There is no denying that many people are using social media in one way or another. There’s probably thousands of people each day that are new to it too. There are so many networks to use, and each one gets updated or releases new features so often, that I dare to say that everyone end up learning something the more they use social media. Here at Design Theory, we know a lot, but we try never to say that we’re “Gurus” that know everything. It’s hard to know everything when things change so frequently.
Now we’re online almost 18 or more hours a day. Be it on our smart phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops. One way or another we’re online and engaging our audience, partners, and clients in some form or medium. It’s a lot of work and a lot of constant effort. For the average small business owner deciding whether or not to get into social media, our advice is usually the same:
“Either go all in, or don’t bother at all“
Harsh? Yea a little but the reason why is we hate to see failed attempts. It is very easy to get confused when you’re first starting out. And those little mistakes that may seem insignificant to you, may cost you your online reputation.
Incomplete Social Profile
This is totally a rookie mistake, but you’d be surprised how many social accounts we come across that are only partially filled out. Have you ever seen that big goose egg on Twitter for a person or business? They probably haven’t ventured into the profile settings to upload a cool head shot or picture of their store or logo to show that they’re actually a real account. Or on Linked In where someone may use a picture of a cat or cartoon character as their profile photo. Not only is that not appropriate for that social site because Linked In is considered more of a professional business networking site, it looks like you don’t take your professional profile seriously. Facebook allows you to input a lot of information for your Business Fan page, so take advantage of that. In a lot of cases a successful Facebook page will show up in a Google search way before your website does. So be sure to have your best foot forward with all of your information listed.
These are social media accounts of people or businesses that at some point got started, then got bored, frustrated, or lost interest and stopped using their accounts. I’m sure some of those people thought they’d get back on the wagon once they found some more free time in their day, have an upcoming event or sale that they’ll want to promote in the future, or some reason or other. However valid the excuse may be, to a potential client and your audience it now looks like you don’t take your social account seriously. And in that microsecond you lose a potential ear for someone who was willing to pay attention and follow your brand.
Duplicate Updates & Posts on All Mediums
Speaking of multiple accounts, don’t make the mistake in posting the same posts or status updates across ALL of your social media accounts. Its tacky and lazy. Sure that sounds mean, but it’s true. Most people are members of more than two social media platforms and they’ll see your post on one network then see the same one on another network word for word. It looks like a robot may have posted it or you’re not really putting time to pay attention to the conversations and tones of each network individually. Point is you can’t mix coffee with juice then a slushy and dip your donut in it and expect everyone else is drinking and eating the same things you are at each table.
Failure to Respond
This one kind of falls under the dormant accounts but in some cases is a bit worse. Have you ever reached out to a fan or someone on a social network and never hear a response? Or have you read a post that was just posted in the last few minutes of you reading it, and you like it and reply, and you never hear a response to your reply? Yea those are bad. It looks like you’re just talking and could care less about listening. Which really defeats the purpose of being “social” on these networks. There’s some etiquette for each network on reasonable response times.
You Think It Shouldn’t Cost Much
I saved this one for last because it seems to always be the elephant in the room. To be a little transparent, we get a good amount of emails and phone calls requesting quotes on managing creating social media accounts for small businesses. I would say the number one hesitation for us seems to be price. Yet we’re not the cheapest business in our local market and certainly not online. To give you an idea of a median price for a full package for social media management and marketing for Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, and Pinterest; you would be paying around $2,000 a month. This includes metrics, tracking, custom Facebook tabs and landing pages, Call to Action and ongoing marketing initiatives, and of course constant up to the minute engagement.
After reading all this, I’d love to hear your thoughts and even your own experiences. Lets start a dialog with other readers in the comments below.