The business world is buzzing these days when it comes to social media.
You can’t visit a business website without reading about social media.
The buzz is legitimate too. Businesses are getting traffic, leads and sales from their social media efforts. Not every business is, but some businesses are seeing good return.
At Ghost Blog Writers, we’ve acquired leads and new customers through Twitter and LinkedIn. Those have been our best too.
And if you count blogging as social media then the majority if our business comes from social media.
We’re also going to be starting video and publishing on YouTube as another way to generate traffic.
All that is well and good. You know that your business should probably get involved in social.
If you’re wondering what you should avoid in social media as you get started here are some common social media mistakes.
1. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
There are a lot of social media networks out there.
Unless you have a lot of resources you’ll never be able to focus on them all.
Find the ones that best fit your target customer profile and focus there. Leave the others alone. It’s better to be consistent with your updates on one or two social sites rather than updating once in a while on ten social sites.
2. No Security Measures
Every week or so you hear about some celebrity that has their social media account hacked.
Be careful with your company passwords. Have a system in place for keeping the passwords safe. Also have a procedure for regularly changing the passwords.
Use Strong Password Generator to create strong passwords.
Being hacked can cause you headaches and it can be a pain to get control back.
3. No Policies for Employees
I used to be against social media policies, but now I see the value. The basic thing you need to let your employees know is that by working for your company they are a representative of the brand whether they like it or not.
What they do on their personal time is their business, but a reminder that what they do on social media can reflect the brand is good.
Make sure they make it clear that their views are their own and not always the views of the company.
Social media needs to be a consideration for all your hiring going forward. Think about each candidate and how they are likely to use social media and consider how that will reflect your brand.
4. No Procedures for Social Media Manager
Freedom is great. Freedom to use social media is great too.
But have some procedures in place. You could even work with the social media manager to create procedures. This way you can scale the efforts when you bring in other people to help with the social program.
It’s always good to document your systems and processes so you can scale the efforts.
Procedures also save time if you bring in someone new to handle something. They’ll be able to easily login and get started by following the instructions.
5. You’re A Taker
Social media is more about giving than taking. This means sharing the content of others. Post their posts on Twitter. Mention them on Facebook and in a tweet.
Pay it forward in this way and you’ll see that you’ll gain followers faster than you would if you only shared your own content.
I’m guilty of this at times. It’s good to share your content, but finding a balance is important.
6. Giving Your Best Content To Social Media Networks
This is my biggest pet peeve with people that use social media. If you’re posting key pieces of content on social networks you’re giving up ownership of that content to the social network.
If you publish a post on Facebook you give ownership to Facebook.
It’s better to own your content with something like a blog. Then you can post snippets of the content on the social site. You give followers something worthwhile while enticing them to see even more back at your site.
7. No System To Save Profiles and URLs
Someone at your company needs to be in charge of saving profiles and URLs for your brand.
You might not be involved on every social network, but you do want to save your profiles on each new social network that comes out.
You can put up a placeholder message that says that it is the official account, but that you’re not active. Then you can link to your website or to another social account where you are active.
This will put you in a good place in case you ever decide to invest resources in a social network in the future.
These are just a few of the common social media mistakes. I’ve made them myself. Hopefully you can learn from the mistakes of others as you start out in the social media world.
But don’t be afraid to jump into social media. Nothing that bad can really happen unless you get crazy.
And since you’re a reasonable person you don’t have anything to worry about.
There is more to gain from social media than there is to lose.