Ten Social Networking Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Business

Business owners worldwide are utilizing various social media platforms to promote products and reach out to consumers.Ten Social Networking Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Business

Many companies thrive, thanks to strong web presence. However, some struggle as a result of costly mistakes made during the online marketing process. Thus, before you began marketing your business it is advisable to brush up on your social media skills.

Better yet, read on for a crash course on the ten most common social networking mistakes and how you can avoid making them yourself.

#1. No Clear Social Marketing Strategy

Forbes columnist Pamela Springer notes that many business owners fail to properly budget their resources. “Even though many social media applications are free,” she writes, “they still cost small businesses time – and time equals money.” She suggests a formal online marketing plan, with a clear goal for each step of the process.

#2. The Media is Inconsistent

With a marketing plan in place, every Tweet and Facebook post should be planned in advance to avoid inconsistency. Terri Seymour, of Site Pro News, advises company marketers to draw up a weekly social media schedule—and then follow it. “Choose a couple of the best sites and give them the time and attention they need to work their magic,” she writes.

#3. No one Monitors the Site

BusinessWeek columnist Mike Proulx says inattentive site management can lead to a PR nightmare. Every site on the Internet is vulnerable to hacking viruses and other online malfeasances. As a result, web programmers must remain one step ahead of violators by continuously checking up on all company sites.

#4. The Material isn’t Proofread

“Bad grammar and spelling can make a good page go bad,” Seymour notes. All blogs, posts and tweets should be professional in appearance, even though social media sites are generally informal in nature. Authors should read posts as they are writing them, and have a co-worker look over the copy before it is uploaded online.

#5. Missed Branding Opportunities

Springer notes that most social media sites include multiple fields for profile owners to personify their page—but many business owners leave them blank. “Your company information, logo, and any other links or images on your profile are the sales tools you have to pique a potential customer’s interest in your business,” she writes. “If your profile is half complete it reflects poorly on your company.”

#6. Accounts aren’t Linked

Businesses with multiple sites should install a mechanism to link them together—and connect various users of these sites in the process. Seymour advises business owners to link social sites on their official homepage using widgets. Additionally, posts on the homepage should be automatically uploaded to all social sites simultaneously, rather than one at a time.

#7. Profiles aren’t Claimed

Springer reminds business owners that, whether or not they choose to participate in social media, their sites are part of the public domain. Yelp!, Google Places and other services create company profiles for owners who have not done so themselves—and this is a great opportunity to build web presence. “All of these services give you the option to control what’s shown about your company and how it’s shown,” she says.

#8. Responses aren’t Timely

In the event of bad publicity, Proulx warns that waiting too long can result in further disaster. When businesses err, he says immediate, humble acknowledgment of wrongdoing on social media platforms is the best route to take. “Taking the time to craft a perfect corporate response with layers of bureaucratic approvals will only cause more damage to your brand’s social reputation,” he says.

#9. No “Likes” or “Follows”

Seymour notes these seemingly arbitrary terms are highly relevant in the age of Facebook and Twitter, because they can greatly increase social activity on a business site. Company owners should include a request in their email signature, print a URL on their business cards and post links whenever possible. Many companies offer customer incentives to those who “like” or “follow” them—and these are typically the businesses with the most active sites.

#10. The Scope is Limited

A social media campaign should be continuous, says Proulx, since a cardinal goal of networking is to reach new clientele. Furthermore, new platforms emerge every year, and web users will often cast aside “old-fashioned” brands for those who acclimate to current trends. “While campaigns that have a social media extension may come and go,” he writes, “you must maintain an “always on” approach and outlook.”

Company owners today must contend with all the nuts and bolts associated with social media, for it has become a standard of modern business practices. Brands that embrace the social networking phenomenon are much likelier to draw in new customers—and their money.

However, firmly understanding how various platforms work, what their limitations are and how people use them is a fundamental first step.

Guest Author: Kate Manning didn’t expect to find herself at the intersection of business, marketing, and the Internet, but with sound writing and editing skills, she makes the most of it. She’s worked under others’ supervision and on her own for herself.

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    Comments

    • http://www.sugarpinerealty.blogspot.com/ mikec

      Thanks for the points, Kate. I would add a bonus point: Don’t expect perfection

    • http://www.yolkrecruitment.com/ Yolk Recruitment

      You first point regarding the cost of social media is really relevant. Most people don’t see the hidden costs of social media/marketing in that it can take up a lot of time. We’re trying to find a balance at the moment as it can easily consume most of your time if you don’t plan carefully.

    • http://www.yolkrecruitment.com/ Yolk Recruitment

      You first point regarding the cost of social media is really relevant. Most people don’t see the hidden costs of social media/marketing in that it can take up a lot of time. We’re trying to find a balance at the moment as it can easily consume most of your time if you don’t plan carefully.

    • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

      Social media is a long term strategy.  If you are going to incorporate it into your marketing plan you need to be committed to it and you need to remain active.  This is going to take some time, which needs to be allotted for social media.  Checking in every once in awhile won’t amount to much.  

    • Bethany Brightmore

      When a company decides to engage with their customers online, it is
      important to remember that it is an ongoing process that requires a lot of
      attention.

      I would like to add another tip: do not ignore or delete bad comments
      on your social media platforms. It is important that you handle them with care
      and give the customer a solution for their problem. Another way to engage with
      your customers online: content! What you write and how often you write is a
      reflection of your company/brand. Note, as you already mentioned; consistency
      and grammar are two key essentials to make your content work for you. We wrote an article about how quality content allows companies to find their voice and fully engage with customers. http://blog.tickcontent.com/content-watch/what-pour-grammer-does-to-youre-websight/ 

    • Anonymous

      Your article is superbly awesome. I’m so satisfied with the information. I was always confused about this topic,Thank you so much, please keep writing such articles.
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    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572627174 Sumeet Ambré

      what is the easiest way to link multiple checkin pages to a single fan page. Our fashion brand has several outlets in London and have many checkin pages created by users…..

    • http://twitter.com/browsewire B’wire Consulting

      Yes, using your Facebook brandpage in your e-mail signature would help
      you in spreading the message in a faster way. Integrating social icons
      on your website increases the chances of getting more likes on your
      brand page.

    • http://profiles.google.com/eldercaresupport Shelley Webb

      I disagree that posts on the homepage should be uploaded to all social sites simultaneously. It’s much better for rankings when postings are more organic and the content is changed slightly to match the needs of the platform.