5 Ways You’re Doing Social Media Wrong

As a social media professional, I talk to people regularly about how they can best harness the power of social media to help improve their business.  Invariably, I hear this fallacy (and it makes me cringe every time):

“Well, I have a Facebook account, so I figure I can also run a Facebook page.” 

With all due respect, I know how to apply nail polish, but that doesn’t mean I could run a nail salon.  Many people complain that social isn’t helping their businesses.  “What am I doing wrong?” they ask.  Allow me…

1.  You’re Not Using It At All

Maybe you don’t have time to use social media for your business, or the desire.  You don’t see the value.  You already have a website, so why on earth do you need social media accounts?  In the words of social media guru Erik Qualman…

“The ROI of social media is your business will still exist in 5 years.”  (Watch this amazing video to learn more from Erik.)

If you’re not using social media for your business, I can guarantee your competitors are.  And they clearly have the leg up on you.

2. Likes do not equal sales

“I’ve got 900 Likes on my Facebook page.  How come sales aren’t improving?”  If you’ve been asking this question, then I need to state this unequivocally… LIKES DO NOT EQUAL SALES.  Social media is a tool for establishing relationships with your customers and potential customers.  Unless you’re advertising specials or discounts on your social channels, you aren’t likely to see a huge bump in profits.  Social helps build trust with your clients, but without it you’re missing out on another way to interact with your customers.

3.  Not optimizing your accounts

One of my pet peeves occurs when I see a social media account set up for a business, but it’s not optimized.  Be sure to use eye catching images in your cover photos.  Fill in the “About” section so people can learn more about your business, your hours, where you’re located.  And don’t forget to stuff that “About” section with keywords relevant to your business.  “Social” is closely tied to “Search” and you should take advantage of helping your business be found by potential customers through social media.

4.  Not posting regularly

Image: davidcoopermoore.tumblr.com

Another pet peeve: when I see a business has gone to the trouble of setting up their social media accounts, and then barely uses them.  It drives me crazy to see a company with a beautiful cover page and lots of great info, but the most recent post was 3-6 months ago.  In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner taught us “If you build it, they will come.”  The same does not apply in social media.  If you have a page but don’t give fans a reason to come back and engage with you, they won’t.  And you will have wasted a lot of time and money, setting up these accounts.

5.  It’s not all about you.

Let’s be honest, most people use social media to interact with friends and family, not to receive a hard sell from businesses (unless they are looking for discounts).

As a business, if all you’re posting is information about how great your company is, people will run in the other direction.  Successful businesses know this one secret: if you post content that helps people improve their lives, you’ve won the game.  People always think, “what’s in it for me?”  When posting, remember your posts should accomplish one of the 3 E’s: empower, educate, entertain…

If your social media isn’t helping you, see if you’re violating one of these rules.  And then make some changes!

Karen Naide HeadshotKaren Naide is the Executive Social Media Producer at Project Social. She absolutely loves working with her clients to help them get their story out to the world, using social media. She also loves blogging about how the social media world affects the rest of us. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Adam and her 2 teenagers.

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