Five Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid

There are a lot of great reasons to invest in social media. It can be inexpensive. It’s immediate and instantaneous. It invites interaction. It can get shared and even go viral.

If all that’s true, then why do so many businesses feel they don’t get the return they hoped for from social media? Here are five possible culprits

1. Failure to Invest
Social media’s free, right? Only if you have the time and ability to manage it all yourself. Because time is money. And it takes both to develop consistent content that’s relevant, engaging and worth sharing on a regular basis. And it takes both to manage your accounts.

2. Failure to Respond
A lot of people see social media as the easiest way to contact you. And the easiest way to complain about you. If you’re not watching those notifications, setting up alerts and responding appropriately and immediately, your social media presence can actually do more harm than good. Have a written policy and follow it.

3. Failure to Commit
Ramping up your social media is like buying a puppy. At first, it’s fun and exciting. Then it starts to get a little boring. Then it just becomes tiring. That’s why so many social media accounts have a flurry of posts early on, then fewer and fewer as content ideas slow to a trickle. Have a schedule. Check your analytics. Stay the course.

4. Failure to Follow
We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Follow your customers. Follow your competitors. Follow your prospects. Follow trade associations and media. Like and share their posts when they deserve it. Add comments. Mention them in yours. It’s called “social” media for a reason.

5. Failure to Grow
“If you build it, they will come” is a great line for a movie, but a terrible approach for social media. It takes work to build fans and followers, especially if you want them to spread the word for you. Some of it is doing all of the above (content, following, responding) and the rest is finding ways to get people to follow you — contests, surveys, special promotions and more. If no one’s there, nothing else matters.