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Nowadays, many business owners are using social media to promote themselves, as well as their businesses. Social networks such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Pinterest are powerful tools for growing a community and establishing relationships. However, there are a few mistakes you need to avoid when using social media for business.
1. Failing to plan
With the increasing popularity of social media as a business tool, many people rush into it without any research or planning. However, social media should be handled like any other marketing strategy. You need to take time to carry out some research before joining any social network. In addition, you need to set goals for using these networks, and develop specific strategies for attaining these goals.
2. Offering misleading information
In an attempt to get as many fans or followers as possible on social media, some business owners offer misleading information or present a fake persona of themselves. This is a big mistake which will dent your reputation, as well as jeopardize your brand in the long term.
Previously only prevalent in email, spamming is now becoming increasingly common in social media. Some of the spamming tactics you need to avoid include posting the same updates repeatedly, sending unsolicited sales pitches or continuing to send private messages even when the recipient has asked you to stop.
4. Being offensive
When using social media for business, being offensive or obnoxious is not advisable. For instance, you should never attack your competitor through social media. Instead, you need to maintain a professional outlook and avoid going public with your complaints. If you have other people handling your social presence, you need to train them and offer a guideline about what can be posted and what cannot.
5. Ignoring others
Social networks are meant to be just that – social. Therefore, you cannot afford to ignore the people in your social networks. To interact effectively, you need to inject a bit of your personality. This will enable you to win the trust of people and establish strong relationships. Take time to share personal experiences, reply to comments and thank your fans and followers for Facebook likes or retweets.
6. Sharing too much
When engaging people through social media, you need to know your limits and avoid sharing too many details. Before posting anything, consider if it is something you would want your valued customers or business associates to read. If not, don’t post it.
7. Excess self-promotion
Of course, the ultimate aim for using social media for business is to promote your business. However, this should not be overdone. While promoting your own business and products, you should also take time to help and promote others. This way, you will win the trust and loyalty of your followers and fans.
Charles Mburugu writes about topics such as social media and SEO. Currently, he is writing for Flash templates.