soon as possible. And whilst this is true in the very, very, early stages – once you have followers and fans – you need to tone it down a little. We all have those annoying friends on Facebook who update far too much and far too often (who we eventually end up clocking and ignoring) well the same works for brands and businesses too. Be selective about what you update and post – and make sure it’s all content your fans will enjoy. And you’re not just posting for the sake of it.

4. It’s not free
Yes – social media doesn’t cost a penny when you’re doing it for personal enjoyment on your personal accounts – but trust me – once you get going on social media for your business, you’ll notice that it actually costs you a lot in time and effort. Don’t enter into this thinking it’s easy – because it’s not. It takes time, a little money (for tools and apps) and people power.

5. Not taking advantage
Social media often presents brands with many ways of gaining exposure and building their community of fans and followers – but I often find these are overlooked by many small businesses. Try to pay attention to every comment that’s made on your page, and every tweet that mentions you – because you never know what connection you might make.

Author Bio: Elle works for Who Is Hosting This as a social media manager and content editor.

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4 comments on “5 mistakes Small Businesses make when first using social media
  1. business consulting says:

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  2. Eduardo says:

    Thank you for this very useful information. I will use it as a guide to avoid those mistakes.

  3. John says:

    Nice post Elle Rose Williams, I like most your 2nd point which is “Trying to hard-sell”. Yes you are very right that Social networks are a place to be social – not a place to spam. Also your 3rd point which is a general mistake, we should not post much on the only for sale. Also post some interesting thing to the people.

    Thanks for sharing great idea

  4. SEO services says:

    You’ve shared a terrific topic at all. Thanks for this wonderful sharing and want to know more detail so please continue…

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