In the history of marketing, there has never been a better time to grow a small business! With over a billion people on Facebook as of this past week (over a half of whom log in daily!), Twitter growing by leaps and bounds, business networking capabilities like never before on LinkedIn and picture based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram that tell the story of your brand in pictures to millions of users, there has never been a better time to grow a brand. Why? Because the power of branding and broadcast media are accessible to anyone with access to a computer, a camera and/or video recorder, and an internet connection. Anyone with creativity, a great idea, and a huge dose of determination can come up with an idea, monetize it, and build a business literally from scratch. The Internet and social media have leveled the playing field and anyone can compete in today's marketplace!
(I know this because not only have I done it, but I'm seeing many people catapult their own business from startup to success through my coaching programs! It's amazing to be a part of, let me tell you!)
But I want to put in a word of caution here also! Just because anyone can get on to social media doesn't mean that it's easy. And using it incorrectly can not only STALL your GROWTH, but it can seriously ROB you of PROFITS!
Yep. I'm shouting <grin>. But it's important to realize, especially on the front side of building a business! Knowing the top social media mistakes that can rob you of profits early will keep you from hurting your own hard-working efforts and may prevent you from using social media in a way that will build your business.
Top 3 Social Media Mistakes That Can Rob You of Profits
1. Not Responding to Comments
What's the first word in social media? Social! It's called social for a reason, and it's all about engaging. The old style of push marketing is not effective in today's online marketplace. The new currency is engagement and conversation is KEY! It's all about starting and continuing a conversation with your audience. Take the time to appreciate the people who have taken time out of their day to engage with you and your brand. It will set you a part from the rest…trust me on this one!
2. All Work and No Play
This one is related to the conversation mentioned above. If you are simply broadcasting your business products and services, you are going to turn off the majority of your prospects and your chances of starting a conversation and engaging with them is nil to none. Treat your audience as being made up of individual people – not just customers, and you'll begin a dialogue that encourages true engagement with your brand. Share life with your audience. Remember, social media is just that 'life'. Business revolves around the edges but it doesn't start with it. Give your audience a chance to get to know you and your company. People want to connect with people not logos.
3. Social Media Isn't FREE!
One of the biggest hurdles for a small business to realize is that while social media accounts do not take money to get started, the management of social media marketing is a profession. Like a profession, it takes the investment of time, knowledge, and effort. It takes time and effort to create a truly engaging and effective brand presence, and this takes a financial commitment, just like any other form of marketing activity. Adding social media duties to the workloads of people who are not trained in effectively engaging with an audience is ineffective at best and could be horrendous at worst (Have you heard any of the Twitter stories out there where someone tweeted something rude or inappropriate on a brand's Twitter account?)
For small businesses, the choice can't be "if" they should engage their brand's followers on social media. The question is how best to begin and continue the conversation. By creating a dialogue, responding to customers, and investing financially as necessary, you can harness the power of this amazing medium to build your business and rock your profits!
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