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5 Don’ts of Social Networking For Businesses

The majority of business owners, large or small, are opening their eyes to the huge potential of social networking. In the past year or so more and more companies have jumped to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn attention(to name just a handful) in order to raise their profile and add an extra interactive edge to their business.

Just with any marketing strategy, however, there are standard points to bear in mind if you’re going to make a success of your social media campaign. Read on for five things you definitely shouldn’t do when it comes to harnessing the opportunities of social media for your business.

Don’t think that social networking won’t benefit you

This is the most common mistake made by today’s businesses from any sector or industry. Lewis Austin, the resident social media marketer at online marketing firm SEO Positive Ltd, has this to say about the attitude of business owners with a more traditional approach to promotions:

“I’ve worked with a number of clients who were simply too intimidated by social media to get involved without a push from a professional company. If they are new to the web in general, setting up multiple platforms can seem like a daunting task. My job is to explain the benefits of social networking to everyone who comes on board and give them a reason to invest in the campaign in the first place. There are so many opportunities to establish your brand by getting consumers involved in your company and to miss out on the potential of networking in general”.

Don’t NOT have a plan!

As hard as it sounds, you will need to push yourself to create a strategy for your social media campaign, or, better still, get in touch with a social media marketing company or general SEO agency for advice and guidance. Do your research and conduct a thorough analysis into all of your other advertising efforts (online AND offline) before you start creating accounts all over the shop. It’s also important to check out what your competitors have been up to – this way you’ll get to act within the role of the consumer and judge your rivals’ efforts based on the usability and accessibility of their profiles.

You need to determine what you want to achieve for your business via social media. For most businesses, this will be building a greater awareness of their brand and providing consumers with the opportunity to interact with the company and get their opinion heard. You may, however, want to start selling your product range via Facebook, or be looking to gain more industry contacts via Twitter. Ultimately you need to set your goals depending on your own individual requirements.

Don’t expect to make money

One huge error made by businesses diving into social media is the assumption that networking will make them money. Lewis describes this as the most common concept for business owners to get their head around:

Social media wasn’t created for businesses. It just so happens that major companies decided that it can be utilized for the benefit of their customers. I often have to spend a lot of time reassuring my clients that their investment has been worthwhile, as they are unlikely to receive direct revenue from tweeting and the like. Instead, they are establishing themselves in the circles that really matter and putting themselves across as an approachable, down-to-earth firm – two things that will encourage consumers to want to get to know their company and lead to further enquiries and hopefully sales!”

Don’t forget to update your page

Another hurdle faced by employers is the fact that managing and updating their social accounts can be a time-consuming and laborious process. This is another reason to assign a marketer to the task. Your social media expert will make sure that your profiles are generating interesting, engaging content and getting customers involved wherever possible. If users stumble across a social account that looks like it hasn’t been touched in a few weeks, they’ll disregard it, considering it irrelevant and out of date. This can be seriously damaging to your reputation if you’re looking to establish yourself as a contemporary company that understands the demands of the modern consumer.

Don’t miss out on opportunities to stand out from the crowd

Finally, remember that you need to set your company apart from similar businesses. There are plenty of ways to customise your social profiles (Facebook is particularly easy to manipulate) – add tailor-made banners, plenty of quality photos and a quirky yet professional block of text that tells the user all about the aims of your business and why they need to get involved. As well as acting as a central resource for networkers, your social media profile is a great advert, so spend some time thinking about your online image. 

Here we learn more about expectations regarding social media marketing. If you would like to learn more about do's and don'ts of Facebook marketing click here.

About Author

Lewis Austin is the social media manager at SEO Positive, for more information about the guest author, or SEO Positive, check out their blog or Twitter feed.

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