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Avoidable Mistakes on Social Media That Can Help Your Business

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Mistakes on social media can hurt your business in a big way image

These social media mistakes can seriously hurt your business. We'll help you fix them right away.

Are you leaving money on the table? The answer most likely is YES.

If you aren’t taking full advantage of the benefits of modern day social media and how it can propel your business forward, then you are most definitely leaving money on the table. Using Social media for small businesses is still a somewhat new concept and can certainly be overwhelming. We'll try to help guide you through the most common social media mistakes that small businesses are making.

  1. Missing Key Profiles
    Most business owners have a pretty well defined Facebook presence by now but many are missing out on what Instagram and Google (not Google+) can offer! These are the three platforms that all businesses small and large must be on (followed by Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest, Tumblr, and others depending on your niche).

    You must have a complete profile on all three. Google is very easy to maintain and should only really be updated when you change your business hours(or update holiday hours), change your business description, or any other relevant and key information. Facebook and Instagram will certainly take more effort, but there’s no question that the ROI is well worth it.

    Google actually prioritizes businesses that have complete profiles including hours when listing their recommendations. Therefore any user using a smartphone navigating with Google Maps may not find your business! No hours? Google may think your business is closed and not even list you.

    When your customers use Facebook (and trust me, they are) to decide where to go and what service providers to possibly contract with, you will miss out if you don't have a full profile. If you can't be found on facebook today, then you may not be taken seriously or considered reputable. This is very much like not being in the Yellow Pages of yesteryear. A facebook presence is a must for any business large or small.

    A critical mistake many businesses make is neglecting Instagram. Instagram is fact-growing and now with Stories Ads, it's even more effective. Right now you have an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition by connecting with your customers on Instagram.

    Instagram now has more than 600 million people using their platform and over 8 million businesses with profiles. If you are not one of the, now is the time.

    Immediate action to take:

    • Visit Google Business and claim your business. If you haven’t claimed your business in the past, you will have to verify ownership. Most likely Google will mail a postcard to you with a verification code. Once you receive this code, enter in to your profile and you will be verified. You can then update all information including: hours, description, website, and map marker placement (if you have a storefront).
    • Always set up a complete Facebook profile including: profile photo, cover photo, and complete about section. Post regularly and engage with your customers.
    • Create your Instagram profile and flood it with photos of your products or “behind the scenes” photos of your business to make your customers feel in the loop.

  2. Your Information is Outdated
    Best practices dictate that you review your online business profile about once a month. You should ensure that updates to your hours, menu, etc. are all being addresses. Customers who show up at the wrong hours to find your doors closed may never come back – and worse yet, may post a negative review or spread negative word of mouth.

    If it’s July but you still have your Spring specials posted, they may patronize a business that invested the time to update their menu. Today's customers want to know what they’re getting into before even setting foot in your business or using your service. We now live in a split-second-decision society.

    Immediate action to take:

    • Set a monthly task in your electronic calendar that reminds you to review your social media accounts for anything that needs to be updated. Don't blow off this task. A few minutes a month can make all the difference in getting and retaining customers.
    • Customers and site visitors can submit changes or suggested changes to your Google business profile. Most of the time to be helpful, but occasionally for nefarious reasons as well (I had a client who's competitor kept changing the URL to point to their firm.) Therefore it is important to consistently google your own business’ name and look for anything incorrect or outdated. This is also why it is important to claim your profile.

  3. Your Hours And Address are missing from Facebook & Google
    This is extremely important because of the popularity of Google Maps. Many customers solely make decisions about where to go by typing “Chinese restaurants” directly into Google Maps and basing their decision on what comes up.

    Guess what? These potential customers will not find you if your profile is not complete. You will be left off the list. And to pig-tail, be sure your address is correct, so if they do find you, the know how to get there.

    I’m pointing out hours and address specifically because they really are the most vital pieces of information to not only have, but to have correct.

    Make sure you have the same, consistent address listed on all your social media profiles (this includes zip code).

    Immediate action to take:

    • Check your address – right now – on Google, Facebook, and your website to ensure it’s correct. Also, be sure to check it regularly during your new monthly review. It's not uncommon for Google or Facebook AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make updates to your address in an attempt to be helpful, which turn out to be anything but.

