Sunday, March 27, 2011

Top 10 Business Social Media Mistakes

Social media strategy can seem overwhelming to businesses as they are just starting out on social networks. And every day hundreds of businesses launch a social presence. Why not learn from the mistakes others?

Here is a Top 10 Basic Business Social Media Mistakes presented David Letterman style:

10. Leaving your profile incomplete: It looks unprofessional or, worse, looks like you might be a spammer. Say something interesting about your business and the people running the account and, if there’s room, make it fun.

9. The URL link on the profile doesn’t point to your business: On most social presences you have the opportunity to share a link or three. Make them point to relevant business pages.

8. Poor choice of avatar image: Depending on your business’ personality you may want to use a company logo. But generally the face of the person running the account will both look better and leave a better, more human, impression.

7. Inappropriate mixing of personal and business lives: Depending on your social approach some mixing may be appropriate (if you run a winery account and you sometimes talk about wine you like or winery tours you take, for example). Generally, though, keeping things professional, human and sometimes fun will work so much better.

6. Using social profiles only for promotional purposes: If all you do is talk about yourself and your products and services who is going to take the time to listen (follow, friend or fan)?

5. Not listening to customers: If they find you on a social network and they care they will talk to you. Be ready to respond to the good, the bad and sometimes, the ugly.

4. Not greeting new followers and friends: Would you ignore a new customer coming through your door? So why is it acceptable to not greet each new person you meet on social networks?

3. Erratic updating or completely stop updating: Once you start posting (presumably based on a well-thought-out strategy) don’t stop and start or stop completely. This can send several messages … none of them good.

2. Deleting a post you regretted: It is far better to follow up a regrettable post with an explanation of what you meant. This shows the world you’re human.

And, drum roll please, the No. 1 mistake is …

1. A serious underestimation of the time and energy social networks take: Yes, many of the tools are free, but using social networks to help you understand your customers, develop new relationships and even meet new customer needs all takes time and energy. If this scares you start small (one or two networks).

Bonus: And please don’t advertise your foray into social in your print and broadcast advertising with the Twitter and Facebook icons and the words “Follow us on Twitter” or “Find us on Facebook.” That is the equivalent of using a telephone icon and saying “Find us in the phonebook.” Have your Twitter and Facebook account names right there. Make it easy for people to connect. Really!

So, is this list a good start or way off the mark? Will it help your social media strategy? Please let me know.

Possibly related posts:
10 Ideas to Help Business Navigate Social Media
5 Really Useful Sites for Social Media Newbies
10 Commandments for Social Media


  1. Oh, it's difficult to separate our personal lives with business matters. But it should be done if you want your readers to look at you as a professional. We should also make our newbies feel welcomed and important. Hold a beer party for them! Cheers!

  2. Love your post. Since social media is so new to many people these are very common mistakes. I've seen many a person burnout on social media because they thought they could squeeze it into their day. I don't usually recommend going straight to an seo firm, but social media requires so much time and effort that you often times need to dedicate a person or an entire department to handling it.

  3. Social media strategy can seem overwhelming to businesses as they are just starting out on social networks. And every day hundreds of businesses launch a social presence. buy instagram followers

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