5 Pitfalls for Businesses in Social Media like Facebook

Ready to look at some no-nos?

The first rule of social media: It’s not all about you.

People go online to share news, how-to tips and funny cat videos. They’re not there to hear your sales pitch—and brands that have nothing else to say tend to get boring and ignored fast.

If you’re a business, remember that anyone who follows you on social media is already interested in you. There’s no need to aggressively sell. Just focus on providing a good experience and keeping their attention.

So if you own that vintage clothing shop we’ve been talking about, let your followers know what’s new, what’s coming soon and how you do what you do. You don’t have to recreate your product pages and try to push them down people’s throats.

Building on that, people don’t want one-way pushes crowding up their feeds. They want to be on a two-way street. They want to know that you’re listening.

Make sure you ‘man the phones’ online to monitor when people are responding to you, and have a plan for answering comments.

Be understanding, be considerate, but most of all be consistent. Follow up on complaints, and give people the information they ask for. Negative feedback doesn’t necessarily have to end in disaster. It can be an opportunity to show your customers – and everyone else who might be watching – that you truly want to help them.

The next pitfall: Don’t spread yourself too thin on social media. With all the networks out there, there are almost unlimited opportunities to talk to customers, but those conversations take time.

If you’re not careful, you’ll get overwhelmed trying to juggle too many sites. Focus on the ones that matter most and branch out as it makes sense and as you can handle it.

Have you ever checked out the social media page for a brand or product you’re interested in, only to find nothing’s been updated for months? Another big mistake.

It might make people wonder if anything’s stirring over there or if you’re even in business anymore. Growing, innovative, exciting businesses have a lot to say. Stodgey, slow-moving ones might not say much.

Which would you rather be?

Finally, it can’t be emphasised enough that you’ll want to measure what your efforts are actually doing for you. Using social media and analytics tools, you can see firsthand how your social media efforts are contributing to your bottom line, and learn which are more valuable than others.

It’s easy to sidestep a social media disaster.

Stay true to yourself, respond to comments, focus on the sites that make sense, be consistent and measure your results. Do all this and your social media efforts can thrive.