In the last couple of years we have seen a huge shift in marketing as more and more businesses gravitate to social networking sites to promote their business, build relationships with their customers and connect with potential customers. With the onset of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn, millions of people are sharing their thoughts and opinions with the millions of other people they are connect to. As a small business owner, it is important for you to be on this bandwagon and develop a social media strategy that generates results but you want to avoid to 5 biggest mistakes people make on social networks.
1. Business all the time
Social networking is exactly that, social. This is an opportunity to build relationships and in order to do that you have to share a bit of yourself with the other in the community you join. This is not a place to be all business all the time. Share some of your personal thoughts, what you are doing and show people you are an individual.
2. Politics and religion
Stay away from strong political or religious views. Remember you still represent your business and these topics are usually ones that you want to avoid. Since people have such different views in these areas, you want to remain neutral and professional all the time.
3. Not having a picture
Since this is a social site, personalize it with a picture of yourself. Not having a picture is a big mistake. You want people to trust you and relate to you and most people respond to a name with a face. Remember you are using this for business so make sure it is an appropriate picture and one that you want your potential customers to see.
4. Constantly Selling
Similar to a cocktail party, when you are meeting someone for the first time, you do not go up to them and say “buy my stuff”. You start a conversation and over time that relationship may lead to business. Using social networking sites to only sell your community is a big mistake and you will instantly lose credibility with your followers.
5. Not being consistent
Social networking can take up a lot of time and often business owners get bored or simply lose interest and begin to pull away from updating their community. Make sure you make a commitment and stick to it. Although you don’t want to spend all of your time on social networking sites, you do want to consistently updating every day and there are automated tools to help you to do so.