In the digital world there are many things that can make or break a business. Social media is one aspect that you can’t afford to get wrong if you want to stay ahead of the game.
However, there are a number of typical errors in the use of social media that can be easily put right by a systematic assessment of your website:
1. Offering Stale Content
Initially a great looking website is a good hook for business but you need to regularly update photos, profiles and information. This will ensure that you engage new and existing customers, therefore make sure you have a strategy for consistent updates.
Although the ability to set tweets and blog posts automatically is a useful trick it can go wrong if there are too many posts. Space posts out and make sure that where you use automated responses they differ in content and language depending on what platforms you are using so that the audience remains linked in.
Don’t become a faceless entity as customers want the human touch and to feel connected!
3. Posting Too Much, Or Too Little
This is a delicate balancing act for a business! Post too much and people will start to lose interest as it becomes post overkill. However, if you don’t post anything for several months they may feel the business is not professional, or it may even give the impression that the business has folded.
4. Confusing Branding
There is no doubt that good, consistent branding is an absolute must for businesses to ensure that they are recognised by customers instantly. Therefore, have a strong image and keep customers on board by clarity of purpose across all social media platforms.
5. Being Disengaged
One of the single biggest mistakes businesses make is not to engage sufficiently with customers. With social media there is no excuse not to have a good rapport with clients. That includes making sure you answer every comment, query and post on your pages even the negative ones. Customers will then know that you value their input and take them seriously.
Obviously depending on the size of your business you may not be able answer posts immediately, but make sure that you have a good response time. If you ensure that you are consistent you will build reliability and trust.
Remember that the the customer is always right even if they are rude or unpleasant and that your replies will be visible for the whole world to see. Always keep it polite, neutral and factual even when the temptation is to respond in kind and you will gain a valuable client base.
Your response to criticism can even be seen as an opportunity to improve and also shows others looking in that you take all feedback seriously and will do everything in your power to apologise. Try to resolve the problem if possible – this will instil great confidence in your clients.
6. Being Too Salesy
Don’t just rely on Facebook to drive traffic to your website as you need more than one method! Be creative and use different strategies and platforms to send new customers to your blog or other pages so that they can engage directly and get updates and regular newsletters.
Tied in with the above strategy is the need to really know and understand your target audience and make sure that your whole brand and social media use reflects this. It can be really useful to undertake an exercise in defining your audience more clearly then you will be able to pitch the right image and message.
7. Too Many Cooks…
Nowadays it is imperative that you consider who can access social media accounts. Many businesses put in place policies as to what type of people have access to what types of information. They often decide to have an individual or team in place to manage this.
8. Bad Hashtags
Although using hashtags can raise your company’s profile make sure you keep on top of what the hashtags are about at all times! Recently there have been stories in the news where companies were connected with violent or distasteful incidents, or where the customer comments turned sour and started backfiring on the business.
9. Taking An Analytics Bypass
Without getting an insight into the traffic to your website and how it compares with others you won’t get a sense of how you can improve things. Therefore, make sure you use one of the many free analytics tools to find out key information about your site. Google Analytics is one of the most common but there are many others you can use and lots of resources on the internet to instruct on this in more detail.