Ten Mistakes Companies Make on Social Media

Having a social media presence is more and more important today for a business. The number of consumers who seek information about a company via social media continues to increase and it is almost expected that someone will be there waiting on Twitter or Facebook to answer a question. I believe this stems from the frustration many people feel searching a company’s website trying to find a way to contact someone or find information.  On social media, the consumer is back in control.  They know how to find things on your pages and profiles and they are already on these social platforms, so it’s just easier. So if your company is going to invest the time setting up shop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any of the other places your consumers are swarming, make sure you don’t make these mistakes on social media and miss out on big connections and big business opportunities.

10 Mistakes To Avoid on Social Media

  1. Poor Profile Picture or None At All

    A profile picture is like signage on a building.  You need to hang a sign out so people recognize you among the masses.  There are a lot of posts that come flying by on social media, be sure your profile pic is clear, bold, and STOPS TRAFFIC! If you need to resize a photo or logo, hop over to PicMonkey and use their easy resize tool.  Of all the mistakes companies make on social media, this is the easiest to fix.

  2. Leaving Vital Information Blank

    One of your goals on social media is to be FOUND. Each social media site gives you a spot to load up a description about you or your business.  Adding a couple keywords here is important for people to find you.  There is always a spot for you to add your website link and some social sites allow several links—use them up.  Cross pollinate. Link from Twitter to your website.  From Facebook to your website, blog and perhaps your Twitter account.  From LinkedIn, add links to your website, your blog, a page on your website that shows more testimonials or clients you work with.  Whatever you do, fill it out completely.  Take the time to craft your bios and areas that hold key information.  It will help your business be more FINDABLE!

  3. Create Accounts & Don’t Monitor Comments

    This is a BIG no-no!  Imagine attending a networking event and someone approaches you to ask a question about your services or to say they enjoyed the information you shared last week, and you just stood there without acknowledging them or answering their question.  You just turn and walk away.  That is what it feels like when someone takes the time to answer a question you post or ask a question on your blog or social media site and never hears back from you.  You should close the loop on all conversations that take place on your social media sites.

  4. Not Using Great Visuals

    One of the hottest trends in social, is visual social.  Take a look at a couple of interesting facts that reinforce this fact.  Facebook bought Instagram.  Twitter allows photos to be loaded directly into the stream and displays them large and in charge.  LinkedIn owns SlideShare and encourages people to add visual presentations into their text-heavy profiles and pages. Pinterest and Instagram rule the social scene right now and of course we consume more and more video every day on YouTube (100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE! That’s 16.4 years every DAY! You need to get your expertise uploaded. ) TWEET THIS

    Your social media accounts should be a visual wonderland, filled with beautiful images, illustrations, videos, infographics and more.  Do not use corny, old and stale clipart. Take that smartphone out and start capturing the story of your business in photos.  (see also-SHOW ME A STORY on Slideshare)  If you are looking for a new smartphone and want one with a phenomenal camera, check out the Nokia Lumina Icon that Verizon carries.  With a 20 megapixel camera, it takes INCREDIBLE photos.

  5. Not Being Social

    Social media is a platform for your to share what is going on in your business as well as helpful tips and information about your products, services and expertise, but it’s also a place to BE SOCIAL!  After crafting the content that is all about YOU, take some time to wander around the platform and see what others are talking about.  If you are connected to the right audience (your target market) you should be interested in what they are saying.  Spend time liking, commenting, and sharing the content that others post.  Show interest in others if you want them to show interest in you.

  6. Sending Out Auto-Response Messages

    Don’t even get me started on this one.  Sending automated messages to people in a private or direct message to “WELCOME” them or to “THANK THEM” for connecting with you is a kin to sending a spam message.  Everyone knows it is automated and that you probably haven’t even seen their profile yet or connected back.  My favorite is when people also add a link for a free “gift.” The link is to one of their eBooks or other promotional item that is on a landing page so they can capture your email as well.  Why not let people get to know you first.  Better yet, why don’t you get to know them.  Auto messages, whether sent on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, smell of spam and they don’t make anyone feel welcomed.  Either send a real message to the person telling them you are happy to be connected and that you look forward to learning more about them, or send nothing at all.  No impression is better than a negative impression right off the bat!

  7. Not Being Consistent

    Many businesses jump into social marketing with great energy, creating their Facebook page, setting up a Twitter account and loading a few photos on Instagram.  They may have someone in the office that seems to always have spare time and so they assign the task of social marketing to him.  After a few weeks of sporadic posts, there are big lapses in time between posts and before long it becomes abandoned.  The biggest challenge with inconsistent posts on Facebook is the algorithm is set up to reward the pages that not only post regularly, but that get regular engagement on those posts.  The less frequent you post, the less opportunity a person has to like or comment on something and therefore your content is bumped by other, more frequent content. On Twitter , Pinterest, Instagram or Google Plus, the more you are “seen” on these social media sites, the more your community grows. One tweet a day will not grow a community of followers.  Set specific time aside each day for social marketing activities.

