5 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

One of the greatest things about social media is that it is out there for everyone to see…

One of the scariest things about social media is that it is also out there for everyone to see.

The use of business social media is used for a handful of different reasons. From marketing to consumer relations to SEO, and at the end of the day, it won’t even matter if you are losing credibility by making mistakes that can easily be avoided.

Here are five tips to pay attention to as you engage more in social media this year that will help to avoid mistakes that may hurt your brand image.

Spelling and Grammar

One of the newest tools computers have these days is this thing called “spell check.” It can be really helpful when there is a big word you might miss a letter or two in when writing it out. Seriously, don’t get lazy when it comes to spelling, run spell check and always reread everything you put online. Still, use your free online dictionary to always double-check the spelling and the meaning of your principles/principals or effects/ effects. Do not lose credibility on a word that your child could spell correctly.

“Social Rules”

There are what should be called different “social rules” when it comes to businesses using social media. Posts, tweets, and shares should always keep your audience engaged with your message. Avoid statements and opinions that are impossible to stir up conversation or attention from your followers.

  • Example: “New blog post is up.”
  • Changed to: “Hey everyone, we added a new blog post. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Always try to build conversations with your followers, and make them feel involved with what your business is doing.

Keep it Relevant

Unless you are in the business of breeding and training dogs, your business Facebook page could live without the YouTube video of the cute puppies. Keep your social media professional and relevant and avoid losing followers who might be annoyed by the “junk” that appears in their live feed.

Remember, just because you cheer for a certain team or might be voting for a certain Presidential candidate, doesn’t mean your followers are. Avoid sports, politics and religious posts on your businesses sites, unless your business is sports, politics or religion in which case post away.

Check once, check twice, check a third time

This can be tied to keeping it relevant but deserves its own section due to the problems it can cause if not avoided. Make sure and always check to see if you are logged into your business account or your personal account before posting anything. As you are posting double-check again, and after you post it, you got it, check again. The last thing you want to do is slip up because you’re not paying attention and inform all your business followers that you had the craziest dream about Lady GaGa. Has funny or crazy as your friends might find that, your business following probably won’t care.

A Red Cross employee forgot which account he was logged in to, and told the millions of Red Cross followers that he was so wasted last night and didn’t remember a thing that happened…Oops.

Stay Updated

A social media site that hasn’t been posted on in the last month says only one thing, “we don’t care.” Your followers choose to follow you for a reason. They want to know what’s going on and stay updated with the goods and services your business has to offer. We live in a world where yesterday’s news means nothing. We demand the most up to date and relevant news, and when we don’t get it from one source, we find it somewhere else. Let your followers know that you are thinking of them and share information that they would be interested in.

10 Reasons Small Businesses Need to Blog

Yes, 10 reasons your small business NEEDS to blog, with the emphasis on the word needs.

Now I’m not talking about your everyday “mommy blog,” as that is the impression most people get when hearing the word blog. The word blog should actually be used in your business vocabulary more than you think. Blogging is a very versatile tool, and can serve a bigger purpose in areas of your business that you already spend lots of time, energy and money in.

For those that already blog, I hope you’ll agree with these 10 reasons. For those who do not, my goal is for you to start up a blog for your small business within hours of reading this.

1. SEO

Blogging, when done correctly, can rank you higher on Google and other search engines. The secret is to use your businesses keywords strategically and consistently throughout posts. Not only does a blog give your business another platform to be found on, but also if done regularly, provides current and fresh content.

2. Social Media content

Most, if not all, businesses have adopted social media into their business plan. The issue that most of these businesses are facing is finding valuable content to share. In fact, most of these businesses are posting and sharing content from other businesses blogs driving traffic and clients away from themselves. Why not use content that drives those potential clients to your website?

3. Credibility

Every business out there believes they are worthy of the business they bring in. Blogs give you an opportunity to quickly establish yourself as an industry expert in their field. But be careful, this is a double-edged sword…if not careful you can lose credibility just as fast.

4. Visibility

Blogs can be a great source to remind consumers you are out there. So many small businesses are not visible online. The use of certain plugins can automatically attach a link to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account to remind your followers that you are still there.

5. Public Relations

Press releases are and will always be very important when communicating with the media and your targeted audience. Unfortunately, small businesses don’t attract the media very often. Blogs give you the opportunity to release information as well as receive feedback.

6. Customer Service

As stated above, blogs can give instant feedback on issues or services your business offers. If monitored correctly, businesses can address conflicts and concerns just as fast as they hear about them. At the same time use positive feedback to understand what your consumers like, and use that feedback to build stronger relationships.

7. Marketing

A blog can be your best friend when trying to establish your brand image. You control the content and voice of your business when you blog. Your blog will brand your business whether you are trying to or not. Just for fun check out the blogs of a few businesses and see if the first impression they give off matches the audience they are trying to reach.

8. “Free Sample”

You know what I, and 99% of people love about Costco and Sams Club…free samples! There is nothing that sells frozen egg rolls better than sampling one while it is hot, fresh and free. Your goods and services are no different than that little frozen egg roll. The Internet gives consumers the opportunity to research a business before they buy or invest in what they offer. What better way can you think of to showcase your knowledge and strengths than a blog that you control? Remember, no one ever buys nasty samples.

9. Education

I’ve already hit on the idea of educating your audience, but blogging is an educational tool for yourself. As you start to blog you are going to want to stand out in your field or areas of expertise. By putting your thoughts and ideas into words your knowledge will grow. This is not a new concept and will expand your mind as you research new ideas to blog about for your audience.

10. History 101

If we have learned one thing in the last few years, it would have to be that our economy can flip like a switch. One week business can be great and the very next week dead. Blogs are a great way to record and study your own business. Looking back how you adapted to a certain issue could help avoid certain bumps down the road. You can leave posts up on your blog longer than a lifetime if you choose. Who knows, just as we look back at history to solve problems today, others will be doing down the road…your blog might just be the answer to solve their issues.