Social media, handled correctly, can take a small business and carry it towards success quite quickly. However, it’s a double-edged sword – handle it incorrectly and it can eventually kill off your business. Here are the top ten deadly sins that every business should avoid.
- Not focusing on followers – your followers are the people who can make or break your business. If you focus on pushing out information based on what you want rather then what your followers are looking for, they will quickly desert you.
- Ignoring feedback -this then follows on from not focusing on your followers. If you ignore feedback, then you won’t be providing your followers with what they want.
- Ignoring questions – like feedback, if a follower has taken the time to ask a question, answer it. The question may seem trivial, yet to your followers it could be a very important question. When replying, keep the reply honest and to the point whilst never stooping to sarcasm or bringing the questioner down.
- Pleasing everyone – it’s just not possible. You will never please all of the people all of the time. If you are not condescending, then you can please the majority, however, it’s how you handle the minority that will often determine your success.
- Being in denial – are you the kind of person who denies everything? If a follower has a problem, don’t shift the blame onto them, even if they are to blame. You can be polite, or better yet, switch their focus from public to private, you are then handling the matter personally, and not in the public’s eye.
- Overlooking the offline world – it’s fine being social on sites like Facebook, however, are you just as amiable in person? The offline market place can also be a valuable source of new followers. It seems that every brick and mortar business that has an online presence has also invited customers to join them in the social media environment.
- Forgetting the media part of social media – if you work with other online users, for example, bloggers who regularly write about your products or websites, don’t ignore them. If you are about to have a product release, invite them in. They can quickly help to promote your new product or service. Ignore them and they are just as likely to go away, and for most businesses, you simply can’t afford that. Maintain those relationships.
- Being a social media hopper – there are some website owners who seem to think that having a profile in a hundred places is going to be good for their business. The opposite is true, especially if your business details change. Google local is a great advance in search engine results. However, the results returned are often based on the information received from you. If you have 100 social media profiles and you change you business details, then the search engines may look at your profiles and become confused – this has led to businesses suddenly falling away in the search results.
- Abandoning social media sites – there are countless businesses that have, over the years, set up profiles because the ‘site looked good’. If the site disappoints, then they walk away and move onto the next site. An abandoned profile with irrelevant or out of date data is not a good look. A profile that was set up a year or two ago and never seen any activity may send a ‘lazy’ signal to potential customers.
- Being self-centered – people generally don’t want to know what you had for breakfast. They may be interested to hear about your qualifications or experience. They may also want to know a little about your products, however, it’s definitely not all about you.
The most effective social media users are those who know how to listen, when to respond, and how to respond. Get it right, and your business will bloom.