The original title for this post was “Bored Now,” which made me laugh, but I figured probably wasn’t descriptive enough to encourage people to read this post. What was, and is, boring me, should anyone be curious, are the constant mistakes I see well-intentioned business owners making on social media – mistakes that are, if not actively harming, certainly not helping their businesses. Since it’s the start of a new year, I figured I’d point out a few of the things that I think are detrimental, in hopes that it might be helpful.
1. I bet I won’t even get one share - Usually accompanied by a picture of a sad puppy, or someone or something that has been beaten and battered, or a sad child. Seriously, stop this. The goal is to create content that people want to share, not to guilt people into sharing content.
2. Do you want to buy my stuff? Do you? C’mon, you want to buy my stuff! BUY IT! - Yes, social media can be a great selling tool, but only if you’ve prepared the ground by building trust and creating a community. Your social media accounts need to be more than just a constant stream of sales messages. No one likes to be sold to all the time.
3. This is business, not personal - Facebook has business pages for a reason. So does Pinterest. Twitter is expanding into this realm as well. If you have a business, set up business pages on social media. Build profiles that center on the business, promoting it and allowing customers to get to know it. Business pages also have tools and options that are not always available on personal profiles. Take advantage of those as well.
4. I have 9,999 friends, but can’t sell to one of them - Social media is not a numbers game. I realize why people think it is – even the platforms themselves will tell you that. But it’s not about the number of people following you, it’s about the quality. If you’re not following strategically, if you don’t have a clear idea of who belongs in your target market and who does not, if you’re following and friending indiscriminately, then you may have 9,999 friends and not one potential customer among them.
5. I’m a tumblin’ tumbleweed - A tumbleweed is always blowing through on its way to somewhere else. A lot of business owners on social media are like the tumbleweed – they start a profile on one platform and don’t get an instant response, so they abandon the first profile and move on to somewhere else. They never stay in one place, and they never give their accounts a chance to build followers or gain attention. Success on social media takes time, and constantly moving from account to account searching for the next sure thing will guarantee you never find it.
6. If you can’t say something, get off social media - Coming up with ideas for what to post on social media, cover in a blog post or to send out in an email is tough – believe me, I know – but creating content that is unique to your business is key. If your feeds are a constant stream of items you’ve shared, and you’re never saying anything that reflects your original viewpoint or is pertinent to your business, then it may be time to consider other methods of advertising. Social media is about creating content. An occasional share is acceptable, but if your feed reflects the views of everyone but you, it may be time to examine your social media technique.
If it helps, think of social media like your printer or vinyl cutter or embroidery machine. It’s a great tool, but it takes time and effort to learn to use that tool wisely and profitably. Spend the time, put in the thought and effort, and you’ll achieve the results you want.