Engaging on Digital Platforms
There still exists a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge from business owners about using social media for their business. One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make with their social media is only posting their own content – their specials, their services, their glowing reviews. Where it is great to promote the positive attributes of a company, and social media is perfect for that, it is actually a missed opportunity.
In every business, there are natural networks of customers, clients, prospects, vendors, business partners, and referral sources. All of these connections have networks of their own. Social media is designed to leverage those networks to strengthen connections, increase visibility, and share valuable content.
Social media works this way because people are interactive by nature, some more than others, but essentially we like to connect with and be curious about each other. Most people appreciate it when someone likes our page, or leaves a positive comment, likes or shares our content. Not only does the business we interact with on these platforms value the attention, but that interaction is visible to that page’s audience, which opens up greater opportunity and expands digital presence.
It takes more time to engage this way, but if we want our business presence to expand online, we have to work it effectively. Here are some common mistakes we see businesses doing on social media and some suggestions to improving your business presence online:
Top 5 Mistakes:
Mistake #1 – Posting only content about the business, no sharing other material or content their audience would find valuable.
Mistake #2 – No response when someone likes, shares, comments, or requests a connection
Mistake #3 – Inconsistent and/or infrequent posting/interacting
Mistake #4 – No follow up to connect on social media with a live contact
Mistake #5 – Poor content – boring, irrelevant, overly industry-focused, text-based, wrong target audience, etc.
Here are some ideas to improve your business social media:
Remedy #1 – Share, like, and comment on content from your connections. Don’t worry too much if it is not related to your industry. If you introduce the post from the perspective of being supportive of other quality businesses, your post will make sense and be appreciated.
Remedy #2 – Always, without fail, respond when anyone engages on your social media platforms. Say thank you, like the comment, or comment on their comment. If the comment was negative (uncommon) respond to that too. Demonstrate publicly your fantastic customer service.
Remedy #3 – If you use scheduling software, like Hootsuite,, make sure you still go on your platforms frequently to work your connections. Remember, automated posting only handles the outflow of your page, and not the community building.
Remedy #4 – When you meet someone at a networking event or business function, find them online and reinforce the connection on those platforms. This is especially important on Linkedin where business to business relationships are key. If you make a valuable connection online, follow up to request a meeting in person if you have something of value to offer them in exchange for taking the time to meet with you.
Remedy #5 – Define your audience and craft your message for them. Generally social media should not be used for an internal audience, so avoid the mistake of treating your Facebook page like a company bulletin board. Consider what people who are interested in your company or industry care about and deliver content of interest and value to them.
Interacting on social media is one of the best ways to create and reinforce community around your company. Some industries have an easier time doing this than others, but there is an audience for every business. To do it right requires dedication and a paradigm shift away from traditional marketing. Please Contact us if you have questions or would like any help with social media for your business.