Social Media Beginner? Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid

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Are you a Social Media Beginner?

David Foster is the software developer of iFrames engine. He is an awesome guy and works with Nick Unsworth at Hubze! Here is a post from “the hub.”

Hey hubzers!

A lot of companies have their own social media campaigns.  But a majority of these companies do not know what they are doing.  This is why many companies find themselves frustrated and disappointed by their social media endeavors.  Or worse, they would get into a really big public relations mishap that would leave their customers angry or leaves a trail of ill will.

Here are the top four mistakes most social media novices get into, but can surely avoid:

1. Nobody’s manning the ship, Captain!

Most companies just create a Twitter account or a Facebook page and then that’s it.  Business owners are quite busy people, so they log on sporadically and then just update whenever they feel like it or when they remember.  If there are queries left on the page, it is not going to be answered, at least not on time.

How to avoid this:

The best way to avoid having a captain-less ship is to plan your social media efforts.  Know your goals and what you want to get out of your social media campaigns.  Is it to get as many followers as possible?  Is it to engage your customers?  Is it to update your customers on the latest products and service you have?

You must iron out your strategy before launching your social media accounts.  This includes who will be responsible for manning these accounts.

2. Too many updates.

On the other hand, being too talkative on your social media accounts is going to turn a lot of people off.  There are companies or their representatives who bombard their followers or likers with too many updates.

For one, this is already spamming or flooding.  True, most of your customers will not complain, but they will just unfollow you or unlike your page.  The rest are more vocal and will complain or even boycott you and encourage others to do so, just to shut you up.

Another less obvious consequence for being overly “present” is that your most important messages might be missed. Social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, have introduced a hide feature that automatically hides some of your messages if you talk too much.  This is on top of the block option wherein your customers could choose to block your messages from appearing in their newsfeed or timeline.

How to avoid this:

Remember that you are a business, so stick with the most important updates you have. While it is good to engage your customers, remember that the conversations you initiate should be kept to a minimum.

If possible, keep your updates hours apart.  Schedule your updates, if necessary.

3. Not promoting your social media accounts.

Another downside to not planning is that you create social media accounts and forget all about telling people about them.  People will search for strong brands, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Macy’s, etc. But they will probably not think that the bakery down the street or the restaurant within the town has a Twitter or Facebook account.

How to avoid this:

Do tell people that you have a Facebook page or a Twitter account.  You could put up in-store signs telling them about it, or you could include these in your packaging.

Create an incentive for them to follow you.  A 10% off for all new Twitter followers promo could help boost your followers count!

4. Using social media only to promote yourself.

Most of us are turned off by people who talk only about themselves, not allowing others to get into the conversation or to share their own ideas.
On the social Web, we often see businesses that talk exclusively of their products, services and how they are superior to competitors.  Blah, blah, blah.  Some even disallow people from posting on their wall, and if they do, the comments or conversations are often disregarded.

How to avoid this:

Remember that the best use for social media is to engage your customers.  So the focus should be on your customers, and not entirely on your business.  Aside from the basic information your provide, talk about your products and services only if you have been asked by a follower.

Add value by directing your users to informative and educational articles that are related to your business.

If you have to talk about your products and services, then do so sparingly, and it would help if you announce a discount along with your product pimping.

Do you follow these simple social media guidelines?

Related posts:

47 thoughts on “Social Media Beginner? Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Hello Raena I think you did a great job sharing this one. If there were any commandments for social media I would have to include these 4 for sure.

    It is all about engagement and interacting but also putting in the forethought of who and how we want to communicate with and these are great suggestions. Thanks again for sharing.

    Steve

  2. Marc Korn says:

    Hi Raena,

    Thanks for sharing these 4 excellent observations.

    Like with anything, you have to be active and take Action. You can’t just set up a campaign or a business and ignore it. You must engage in order to grow and build relationships. Communication is so important and those that are absent will NOT prosper.

    But, there has to be a happy medium and as you illustrated, too much interaction can have an adverse effect on your business.

    Whether you are online or offline, if people don’t know that your business exists, it will be difficult to get the traffic you need. Once you get the traffic, you have to make sure to lead with value and offer things that your customers and prospects need that solve a problem in their lives. It is always about them and not you.

    The 4 points you mentioned are definitely mistakes to avoid in your social media campaigns and business in general, if you want to have success as a Home Based Business owner.

