An ongoing mini-series about mistakes that I’ve made in my business, what I learned from them, and how YOU can avoid them.
Mistakes. Most of us try to avoid them, but inevitably, we all make them. Running a small business is no exception, and one thing is certain: Mistakes will be made! And I’ve made a lot of them. So here’s your chance to learn from my small business blunders.
MISTAKE #2: I Didn't Have a Social Media Strategy Before I Launched
When I first started out close to ten years ago, it was for a small handful of clients. My only form of promotion was word of mouth and referrals - and that was fine at the time. But once I realized that I wanted to expand my client base and “launch” a legit business, I figured the best and easiest way to proactively promote it was to create a Facebook page. Great first step, right?
Well, yes and no.
The page looked great, my banner and logo were on par, and I had somewhere around 80 friends, family, and clients who graciously followed my new page. I was so excited! Here I was, ready to start watching the business roll in since my new Facebook page was so awesome!
But wait. Something was missing.
Hmm… the “social” aspect of social media, perhaps?
Yep. That was it.
Most people use social media to engage with friends, family, and businesses alike. Not to just look at a pretty banner and logo. Yet, I had not planned what I wanted to say or communicate to showcase what my business was all about, and how I could help those who were – for a split second – engaged with my business. I was so excited about getting my business in the spotlight, I hadn’t stopped to think about what I would say once the lights were on me.
And then, as quickly as it came on, the spotlight went off. I had missed my opportunity to make an engaging and good first impression with those who were unfamiliar with my business.
So, how can you avoid this mistake?
It’s simple, really. Creat a social media plan that focuses on engagement. Having a social media presense is more than just having a page - It's about interacting.
Be prepared to immediately reward your audience for their attention, engage them in conversation, or remind them of what your business can do to help them. Like this:
Click on the picture to the left (link will open in a new window), subscribe to "The Fox Hole," and be entered to win this super awesome coffee mug with three adorable foxes on it. Drawing will be held on July 31, 2017 and the winner will be notified via email.
Content creation can be a bit a bit overwhelming at times. To help ease the burden, each week take an hour or two to sit down and preplan a daily schedule of content you want to share with your audience. Make a list of links, pictures, quotes, promotions, giveaways, news stories, tips and tricks, etc. Prewrite your content and, if possible, have someone else check it for spelling and grammar (I literally just spelled “grammar” wrong), or create it in a Word document which will help you catch these types of errors (with the cute little red and blue squiggly lines) before you post (case in point).
Here are some posting ideas to get you started:
Offer a giveaway or special promotion exclusively to your followers.
Share a personal story about your business and why you do what you do. Talk about how you’ve helped past clients.
Ask a valued client to provide a written referral you can post. Don’t forget to reward them with something special for their time!
Share an industry relevant video. Or even a cute, completely irrelevant cat video can do the trick sometimes.
Strike-up a conversation by posting a question or poll to your audience about what they want to learn about in your field or expertise. Make sure to deliver once you receive the feedback.
Check out Hootsuite.com. This is an online program that will help you manage posting to multiple social media accounts, and even auto schedule them for you. With the free account, you can add up to three social media accounts.
And of course, a few things to avoid:
Don’t over-post on one particular social media outlet. For most small businesses, posting once or twice a day per page is fine. Anything more can get a little annoying for followers. At a minimum, post at least three times a week.
Stay consistent. Don’t abandon your page for more than a few days. Keep your content fresh!
Don’t miss conversation opportunities. Keep an eye on any comments or feedback on your posts and respond quickly.
Don’t get overwhelmed. It can be hard not to sometimes (believe me, I know), but it never hurts to ask for help. Do you have a social media savvy employee who can help? Or maybe a family member who knows a thing or two about the virtual world.
If you need additional help or guidance, contact ThreeFox Marketing. We have social media management plans that can help you stay on top of your priorities. New clients receive a free ½ hour consultation and if you decide to use our services, a custom plan will be tailored specifically for your company.
Don’t already have a social media presence? No problem. We can get one up and running for you as well. Call or email today for a custom, no obligation quote. 916.708.3297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From one small business to another, happy marketing!