Friday, May 18, 2012

Do You Make These 4 Social Media Mistakes When Promoting Your Business?

It is a known fact that Social Media helps build communities. But there are so many social media tools to choose from, and many entrepreneurs and small business owners do not know how to use the tools to their advantage.

Well, since I have been learning as I help my clients improve their business, I thought I would share 3 quick tips on how to avoid the top social media mistakes.

The Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid (especially when using Facebook) are:

1. Self Promotion - Yes, I know this may seem backwards to some. But do you really believe that your customers and potential clients want to hear about how great you are every day? They are not interested in how you are living the fabulous life in the fab lane.

So what do our site visitors really want, you ask? They simply want to know how you can help them solve their problems. That is what they are really interested in. So if you can focus on how your products and services will help put out a fire that your site visitor is having, you will be on your way to obtaining paying customers and repeat clients very soon.

To tell you the truth, that is exactly how my blog design business took off a few years ago. A potential client asked a blog design question on some forum that I was visiting that day. I knew the answer to her questions, so I decided to reply. She thanked me for solving her problem that day. Then later in the evening, I received an email from her asking if I was for hire. I said sure, and the rest, as they say, was history.

2. Seeking Popularity instead of Targeted Leads - My point here is that the number of Facebook Fans (popularity) is not necessarily indicative of entrepreneurial success. Some entrepreneurs believe that getting 5,000 or more FB fans or "Likes" is the key to making a huge profit in sales. What they don't know is, it is far better to have maybe 300 targeted prospects that are truly interested in your products and services than to have 5,000 friends on your Facebook Fan Page who could care less about your brand or what you have to offer.

I have observed on my own personal blog, that the number of visitors and clients who request my services have increased 4-fold. It happened when I started focusing more on how I can deliver real value to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed. You can do the same by focusing your marketing efforts on prospects and current customers. For example, if you choose to use an email marketing software, you could mention your Facebook page or other Social Media platforms in the email.

On the flip side, I speak to entrepreneurs all the time who are looking for guidance in setting better goals for their social media campaigns. Some of them are frustrated because they do have over 5,000 fans, but the fans are not being converted into customers. I see it happen all too often. Once you decide what is really important to you (popularity vs targeted leads), a more practical approach to align your goals with your social media tools will yield better results.

3. Using the Wrong Social Media Tools - It is important to know that there are many social media tools that you can use to build a community around your brand. However, it does not mean that you should use every one of the tools to promote your business. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you need to spend some time up front to determine which tools will provide you the most benefit. Determine what your goals are and decide what will be the most effective tool to achieve your objectives. It may take some trial and error to determine which methods are connecting with your targeted audience. It is better to use a few Social Media tools that work to your advantage, than to use too many tools and not achieve your objectives. Remember that the goal of your Social Media activity is to engage and interact with your audience, not to just talk "at them" or to just always listen. It is a two-way street.

4. Not having a customized Facebook page - It is a great start to have a Facebook page. But you need to go to the next step and make sure you have a customized, professional page. You should also have a custom landing page that tells your visitors what to do once they land on your page. Also you need to make sure your Facebook page is consistent with your website. This will keep your brand for your business consistent.

So in closing, I would say to focus your efforts on things that drive a positive return on your investment. If it doesn't work, then stop doing it. My goal for going into the New Year is to work smarter, not harder!

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