With more and more people using social media there are more and more reasons to start using it as a way to promote your business. Social media can be a great tool for encouraging people to become new customers, earning customer loyalty and encouraging those customers to become repeat customers. But social media isn’t like other forms of advertising. These are some of the biggest mistakes that can hurt your efforts if you aren’t careful, but luckily they’re also some of the easiest to fix.
You Aren't Posting at the Right Time
Users interact with social media at different times of the day. If you post when none of your users are online, then there won’t be anybody to see it before it gets buried under all the other updates. Making sure that you post at times when your customers are active is important. This could be different for different businesses, depending on when customers are online, but here is a graph with some of the best times to post:
As with any form of advertising, make sure to test on different days and at different times to see when your customers are responding positively to your social media efforts.
If you’re finding it difficult to post to Facebook or Twitter at 2 in the afternoon because you’re busy, you may want to look into using a service that allows you to schedule posts for when you’re not online. Popular choices are Hootsuite and SocialPilot, both of which have free plans for small businesses.
You're Only Posting Advertisements
People don’t use social media to see advertisements, so if all you post is blatant advertising then users will stop following what you share. Only sharing links to your website with text about how great your business is will be sure to cause people to stop looking at you. In order to keep users engaged with your content you should share links to content on your website (e.g. blog posts or articles) that adds value for them such as industry knowledge, advice addressing their concerns, or insider deals.
You should also share stuff other than links to your website. Popular choices are things like infographics (like the image above about good times to share on social media) or links to blogs from other websites that are related to your business. If you run a pet shop, then your users may enjoy seeing an infographic about the popularity of certain dog breeds in the past 10 years. Or maybe you read a really great article on a pet blog about 5 types of food your dog can eat, and 5 types of food that they shouldn’t. Share that on your social media profiles to show that you care about your customers by providing them with something useful!
There are many different suggestions on how much of what you share on social media should be from others and how much should be promotional, but a good start would be to make sure that roughly one-third of what you share is promotional for your business and the other two-thirds isn’t (infographics or content from other websites).
You're Not Interacting with Users
The biggest difference between social media and other forms of advertising is that customers can respond to you on social sites. If you aren’t listening to what your customers are saying online then they’ll eventually stop trying to talk to you, which is bad for everyone. Customers often use companies’ social media pages as a way to ask for help or support, and missing out on answering these can mean you lose a customer. Make sure you check messages from social media in a timely manner so that these customer questions don’t go unanswered for too long.
By interacting with your users you can also build customer loyalty. Instead of just being a business that just posts things all of the time, you can be a business that talks and interacts with customers to show that you care about them. Responding to customer comments with helpful information or just thanking them for taking the time to interact with you can build a loyal base of customers who keep coming back to you instead of a competitor.
Start Fixing the Way You Do Social Media
Now that you know how to stop making these three mistakes, you can start providing your users with a better social media interaction. Some of the points are easier to fix, such as interacting with users, but even that can get tricky if you have multiple social media accounts. Using a piece of software such as Hootsuite can help you manage them all.
Want to learn more about social media? Check out our post about business and social media.
Need help with your social media strategy or regular engagement and posting? Just let us know.