The seven sins of social media

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Many benefits exist for businesses that have tapped into social media channels to expand their reach across target audiences and build brand recognition. However, there are quite a number of pitfalls associated with social media use in the business world that small businesses will want to avoid if they want to spread their influence effectively.

Here are seven social media sins every business should avoid at all costs:

Treating social media as a one-way street
The social media landscape is a give-and-take environment. Businesses shouldn’t take the approach of only having one-way conversations or interactions with others online, they need to open up the dialogue and listen to what others have to say. If people comment on, like or share your business’s posts, you should return the favour, but only if they have posted content that is interesting or valuable to your business or audience.

Being inconsistent
Businesses who only post occasionally online decrease their chances of anyone noticing their profile or paying attention to what they have to say. Businesses need to set aside dedicated time during the day to check into their social media accounts and engage with others.

Having unrealistic expectations
While social media can be an effective tool in building your business’s online profile, it is not a simple quick fix. Just because a business is on social media doesn’t guarantee their efforts will instantly turn into success. Getting the result your business wants from social media marketing often takes, time, patience and effort.

Using too many platforms
No business has the time to master all the social media platforms available. And not all social media platforms will be relevant to a business’s target audience. Therefore, it is often best for businesses to concentrate all their social media marketing efforts on just one or two platforms.

Ignoring results
A convenient aspect of social media marketing is that almost everything your business does online is measurable. Businesses should take advantage of this to work out why or why not people are engaging with their content and experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t work.

Not getting to the point
On social media, businesses have to compete with a ton of information to capture their audience’s attention. Being short and direct is therefore key. Make your business’s content easy to understand and read by using short and direct language in your social media posts.

Selling
There isn’t much else that can diminish your business’s social media reputation more quickly than selling. Social media wasn’t designed for users to talk directly about their services or products (leave that for your business’s website). Social media is an environment where businesses can show off their expertise and build trust through quality content that actually helps their audience, customers and followers.

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