Social media has made ordinary people into stars, reality show real estate moguls into presidents, and given small business a big, realtime voice. It has also ruined reputations and tarnished brands in a single tweet. Here are the top 4 mistakes that could be costing you business:
1. Not updating your content frequently
As a business owner, you’re busy pretty much all of the time. And unless you have an employee dedicated to social media (wouldn’t that be nice?), it isn’t easy to make this a priority. But when you post to social media only infrequently, the world will start to wonder if you have a pulse. It will weaken one of the most useful and low-cost tools there is to bolster your brand.
2. Ignoring negative feedback and not responding to customer complaints in a timely manner
Speaking of social media, how many posts have you seen from a customer to an airline about bad service? Customers today are used to leveraging social media in order to get their voices heard, quickly, and they expect to get a response just as quickly. If you aren’t able to respond in a timely manner, it will not only be those customers who see your unresponsiveness, but anyone else who can view the exchange.
It might sometimes feel like playing Whack-a-mole, but managing feedback today requires a constant monitoring of incoming email, review sites, and social media channels for both positive and negative feedback, with priority going to the negative. If you aren’t set up to receive alerts in a central place, look into it. You’ll need a dashboard if you hope to control the conversation. Technology is not only your enemy; it’s also your best friend.
3. Not monitoring what your competitors are doing on social media
Ever wish you had a window into your competitors’ strategy? History? Well, you kind of do. It’s called social media. Anything that hasn’t been deleted, from customer exchanges to mentions to posts that have been most engaging are there for you to view and analyze. If you’re ever at a loss for what kind of content to serve up to your customers, take a look at what your competitors have done that has driven the most interaction. No, you don’t want to be unoriginal, but you do want to generate content that matters to your customer base, and if it’s already been proven out, great! That removes the guesswork for you. And just because your competition has already done it doesn’t mean you won’t do it better.
4. Not having well-defined Calls-to-Action in your social media posts
Just posting, even frequently, even really interesting content from your social media accounts isn’t enough. You aren’t in business to be liked, you’re in it to make a living. Post like it. Decide what you ideally want your readers to do when they’ve read your post. Do you want them to read a blog post? Take advantage of a sale or trial you’re offering? Give you feedback or enter a contest? Whatever your call-to-action, make it clear, succinct and tempting. Lackluster and unclear CTAs are a waste of an otherwise good post. Even the prettiest roads can lead to — you guessed it — a dead end. Don’t let yours.