4 Key Social Media Mistakes All Online Business Owners Should Avoid
If you're just getting started with your online business, you and companies like eMerchant Club know how important it is to establish your presence on social media. But gaining traction, subscribers, customers, and making sales isn't just about starting a page. And posting pictures of cute bunnies all day isn't likely to generate sales, unless you sell bunnies, that is. You need to know the big mistakes to avoid so your ship swims successfully out into the deep blue.
Avoid Auto Messaging
Almost everyone has received the "thanks for following" message that gets auto delivered to their inbox on one popular platform. Many people use it with the impression that followers will appreciate a personal message.
But they generally don't.
They know it's automated. Plus, people who follow you should be doing so because they are interested in what you have to say. Sending automated messages looks 'spammy.' It gives your followers the impression that you automate everything you do. And according to Stewart Rogers, it can result in people unfollowing you or simply reaching the point where they ignore your direct messages altogether.
Another type of auto message trend encourages new followers to share their posts. Imagine someone doing this to you at a party.
"Hi, my name's Fred. Nice to meet you. Say, would you take my business cards here and pass them out to your friends?"
If you wouldn't say it or do it in real life, then don't do it on social media, plain and simple.
Don't Be Repetitive
It's important to have fresh posts on social media. When your content is just a repeat of last week, how can you expect your followers to stick around? No one wants to hear the same thing over and over. It just alienates and frustrates your followers.
And because some people will follow you on every available social media channel, this holds true for the day-to-day posts as well as posts across different platforms on the same day.
For example, if you're posting the same offer on two different platforms (Facebook and Twitter), you may choose to use the same photo in both places, but changing up the text will make your posts more engaging to those who follow you in both places.
Avoid Too Much Promotion
It's okay to promote your services to followers. You do have a business to run, after all.
But you need to be doing more than just promoting.
You should be educating others on topics related to your industry, offering them helpful tips on making money, avoiding scams, or whatever it is you're focusing on. This shows that you are knowledgeable about the industry. And when your followers know that you will provide them with useful, reliable information, you're more likely to build up trust and loyalty with them.
There are varying opinions on what's considered an acceptable amount of promoting, but Sam Milbrath likes to follow the Rule of Thirds: one third promotional, one third informative and educational, and the remaining third interactions with followers.
According to J.J. McCorvey, the companies who succeed at making money from followers are those that interact with others and post relevant content.
You don't have to be boring or repetitive, but Kevan Lee says it's important to be consistent in four categories:
Voice. Don't be a country hillbilly one day and a know-it-all city slicker the next.
Volume. Choose a share schedule and stick to it. If you only want to post once a day, fine. But don't post once on day one, then twenty times on day two, then go a month without posting anything.
Quality. You may not get it right every time, and quality can be somewhat subjective. But think about relevancy and trends. If it doesn't apply to your business or it's old news, your followers will not find any quality in the post.
Topic. Suppose your business teaches people how to find the best free online jobs and avoid scams. You don't want to cover those topics one day, then discuss how to refinance a home the next.
Consistency in these areas is vital to your online business success. Your personality is unique, and you will find followers who will appreciate the humorous or edgy voice that you inject into your posts. But if what you deliver changes each day, it confuses your followers, and you'll lose credibility.