Slideshow 5 social media mistakes that cost you customers every day

  • August 13 2014, 10:20am EDT
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As social media continues to grow — not only as a tool for personal use, but also professional — it’s important for benefit agencies and businesses of all kinds to build a social media presence as a means to attract and retain clients. What gives you a personal following on a social network, however, is not the same as what might bring success for a business, says digital consultant John Boitnott. Here are some of the biggest mistakes Boitnott says businesses make when it comes to social media:
[Image: Fotolia]

1. Having no social media policy

If your business is going to use social media, you should have a written policy in place, including an employee buy-in, Boitnott says. Even if your company isn’t on social media, your employees are, he adds. Companies need to have an agreement with their employees in writing about social media policy at the firm. [Image: Fotolia]

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2. Thinking nobody reads the bio

Many businesses fail to complete all parts of their social media profiles, Boitnott says. He calls the practice “lazy” and adds it “might even cost you customers. Many people read your bio to find out more about you.” Bios can also be search engine optimization (SEO) gold, he says. “Failing to complete them with applicable keywords means you’re opting out of potential higher rankings.” [Image: Fotolia]

3. Caring more about quantity vs. quality

When it comes to your followers and fans, Boitnott says, quality trumps quantity; although it’s human nature to think otherwise. The strongest way to create an engaged community and followers that come with it is to consistently post compelling content and interact with fans over a long period of time, he says. [Image: Fotolia]

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4. Ignoring feedback

Any comments, posts, complaints, direct messages or questions your followers send to you via social media should be answered professionally and promptly as if they left a message on your company voicemail, Boitnott says. Many companies fail to realize that most customers, especially millennials, consider social media channels as valid a form of interaction as a physical trip into a brick and mortar store, he says. “They expect answers, and you have to be there to take part in any online discussion pertaining to you. If you fail to engage, you’re missing a valuable chance to shape your image.” [Image: Fotolia]

5. Failing to post

If you don’t post regularly, you risk losing your audience, Boitnott says, adding that once a week isn’t going to cut it. Many experts recommend somewhere in the range of three times per week to every day, or more often, he adds. How often and when your company posts should be tailored to your audience’s schedules. [Image: Fotolia]