5 Mistakes Start-ups make when using Social Media and how to correct them

In my head I was saying ’Yes yes yes I’m doing it right!’ and on the outside I think I was nodding a lot!

It’s an amazing experience to have one of the most recognised social media experts describe their best practice, and its exactly the way I do things.

There’s nothing like getting reassurance to make you feel good. And this really made me feel good! On top of that I felt a positivity boost (we all love those) and I have James Brain (my Advanced Social Media trainer) to thank for that.

I dedicate this post to James and all the other lovely people that attended the course with me and are the inspiration behind writing this blog. It really was an eye opening & uplifting 2 days. Only wish it could have be longer!

I’m not a social media angel and I’ve made plenty of mistakes too. As they say mistakes are all steps along our learning journey that make us better at what we do.

So I’ve put together some of the most common mistakes start-ups make when using social media. So here goes….

1. Using the platform that you are most familiar with regardless as to whether it is where your customers are! This isn’t about what’s comfortable for you, you need to think like your ideal customer does and be where they are. If you’re busy brainstorming great stuff to post on Facebook but your customers are engrossed in Pinterest or Instagram then you are in the wrong place!

2. Not interacting with people! I know this sounds silly but so many start-ups don’t engage with their audience on social. Here’s the thing, and there is no maybes on this one…. you MUST comment/reply/offer feedback/aim to rectify complaints. It really is essential, this is your opportunity to interact directly with your potential customers. How you react and respond will determine their perception of you and your business and whether they will/will not do business with you. I’m going to quote a really great line from James Brain and that is “Your 1* (Facebook) review can be your 6* review. Your negative customer feedback is your biggest opportunity to shine.”

3. Posting the exact same status (word for word) on every platform. Ok I know social media stuff is time consuming but please don’t be tempted to do this. It is far better to focus on 2 or 3 places where you KNOW your customers are and plan your updates on these platforms accordingly, than to be posting the same thing everywhere – it makes you look like a robot! And that is something you definitely don’t want! Just think how different Twitter & LinkedIn are for example. So the key is to be platform specific, basically tailor your words and phrases to the readers in that arena. What will make the most sense to them? What lingo are they expecting? Know your customers inside out and you’ll be on a roll!

4. Acting different online than you do offline.  You wouldn’t talk non-stop about yourself to a complete stranger you meet at a social function or networking event (please tell me you don’t do this?!) so why would you do it on social media? It’s a 2 way street, ask questions and be interested just as you would if you met these people in the flesh. Be real, genuine, authentic, honest and most of all be YOU!

5. Saying ‘My customers are everyone’. Yep all ages, cities, regions, lifestyles, cultures… men, women, children and so on. I did the same when I started – I thought if I aim to please everyone then its the answer to getting lots of great business, right? Wrong! Your messages need to be clear, concise, specific and targeted. Who exactly are you talking to? Where do they hang out and what do they like to do in their spare time? What motivates them and what are they passionate about? Be as niche as you possibly can, the better you know your market the easier it is to reach them and you’ll be amazed at how effective you can be when you’re speaking to a specific group of people than the whole world!

If you’ve made some social media boo boos, don’t be embarrassed it’s all great learning! Please do share with me I’d love to hear them and we can progress on life’s journey of learning together! 🙂

Photography: Visuable

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