  8. Writing Boring Content

    Social content is different from the copy you might find on that old brochure in your supply closet from 1995.  It is also different from the copy on your website.  Too many social media profiles are filled with text-heavy content that no one wants to take the time to read.  Keep in mind, when you send an email that is more than a paragraph and it doesn’t include bullets or pictures, people are probably getting the same glazed-eyed look and “accidentally” hitting the delete key.   Think of who your target market is….specifically.  Are they men?  Women?  Teens?  What do they like?  What other pages and social media profiles are they active on?  Go check them out.  How is that content written?

    Social content is more conversational.  It is definitely shorter than typical website copy, and it’s usually more FUN!  Even if you don’t consider your business to be fun, think of your social media pages and profiles as a little networking cocktail party.  You’ve invited potential clients to come.  Don’t stand at a podium and start droning on and on about your services.  Walk around and have short conversations.  Ask questions and be LIVELY!  On your social media sites, also think about sharing complimentary content that can add value to the lives of your guests.  If you are a hotel, you can share the concert schedule or the best places around your property to get out and hike while visiting.  If you own a furniture or accessory business, you can share tips on cleaning lamp shades or paint colors that brighten a mood in the home.  If you get to know your audience, you will know what other information they might find interesting and helpful.

  9. Asking Rhetorical Questions or Questions Requiring Big Commitment

    I find it amusing when I see a page that has a question like, “Is your business in financial ruin? Tell us how that happened.” First, I would have to admit publicly that my business was a wreck.  Second, the writer of this crazy post is making an assumption that I was looking for a therapist.  No one is going to take the time to answer that post.   Questions that are complex or that require an essay to answer will usually sit with zero engagement as well.  Strive for questions that require a simple YES or NO answer.  Of course some will opt to write a novel and that is wonderful, but don’t require that kind of time commitment.  Another type of post that does very well is the A or B post.  Load two photos or describe two scenarios and ask which they’d prefer.

  10. Not measuring progress or results

    Like any sales or marketing activity in your business, you have to know what is working, what needs tweaking and what needs to be thrown in the trash.  Use a social dashboard tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial to measure click through rates, the types of posts that got the best traction with your audience and even which social media platforms are sending the most traffic to your website.  If your community numbers aren’t growing that is telling you something as well.  Your content might need to change to become more interesting to people finding you, or you are not spending enough time being social to draw the right people to your sites.  If your target market includes people in California, but you seem to be getting lots of connections in Brazil, you need look at being more targeted geographically with your posts and people you connect with.  Either that or check to see what language you’re posting in.

What other mistakes do you see organizations make on social media?  What questions have popped into your mind after reading through these?  We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below….and we’ll get back to you with a response too! 🙂

Connect with Gina on Twitter 

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What are QR Codes and Why Should You Care?

Perhaps you’ve seen them on the bottom of magazine ads, on plants in Home Depot’s garden center, in the windows of stores, or on realtor signs—QR CODES.  Those odd looking codes that look more like a maze or puzzle of some sort.

social marketing, social media managed services, help for small businessRealtors using social media, technology for small business, managed services for social media, help with marketing

According to Wikipedia: A QR Code is a matrixbarcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

QR Codes are like hyperlinks on our physical world!  You simply open the scanner app (see our favorites to download below) and with the camera on your phone, hover over the code to be taken to videos, websites, even a social media site. Try the two above.  They are no longer just black and white either.  If you go to QRStuff you will see a world of possibilities.

In real estate it can open up a home digitally, when no one is there to let you in physically.  No more crinkled or soggy flyers in a box. Scan a QR code on the “FOR SALE” sign and go on a virtual tour and then click the link at the end to connect with the realtor.

Stores can allow people to see inside even when they are closed.  Put a QR code on clothing tags and take people to a video that shows how to take an outfit from the office to date night or how to accessorize with great scarves.

To make your code, simply take the URL (web address that starts with http://), copy it and paste it into a site like QR Stuff or Kaywa to have it turned into the code.  Now download the code (usually as a PNG or JPG image file).  Now put it anywhere you’d like.  Let your creativity flow…how could use these hyperlinks in your business?  What’s the most creative use you have seen?  (Tell us in the comment area below)

Do you need a good QR/Barcode scanner for your phone? Here are a couple (FREE) favorites:

Android: QR Barcode Scanner

iPhone/iPad: QuickScan

Have more questions about using today’s tools to build your business?  I’d love to answer them.

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Staying Ahead In The Social Business Tool Game

Stay Ahead in The Social Business Tools Game: How to open yourself to new tools, resources and shortcuts.

 Social Marketing Services Colorado Managed Social Media

In a recent client meeting we were discussing taking some of the photos from an event and adding their logo and web address to them in Picmonkey and then taking the market stats and plugging then into Canva, a cool new tool to make an infographic.

