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Social media for business: common mistakes

Where can it all go wrong?

"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail". Never has this been so relevant than in the world of social media. For every social media success story, there’s a few failures, especially in the business space where determining an ROI can still be a challenge.

We asked our social media strategist, Faith Evans, about the common mistakes made by businesses when using social media.

A social media strategy is vital

“Probably the biggest mistake is that people jump in with two feet without a plan”, Faith says. “They’re unable to see the fruits of their labour and then decide, often too hastily, that it hasn’t been a success. That’s probably not actually the case.

When social media exploded onto the scene, people jumped on the social bandwagon too early, without a strategy or plan. They failed to identify their target audience and understand where that audience was actively engaging with social platforms.

Many brands set up the traditional Twitter and Facebook accounts without knowing what sort of content they’re going to distribute. They don’t respond to customers when they interact, or have a plan of action on how they’re going to engage them.

Because of this, there’s lots of bad press about social media not delivering an ROI. In reality, I think that’s to do with the fact that lots of businesses have approached it in the wrong way.”

Making social media work for your business.

Faith continues: “You need to be aware that people go on Twitter for specific reasons and Facebook for other reasons, and target your content appropriately.

It’s also worth considering more specialist social networks that could be more appropriate for businesses, like LinkedIn.

Once your account is up and running, it’s vital to keep it up to date and maintained. Getting rewards from social media is about more than just setting up channels. You need an ongoing strategy and somebody (or some people) to constantly monitor and interact with your audience. Committing resource is often where businesses fall down.

95% of Facebook brand posts aren’t actually responded to. That’s a pretty awful experience for your “fans”. Will they continue to “like” your brand? Probably not. It can do more harm than good.

People think it’s easy to set up an account, profile, or business page. And it is. But if you want those channels to add value to your business, you need to back them up with resources in place to be really there for customers who want to ask questions and have a conversation.

So if you’re going to take the bold step and embrace social media, you need the people there to look after it properly. That’s the most common mistake.”


How to look good on the social dance floor

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Download BT Futurologist Dr. Nicola Millard's whitepaper for guidance on how you can "get on the social dance floor" with your customers, and not be left looking on longingly from the sidelines.


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