    To your continued success,
    Marc

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Marc,

      Thank you for your excellent commentary. You covered every main point of the article. I think the “happy medium” is the most difficult part to attain. If you don’t communicate with your fans enough, that isn’t effective, and if you over do it, as you said, it could have an adverse effect on your business.

      Thank you for your thorough response to this article written by David Foster at Hubze! I love David’s posts and sharing them because he is one of the masters of social media and I have the greatest respect for him. Guess what Marc? I have the greatest respect for you too!

      Thanks again!

      Raena Lynn

  3. Maggie Lancy says:

    Excellent post Raena!

    Everyone needs to read this post.

    I comment on relevant content.

    And it is not serving, it is not just about YOU, it is about building relationships.

    Great 4 points and tips.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Maggie,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes social media is all about building relationships. It is really interesting to observe day by day how more and more people are starting to see the benefits of social media for their businesses. Hope to see you again!

      Raena Lynn

  4. Brandon Wraith says:

    Hey Raena,

    This is a great post for small businesses to heed. They need to advertise effectively that they are utilizing fan pages on either facebook or twitter. They need to make it attractive enough so that it impresses people, or offering a discount one time, or all the time for facebook followers and twitter followers to get their names out more. Allowing customers to engage in the fan page is very important as well, unless you’ve got something to hide, or your service sucks, only positive will be on the page!

    Brandon Wraith
    Knowledge is POWER

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Brandon,

      One important point you made is having a place for people to socialize and engage, otherwise, what is the point of having a desert fan page? I think everyone can benefit by following what the “big guys” like Starbucks and McDonalds are doing. They engage their fans totally and it really pays off.

      Raena Lynn

  5. Great tips Raena. You know what bugs me with the Twitter updates? When someone sends through a dozen tweets one after another – ugh! I wonder if what’s happening is if they’re using an automated system and just not scheduling the posts in a way to spread them out a bit. Once, maybe even twice is ok if I like the person, happens again and I quickly “unfollow” them. Thanks!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Marquita,
      I really appreciate your loyalty to my blog! I know what you mean about the twitter updates. I have a couple of followers that have dozens, one after the other. I find myself usually skipping them with the retweets because I think they must be using some type of automated system. Great idea to “unfollow.”

      Raena Lynn

  6. Debi Talbert says:

    Wonderful tips Raena. These are 4 must follow tips for anyone using social media. Most people get so excited about social media when first getting started, they kind of forget socially acceptable behavior. Your 4 tips here will help people get started the right way.

    A post I’ll be sharing with others. – Debi

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Debi,
      This article was written by my friend and college David Foster. He is the developer of iFrames engine and he, along with Nick Usworth are excellent social media consultants.

      Raena Lynn

  7. Beginners need mentors and training by the right people.It is difficult to do the right thing but I always compare it to being at an event with new people. The first thing out of my mouth is not going to be something tooting my horn so act the way you would when you first meet someone in person.Talk and see where it leads.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Beverly,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. A lot of what we do offline works the same online. Give people a chance to get to know who you are, or in the case of a business, sharing beliefs and philosophies. Your fans will appreciate not being pitched to, and will feel good about coming back to to visit again, and hopefully more and more as the relationship develops.

      Raena Lynn

  8. Peter Fuller MBA
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Raena

    Thanks for sharing the article.

    I cannot tell you how many businesses I walk into and they do not promote their Social Media sites with their customers.

    People love contests and it is one of the best ways to engage with customers.

    And to me that is the word “engage”.

    Social Media is about engaging, nit sitting around looking at all of the pretty graphics 🙂

    Peter

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Peter,

      I participated in Facebook Mastery Summit and there was one webinar that taught how to conduct contests. Nick Unsworth presented it and he provided 2 case studies of a contest that was a hit and was an excellent use of leverage. Then he showed one that was a disaster. There is a strategy you need to learn to run a contest effectively, and it is awesome if done correctly. Fans love to engage so we need to give them the opportunity!

      Raena Lynn

  9. Jamie Bennett
    Twitter:
    says:

    Raena,

    Thanks for sharing this article… I think there is a lot of value in it… and these tips are good from the lone entrepreneur building a small business or for the fortune 500 companies. Social Media is important for business because it is the NEW internet…(to a younger generation, Facebook may be the only site they really visit)

    Learning how to do it correctly is a must.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Yes, I agree that Social Media is the NEW internet. I am amazed how many people don’t know what it is! I’ve especially noticed that with many of the business in my town. They don’t know what a fan page is and a lot of them are not on Facebook! I suppose it is surprising for us because it is our business. It only means more people to teach!

