Did you know that over 70 million small businesses around the world are using Facebook to somehow increase awareness for their brand? Or that nearly 50% of small and medium-sized businesses that use social media have been able to hire more people due to increased demand for their product?
Social media is not just a fad anymore. The correlation between small business success and leveraging the power of social networks is strong. However, one does not just ‘start’ social media. Creating a Twitter account for the sake of creating a Twitter account is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum (thanks Baz Luhrman for the analogy).
But how do you do avoid the pitfalls and do it effectively? Here are 3 common mistakes that you might be making and how to avoid them.
“Let's go for Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin”
Quite some small businesses decide on the relevance of social media channels based on what they ‘believe’ sounds right. This is a capital mistake. It’s important to put into perspective what kind of customer you want to reach and what the products of your business are. These two strategic drivers will decide what social media channels are right for your customer, you and your business.
For example, a small business selling baby clothes to young mothers in global cities has nothing to gain by being active on LinkedIn. Their audience (young mothers) isn’t there, nor is there a relevance between the product (baby clothes) and the channel (LinkedIn). This company has much more to win by being active on Instagram, given the fact that this channel resonates well with the audience and the product.
Key here is creating a good social media strategy before you even start to consider the actions. To wrap this one up with a quote; if you don’t know to which port you’re sailing, no wind is favorable.
“I'm gonna tell you all about my business”
Another common mistake is what we call the ‘MMI (Me Myself and I) syndrome'. We get it, you’re super excited about your small business, its products and its halo. Your passion will make you believe that sharing stuff about your business is the right way forward. Dingdong, you’re kinda wrong. If you focus on sharing MMI content, you will create a very egocentric tone of voice and that’s not what you want. Instead, you want to share content that focuses on telling people how you are helping them and why they should believe that you are the expert or the thought leader within your field.
Putting your solution out there as Santa’s Little helper is the way to go. As an example; at Contento we highlight the fact that our product allows small businesses to build their brand online and create credibility whilst saving time and money. Can you see how we’re trying to be helpful here 😉.
“We do 0 to 100, real quick”
Reminder to yourself: Social media is NOT, whatever people say, about speed. It’s not about reaching 100 likes as fast as possible. It’s not about having 100 posts out there at the speed of light. And it’s definitely not about buying 100 followers just to have 100 followers.
Social media is about being consistent in sharing relevant content on the right channels. Social media is about nurturing and fostering engagement with your community and reaching new people to add to your community.
To put it in 10 words: It’s not about speed, It’s about relevance, consistency and tenacity.
So please, don’t focus on the short term, but focus on the long term. Be mindful about the fact that building trust with people takes time, effort and understanding.
*Side note: The inspiration for this piece came from article by HBR that was recommended by the Contento platform. Do you see us being Santa’s Little Helper once again 😇.