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4 Mistakes You're Making in Social Media

No one is perfect. And, when it comes to social media, the same is true. While perfection isn't necessarily the goal (you'll never get there, and neither will I!), there are certainly some mistakes that can and should be avoided.

I've seen LOTS of social media profiles/accounts - whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other choice of platform - and what I've found is four mistakes that many business owners are making in their social media efforts.

Avoid these 4 social media mistakes, on Facebook in particular, and you'll be heading in the right direction:

Mistake #1: Posting inconsistently.

I'm not even exaggerating when I say that many business Facebook pages I review do not show any level of consistency in posting. It's easy to spot a pattern: Get excited about social media. Post stuff for three days straight, maybe even four or five posts a day. Slow posting down to every few days, then a week apart. Then dead silence for three months. Repeat.

Don't fall into this trap. Be intentional. Start slowly. Begin at a manageable pace. Or you can certainly choose a service to create and post daily Facebook updates for your business.

Mistake #2: Self-promotion overload.

When you log onto Facebook personally, are you there looking to be sold something? Neither are your customers or potential customers. Your message is competing not with other businesses but with your customer's friends and family.

To "fit in" with everything else that's happening on Facebook, it's necessary to get beyond "Come in today for __ special!" People want to be informed, entertained, motivated. So, to get your audience engaged, it's your responsibility to know what your customers want to know about - What sports teams do the like? Do they have kids? Do images of dancing cats get them talking?

Once you know these things, share content that applies to your audience. Then, when you have an offer or special to share, it's more likely they'll pay attention to what you have to say.

Mistake #3: Not responding.

Social media is a two-way street. It's not just an opportunity for you to push stuff out there and hope it sticks. If you're avoiding the #2 mistake above, you'll start to see people engaging - commenting, sharing, liking your content.

Show them you're involved by responding. It doesn't have to be much - a simple "like" of their comment might be good enough. Even better, though, is a "thank you" for a nice comment or an apology if you screwed up. Act as though the person is right in front of you, and you're having a conversation. If someone thanked you for a great meal to your face, you wouldn't just walk away and not respond. (At least I hope not!) Do the same online.

Mistake #4: Missing out on the visual.

Certainly, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are visually oriented. But, EVERY SINGLE social media channel should be visual. Facebook posts with images typically receive almost 40% higher engagement than those without a visual.

This doesn't mean you have to spend thousands on professional photography (although, it's something to consider if you don't have another way to take pictures). A smartphone will do the trick. There are a million ideas to take advantage of visuals in social media. Web links add a visual component to your posts, too. Just avoid posting text-only updates too often.

By avoiding these four social media mistakes, your business will start to see the benefits of social media.

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