      Raena Lynn

  10. Theuns says:

    Hi Raena

    thanks for this great info.

    A lot of people need to read your post.

    I am not a New be but we still learn every day
    maybe be just to give more gap on auto Tweets
    I try to split Auto tweets 2 hour plus.

    Thanks fro your great Comment on my Blog
    post today.

    Regards
    Theuns

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Theuns,

      Thank your for your comments. It was a pleasure to visit your blog today.

      Raena Lynn

  11. Eldon Beard
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Raena,

    I’ve noticed more and more small businesses in my area are aggressively promoting their Twitter and Facebook presence. This is surprising to me in a way, as many of these are local businesses (not big chains) that have been around a long time and still have local ownership. Just goes to show how powerful the whole social media universe has become. Your tips above are excellent!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Eldon,

      I must have missed your comment. Sorry about that! Thanks for coming by. Social Media is just beginning. I agree more and more businesses are beginning to see the value of social media but I really think this is just the beginning. I attended the Facebook Mastery Summit and I was amazed by the impact social media has on business whether they are online or “brick and mortar” as you pointed out.

      I hope to see you again!
      Raena Lynn

  12. These are good points. Even some not so new ones can learn from this.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Melodie,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Raena Lynn

  13. Bill Hartman says:

    Reena,

    You have done a wonderful job presenting these 4 mistakes. These are truly pitfalls that one should avoid.

    Thank You for sharing!

    Bill

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you gained some insight!

      Raena Lynn

  14. Loren Greig says:

    Hi Raena Lynn:

    Thanks for sharing David’s article with us as a reminder to pay attention to what makes social media work for our businesses and why we choose to use it in the first place — mainly to build strong relationships. The principles are also applied to businesses offline. The idea is to be in control of our relationship building and marketing; to never spam people by annoyingly flooding them with too much information; and, worse still, having it be all about us and not them. In order to positively enhance our social status it’s important to pay close attention to the needs of others and assist them in filling that need. We can do this by contributing value whether it be online or in person. Thanks again, Loren

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Loren,

      Thank you for stopping by! You are right on target that the main point of social media is to build strong relationships. Marketing offline really isn’t that much different than marketing online. We must exercise our muscles in building relationships with both venues. You’ve really inspired me to make a solid analysis of the differences between the two. My question is, is there really that much of difference? It always boils down to the fact that it is all about relationships, meeting, nurturing, and building. This leads to trust which in turn leads to opportunity.

      It is very important to be aware of needs and assist others in fulfilling their needs. It goes back to help others get what they want!
      I really appreciate your sincere, fully engaged commentary in response to this article.

      Raena Lynn

  15. Shari Weiss says:

    Interesting that these four mistakes came to the forefront. Awhile ago, actually Memorial Weekend two years ago, I wrote a post with the top ten mistakes made by social media newbies, which I feel are still relevant today, and only one of them was on your list, i.e. the Not Selling one.

    So I won’t sell you all on my post, but you can certainly check it out because in addition to posting it as an article, which might take a bit of digging, it is also a Page and therefore listed at the top of my blog under the title of Beginner Mistakes.

    That being said, I very much enjoyed reading the mistakes and the remedies. And you are correct that everything should start with a plan.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Shari,

      I will be happy to visit your blog and read your post on the top ten mistakes made by social media newbies. I think it will be very interesting due to the fact that you wrote it 2 years ago! I’ll head on over and let you know my thoughts! Also, this was posted as a shared article by David Foster, developer on Hubze!

      Raena Lynn

  16. Debbie Lattuga says:

    Hi Raenna Lynn,

    I use a great Twitter tool called Bufferapp. It allows you to set up 10 pre-determined tweet times, then all you do is click the app to add to your buffer.

    Whatever open slot is available for your next tweet will store it and automatically publish it at the prescribed time.

    Thanks for spelling it our for people new to social media. I think a lot of off line businesses still need this information. (and some online businesses as well)

    Debbie

  17. Kevin Schmidt
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Raena,

    I absolutely agree with all 4!
    Social media is the marketing force that businesses can’t ignore. It’s still somewhat early in the game for most, so an article like this can definitely help them out.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Talk soon,
    Kevin

  18. Dereck says:

    Hey Raena,

    The first one really hit home for me as recently I’ve discovered this first hand.

    Not because I wasn’t interacting… but because I was noticing it on a new social media medium called Empire Ave.