Our client’s assistant looked over at us and asked, “How do you learn about all of these cool tools? I’ve never heard of these?”  Hmm, that’s a great question.  We just keep our eyes and ears open through different blogs we read and then we go over to explore them to see how we could use them in our business.  Whether it’s Dropbox to store our documents and photos in the cloud for easy access while on the road, or InstaSize to take those rectangle photos and load them to Instagram without cropping the entire thing, we try them all.

It’s easy to get stuck using the same tools you have always used and get so busy that you don’t make time to explore and learn about new tools and shortcuts to do your job.

Here are 3 things you can do to open yourself to new tools, resources and shortcuts:

 

  1. Subscribe to 3 random industry magazines

    Subscribe to your interest areas on Flipboard (a customizable magazine that pulls content into a beautiful news display every time you open it on your smartphone or tablet).
    In the “old days” I would suggest subscribing to a few random magazines, but now you can get the same content in a free digital format.  If you are a Realtor, select interests like aviation, wine or meetings and events industry news.  If you are a government position, select industries like travel, mountaineering or auto mechanic news. Break from the traditional sources that everyone else in your industry is reading, or at least ADD TO what everyone else is reading.

  2. Browse your app store (iTunes or Android Play) monthly.

    Looking under business categories to try a new app or two each month.  Read the reviews on apps before downloading and look for those with lots of downloads already (gives you an idea of how popular the app is).  If it has 100-200 downloads, that’s not a whole lot.  10,000 or 200,000 downloads tells you it has been tried and tested.  Subscribe to sites like Mashable/Tech to stay in the know as well.

  3. Talk to people.

    Whenever I am chatting with someone, I ask them what their favorite app or tool is for building business or helping in their marketing.  You will hear all kinds of things.  I also have a teenager and I learn a ton from her.  She is always showing me a great photo editing app or one that allows you to square up those photos before loading to Instagram.

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We’d love to learn from YOU.  What are your favorite tools or apps? How do YOU keep ahead of the game and continue to STAND OUT in the social ocean?  Please tell us in the comment section.

 

Do you need help with your social marketing? We’ve launched our

SOCIAL MARKETING OVER COFFEE coaching program.

Look what you get for $12.95/month!

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My Daily Schedule for Social Media Management

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I have had people say they just want to follow me around to see what my daily schedule for social media is and how I fit everything into my day.  I think it could be kind of creepy if you all came over and followed me while I was still in my red fuzzy robe and curlers (does anyone still sleep in curlers?), so I figured documenting at least my morning routine would be the next best thing.  You will find a more detailed schedule, at the bottom, that one of our Rock Star community managers, Misty, put together for our team, but here is how I get started.

6:00 am          Wake up and get that first cup of coffee going as I feed the pups. I then sit and browse through Flipboard and Feedly to see what has happened while I dared to sleep.

 

6:30 am          Using SproutSocial, I schedule any of the great nuggets I found to drop throughout the day.  I don’t want to dump 10 posts on people all at once.  I also sprinkle in a few of my thoughts that have, by now, popped into my head.  Tips or random social media points that get scheduled into this mix.

Still using SproutSocial, I see if there are comments or questions that need my attention.  Because I do this throughout the day and right up until I shut everything down at night, I shouldn’t have too much to do here.

 

6:45 am          Spend 5-10 minutes on each social platform scanning the newsfeeds.  I’m looking for the interesting and helpful content that I can LIKE, share, +1 or comment on.  I make sure to follow anyone on Twitter, or circle on Google+, that I see having smart conversations with others or that I see sharing great content.

 

7:15am           Spend 30-60 minutes writing a blog post.  If I have draft ideas already started, it’s and easy 30 minutes. If I get stuck, I think of a question I saw in the newsfeed or one that we got from someone in the past week to get me started.  If the idea is solid, I go to Shutterstock to pull a few photo options for the post.  If I am ready to post to the blog, I take the photo and jump over to Picmonkey to tweak the photo or add some fun text to personalize for the post.

 

8:00am           After the post is up, I share it on LinkedIn, Google+, Pin it to Pinterest, Load the photo from the post to Instagram with a link to the post, I schedule it for a Facebook post and send it out on Twitter and schedule it to go out a few more times over the next week.

 

Now it’s almost 8:30 am and I grab something to eat, get that second cup of coffee and get ready to start the day!

morning social marketing routine

At the end of each day, I scan through the profiles of new followers on Twitter to connect with all that look legit(no whacknuts or creepers), I check LinkedIn for new messages and invites to connect with, I pop over to Google+ to scan once again messages, newsfeed and circle those who have added me that day.  I check in with Facebook last, since my team members know to direct message me with anything urgent and most of my notifications are from my mother, who comments on everything!

Do you have a routine?  I’d love to hear what some of your social habits are.  Share with us one thing you do every morning to connect with your community.

DOWNLOAD MISTY’S SCHEDULE

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