I’m hoping at this point you don’t need to be convinced that social media is one of the most effective forms (arguably THE most effective depending on your audience) of advertising out there. But, just because you have your own Facebook page full of funny cat videos and pictures from your friend’s birthday doesn’t mean a similar approach will work for your business page.  Social media is a fantastic way to stay in touch with your audience, build brand strength and customer loyalty not to mention grow your client base. However, many businesses make these 6 social media management errors that can hurt your brand and ultimately do more harm than good.

1. Inconsistency

Ahhh yes, so you started your social media pages in a moment of excitement, posted enthusiastically for one week and then the newness wore off and so did your presence on your pages. This was never an issue on your personal page because when you posted for the first time after months away, your great aunt will always over-zealously comment on your posts (been there) and your friends from college are still excited to see what you are up to. However, this is a different story for your business. There is no better way to lose trust than to show up in front of your audience in spurts. If you are going to leverage social media, then you must stay consistent in your approach.

2. Ugly Photos

This is true especially for visual businesses but can cause you to lose credibility quickly no matter what business you’re in. Because cellphone cameras are of such high quality, there really is no excuse and your social media audience will feel the same way. If you are noticing your pictures aren’t coming out great – it’s time to upgrade your phone, improve the lighting or at the very least, remember to clean the lens. You never know when your social media images will be someone’s first impression of your business, make it good!

3. Not providing enough value

If you were visiting your social page for the first time, what would you be getting out of it? Would you be getting new industry knowledge that interests you? Would you become motivated to improve in some way? Would you learn something that you didn’t know before? People keep coming back to social pages because they get value out of them. When you start planning out your posts, have your ideal client in mind and think, what value can I bring to them that they desperately need at this moment? This is the most effective way to gain trust, and don’t make the mistake of thinking potential clients aren’t listening. Show them you know what you are talking about for free and then they will be willing to spend their hard earned money on your product or service.

4. Using too many platforms

Not that using many platforms is inherently bad. And to the contrary, many people have their go-to platform of choice. Often people assume that their 4,000 Facebook followers are the same people they have on Twitter or Instagram. Sure, there is some overlap but much less than you might think. In a lot of ways being on multiple platforms is a good thing. However, if you are going to be on them REALLY be on them. This brings me back to point number one about inconsistency. People tend to stretch their social media bandwidth a little thin and then they don’t keep up with all of the platforms. If you are struggling to stay active my best advice is to start with 2 and do them well. Once you get into the swing of things or hire a staff person or contracted help to maintain them – tackle more.

4. Not using paid advertising

When people think of social media for their business, they only think about posting. Posting regularly is a way of maintaining your relationship with your CURRENT audience. People will post and post and post and get frustrated that their audience isn’t growing. Unless you are posting really funny – or highly sharable content then your posts are only reaching the people who are already following you. This keeps you front of mind for those people because your brand is consistently in front of them – so it’s important. But, it will only grow your audience at a snail’s pace unless you are driving them to your pages in some other way like public interviews or some other way. The only people who can get away with just posting are people who already have an audience because they are already famous – Kim Kardashian doesn’t need to run ads to build her audience. If you happen to not be Kim Kardashian and are looking to build your audience, you absolutely must branch into paid advertising. This advertising allows you to target new clients based on demographics and expand your audience in ways that organic reach, aka posting, just isn’t capable of.

6. Trying to do it on your own when you don’t know how to manage social media for business purposes

If you own a business and have been putting off your social media management for over two weeks – I’m talking to you. When done right, social media management and advertising will more than pay for itself and is an avenue of marketing that you can’t afford to be missing out on. Just because it’s not your strength or something you don’t have the time it doesn’t stop it from being an important aspect of your business brand. Consider investing in some help.

This concept applies to every aspect of a business. If you own a business it’s because you are highly skilled and passionate at one thing but so much more goes into running a business. If you can put all your focus and energy on the parts that you do best and surround yourself with a team of paid staff or outside contractors who fill in the blanks and are the best at what they do – your business truly can scale and become truly successful. As entrepreneurs, we tend to have an “I can do it all” mentality, which is something I truly admire. But don’t hold onto that at the expense of your business.

We’d love to hear from you! What have your challenges have you faced managing your own social media? What are you doing that works? Leave it in the comments below.

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