    There you can see the real value in companies and individuals as their social connectivity results in their dividends. Simple meaning, the stock price of the company might be high, but the pay out to investors might be low considering they are not interacting with their following.

    Interesting concept and I believe is going to be a major issue for brands and companies who are too busy taking to interact with those who keep them afloat.

    Kinda tangent… but the posting did it’s job.

    Thanks!

    -Dereck

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Derek,

      Thanks for you commentary. You’ve got my curiosity up. I will check out Empire Avenue. It sounds interesting and may offer some value in the Social Media world.

      Raena Lynn

    2. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Derek,

      Thanks for you commentary. You’ve got my curiosity up. I will check out Empire Avenue. It sounds interesting and may offer some value in the Social Media world.

      Raena Lynn

  19. Radu says:

    Hi Raena,
    Good point with this 4 tips:)We must find a balance in managing our social media campaigns:being present almost every day on these sites,proving quality information and not spamming with business links or opportunities.Very useful!Thanks for sharing:)

    Have an awesome day,
    Radu

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Radu,

      Yes, balance is the key and it is so easy to get sidetracked. Thanks for coming by.

      Raena Lynn

  20. Yorinda
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Raena,

    great article!

    What would you call ‘promoting yourself sparingly’?

    It seems amazing how some people on Twitter post their own stuff every hour or even more often. How the do that is beyond me. Maybe they are paying someone? Even with scheduled tweets that would be a lot of work.

    I like to share a variety of posts(others included) and maybe once or twice a day some of my own posts. Does that seem ok?

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Love and Joy
    from
    Yorinda

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Yorinda,

      I know what you mean. I have a couple of followers that post, post, post and quite frankly it is overload. I find myself not retweeting those posts because it does seem like they are on some type of autoresponder. I don’t have problem with “helps” to get our tweets out, but be smart and schedule them so they are reasonable. Thanks for your comments.

      Raena Lynn

  21. Tim & Sole says:

    Hi Raena!

    Thanks for these reminders!

    For point # 3 in your list, something we recommend brick and mortar businesses is to use QR codes in conspicuous places in their stores. These QR codes direct their customers who scan them to the store’s twitter or FB fanpage directly on the visitor’s smartphone. But of course, just a few signs here and there that encourage people to “Follow Us on Twitter” and “Like Us on Facebook” would work well, too!

    Thanks again for sharing these tips!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Tim & Sole,
      I think QR codes are so cool. I have a QR (quick response) code on my business card and when it is scanned it brings up all of my contact information. I will go over and see what you are sharing:)
      Raena Lynn

  22. Andy Nathan
    Twitter:
    says:

    Raena,

    Thanks for solidifying the fact that social media is all about balance. Too many or too little updates, with too much or little interaction with others can bomb your social media efforts.

  23. Moser Kostas says:

    No 2 and 4 are the most important in my opinion. People usually forget that Social Media sites are use by people and not robots! They often spam useless content or they don’t try to react with their “fans/followers”.

    Nice post with some good tips for beginners and not only 🙂

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Moser,

      Thanks for stopping by. It is important for our content to be interactive. When I think of effective social media, I always think about Starbucks. They continuously engage their audiences with contests, offers, and fun challenges. Starbucks is an excellent model for their use of social media.

      Raena Lynn

  24. John says:

    Great tips Raena Lynn, David would be proud to see all these comments on your blog.

    It’s amazing how many companies create Twitter & Facebook accounts and then let them collect dust. They don’t seem to understand that it is a social place and that they need to interact.

    Thanks for the info 🙂

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comments. I got an email from David, thanking me for posting his article. He actually said the article posted really high in Google! I have great respect for David Foster and Nick Unsworth and I won’t hesitate to support them. I joined Hubze at 29,000 fans and now they have 55,000. It’s obvious they know what they are doing in Social Media. They’ve got it down to an art and science. They are at the top of their game and known as a part of a group that is considered the industry leaders. Doesn’t it make sense that we emulate the leaders who are true leaders?

      Raena Lynn

  25. CJ Priestley says:

    All great tips Raena, some if not all the average person and not just big or small companies should follow. Anyone that is new as you mentioned should have a plan but sometimes things are easier said than done, of course I am sure there are companies who specialize in social media and can give employees training ot even hire them to update and tweet on behalf of the company, hey if there is a need someone will pay for it.

  26. Darlene says:

    Hi Raena Lynn

    Great stuff you shared on your blog. I wish people would get when enough is enough. Less is more most of the time when sharing on Social Media as stated in this blog.

    Thanks
    Darlene

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