Today’s business environment, media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. allow businesses to stay connected with people and brands at the speed of light. This means that relationships are formed faster than ever before which enable access to new business opportunities.
Small to mid-sized businesses understand that social media is important but they make mistakes in developing a strategy.
Below are 10 mistakes that businesses make when branding themselves.
- Mistake No. 1: No Social Media Plan
Social media takes away valuable time and resources away from operating a business. To avoid taking to much time and valuable resources, place a social media strategy marketing plan. You have to ask yourself what you plan to achieve from social media? What are your goals? How often do you plan on updating and amount of time you plan to devote on updating your social media profile? What forms of social media do you plan on using (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc?) Once you have a plan in place iot will be easier to achieving your planned results.
- Mistake No. 2: Too Much Too Soon
After establishing a plan in place, the business owner will tend to jump in head first into social media. This can be a costly mistake because it is very easy to be overwhelmed. Do some research, as stated above, what social media sites you want to use and also what your competitors are using. Starting on a platform the business owner is familiar with will be a good starting point.
- Mistake No. 3: Not Measuring Your Success and ROI
A business has limited time and resources so it is very important to measure every aspect of your business and be sure it is worth the time and resource investment. Monitor how much time and resources are spent against potential leads and sales. Is the ROI worth the investment? By using analytics, the owner can see what is effectively working and remove efforts that are not returning your investments is time and resources.
- Mistake No. 4: Underutilizing Social Platforms for Branding
Social media platforms offer many fields to be entered for your business. Many small business owners leave these fields blank. This is a very big mistake. Your company information should be placed in these fields (e.g. logo, company info, images, videos, etc.). These are all sales tools to pique an interest from potential clients to your business. The more complete and accurate information in social profiles the more likely you will be found in searches. (E.g. 555-1212 is not the same as 555.1212)
- Mistake No. 5: Promoting Without Listening or Engaging
Listen to what others are saying and engage in meaningful conversation. If you engage in social media and constantly talk about your business and what it can do without engaging others, your message will fall flat. If someone asks you a question, make sure you respond in a timely manner and offer advice even if it will point in another direction. Your credibility stock will definitely rise and be seen as the go to person.
- Mistake No. 6: Not Addressing Negative Comments or Feedback
If you get a negative comment from disgruntled customers your first reaction may be to delete the post. This is a big mistake. Face it head on and fully answer the concern from your customer. Effectively dealing with the concern will earn you brand loyalty from other potential customers and also possibly from the disgruntled customer. These are the people from which you earn your living. If you believe in your business’s products and services, you should have nothing to hide.
- Mistake No. 7: Not Claiming Existing Profiles
Services like Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo Place or Bing may have already listed information about your business online as well as created online profiles. Use this to expand your web presence. All these services provide you with an option to show your business as you want your business to be shown to the public. Claim and update your business profiles as soon as possible. Be consistent on each network so the same information is listed which will make the search engines find your business more efficiently.
- Mistake No. 8: Skimping on Time
Building an online presence takes time and resources. You have to be prepared to put in the time. If it is 10 minutes a day then make it 10 minutes. For social media to succeed it is imperative to consistently interact online. If you cannot put in the time, it may be a good idea not to start.
- Mistake No. 9: No Passion or Enthusiasm
As business owner you know your products and services better than anyone else. If you are not passionate about interacting online your social media efforts will not work. As stated before, you will need time and resources to be successful. Social media can make a big impact on your business but like anything else if you need to show interest and passion to be successful.
- Mistake No. 10: Not Knowing When Social Media Isn’t Right for Your Business
Social media marketing can do amazing things for small businesses, but only if it is utilized properly. Whether you like it or not, your brand is online, so even if you aren’t ready to create a full social media program, you should at the very least make sure you take control of sites you are already listed on.. Like it or not, your brand is already online. Make every effort at the very least to take control of the sites you are already listed on.