There are approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States today in addition to the many other larger corporations that exist. Of those small businesses, more than 70 percent are using social media as part of their marketing and business strategy. Using social media as part of a business and marketing strategy offers a lot of benefits including increased brand awareness, improved customer service, leads, and more. Plus, with tools out there that can help with detecting Instagram media, provide Facebook analytics, and so on, social media is a powerful tool that can help you take your business to the next level.
As great as social media can be for business, though, it can also cause some problems. For example, because nothing on the Internet ever seems to go away, if you make the mistake of posting something you shouldn’t, that post will live on forever and can taint your company’s image, (think along the lines of Paula Deen or Papa John’s). While you should be taking advantage of all that social media has to offer, there are certain mistakes you should be careful to avoid to keep social media from turning and hurting your business.
- Portraying the Wrong Personality
Social media is a great way to express the personality you want your business to have; however, it is possible to portray the wrong personality. That seems ridiculous since personality, (even that of a business), is personal, but it’s true. Think about it—a lackadaisical personality combined with improper spelling and grammar does not pair well with a medical practice. You want to seriously consider the type of attitude and personality you’re putting out there as you publish your posts since you could end up hurting your business and estranging customers if you’re sending out the wrong vibes.
- Misspelling Words or Posting Grammatically Incorrect Posts
It’s important to make sure that your posts are error free before you publish them. The Internet is not shy about correcting misspelled words and grammar mistakes, and they tend to do it mockingly and rudely. Although everyone makes spelling and grammar mistakes every now and then, if your posts are full of them on a regular basis, you run the risk of coming off unprofessional which could cause your followers to have a hard time taking you seriously.
Unprofessionalism is a broad term that can apply in several different ways. For example, it could be the way you respond to customers, the types of posts you put out, or the way you talk about and treat the competition. As general as the term may be, it’s usually easy to tell if something is unprofessional, so think twice before posting since unprofessionalism can lose you the respect of your followers and taint your reputation online.
- Taking Advantage of Others’ Tragedies
Terrible things happen, and tragedies strike, whether on a local, national, or worldwide level. From medical emergencies to natural disasters, there’s no shortage of hardships that individuals, communities, and nations face. In such events, it’s always great to see people rally together and do what they can to provide relief and support, but there’s a fine line between offering encouragement and support and flat out taking advantage of a situation. If you bring up a tragedy or situation that is taking place and turn it back on your company as a promotion opportunity, it’s likely not going to be well received.
- Getting Too Political
Politics are a hot topic for everyone, and it can be difficult not to get involved. Unless you run a political business, however, it’s generally best to stay out of politics altogether. Your customers don’t need to know your political standpoints unless it’s going to affect their purchases somehow, so keeping politics to a minimum or avoiding them is the best course of action if you want to keep social media on your side.
- Posting Inconsistently
Social media isn’t just about what you post; it’s about how often you post it, too. If you’re not posting consistently—whether that be three times a week, once a day, or three times a day—you could be hurting your business. While you likely won’t lose followers, you may not gain new ones or get the kind of engagement that you’re looking for. Engagement can result in conversions; if you’re not posting consistently and not getting that kind of engagement, you could be missing out on some opportunities for sales.
- Keeping the Conversation One-Sided
Social media is for interacting, not just informing. If you only ever post, never ask questions, never respond to questions or comments, or interact with your followers and those you follow as well, then your social media usage could be hurting your business. If you want to make the most of it, the conversation should be open and two-sided instead of just coming from you.
Social media is a great business tool that can be used for marketing, customer service, and more. If you’re not careful, though, it could end up hurting you more than it helps you. By avoiding mistakes like keeping conversations one-sided and acting unprofessionally, you can keep on social media’s good side and keep it working for you. What are the biggest benefits you’ve seen from using social media?