  4. Deleting or Ignoring Customer Comments
    This is where the "social" in social media comes in! You want customers to comment on your posts, leave positive reviews, make suggestions, and even share complaints. After all, it is what will make your business stronger in the long run!

    Responding to key customer comments (and complaints) will demonstrate engagement and result in loyalty.

    We know that you focus on the customer experience while they are at your business and interacting with your customers. Would you ignore a customer compliment or complaint at the hostess stand at your restaurant? Well today, online is no different. You certainly shouldn't respond to every single comment if you get hundreds (however if you do only get a few then we recommend you do respond to every one). Chose the highest quality posts and reply with a short, personalized thanks.

    Immediate action to take:

    • Take advantage of Facebook and Twitter notifications on your mobile phone. Customize these notifications to make them more manageable.
    • Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to respond to customers. You will get more efficient over time!

  5. Missing or No Product Information
    If you're a restaurant you need to post your menu. If you're a web developer you need to post your services. If you're a lawyer, post your practice areas. A florist? Well you better have some sample arrangements on your website.

    Get the picture?

    Your website is the modern day storefront. Many times it's the first impression that you give to your potential customers and it is an opportunity to show off your products. Let's face it, customers now use the Internet to cut down on legwork. If they need to call you to get your prices, and your competitor’s are listed online, well, who do you think they are going to choose?

    Recently an OpenTable survey showed that 86% of customers regularly check online menus before dining out.

    Be sure to post your menu or other product/service details on your business profiles. Facebook has plenty of customizable fields to list your services or products. It's a simple content addition that only needs to be updated when you change your menu or services.

    Neglect this and you miss the potential for more business.

    Immediate action to take:

    • List your core products or services on your website and all of your social media profiles, even if that just means linking to the products or menu page from your profile until you have the time to update those individual profiles.

  6. Not Posting Enough
    The last thing that you want is a stale and outdated timeline or feed on your social profiles. It's easy to get busy actually running your business and to forget to post.

    The issue? Customers actually do take notice. You can leave a bad impression with a customer when they visit your page and see that your last post was nine months ago. An active online presence is expected now and a potential customer may even think that you are closed if they see a stale page.

    You can market on social media for free! It's worth the time invested to connect with your customers on a regular basis. Do it now – don’t wait until your business drops off to react.

    Consistency is key. Once your followers know what to expect, and you can build a routine for yourself.

    Immediate action to take:

  7. Poor Design
    As stated earlier, your website is now the modern day store front. This goes for your social profiles as well. It is important that you leave a great first impression and even more important that your customers can find what they are looking for easily. Some customers don’t care how your profiles look, but many do.

    A great design can attract customers, and will give a positive first impression of your band. A poor design can make your business look amateur.
    It doesn't take thousands of dollars per year for a great design - leave that to the big dogs! You can do it yourself for free by remembering KISS -- keep it simple, stupid.

    Ensure that you have high quality clear images. Keep content organized and not cluttered. Be as concise. Of course, avoid all caps and use appealing colors and fonts - fonts really do make a difference.

    Immediate action to take:

    • KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Avoid clutter and keep your designs simple.
    • Use online tools and content management systems that do the work for you.

  8. Do Nothing!
    This day and age you simply cannot afford to not have an online presence. The tools are free, millions of people are online every day 24/7/365 and all of your competition is online. We understand that small businesses owners are some of the busiest people out there! But now is the time to get more out of the time you have already and are already investing.

    Set aside some time per week to update and engage in your profiles. Look into tools such as Hootsuite to help you mange all of your profiles from a central location. Schedule your posts in advance. Turn notifications on your smartphone on so that you can stay engaged and quickly reply to customer comments and messages.

    And finally, if you simply don't have the time, contact a professional to help you or even do it for you! We would love to work with you!

If you’re a small business owner, we know you’re very busy. Therefore sometimes the best course of action is to partner with a skilled professional to help grow your online presence for you.

Sixjon Web Services would love to partner with you! You can get in touch with us here to chat about how we can help.