It’s human nature to stick with what you know. Even if you are a new small business owner, you likely still apply other business, marketing, time management and customer service best practices you’ve learned over your life to your new business and new social media accounts.
The problem is that your best intentions may be hurting your social media presence instead of helping it. Social media has a long list of “real world” parallels, but even following all of thoseÂ doesn’t meanÂ you’re doing right by your online presence.
When Social Media Hurts your Business
Here are 8 examples of best practices hurting your social media presence.
- You signed up for every new “hot” platform. Because it’s new. And hot. And you are doing the ‘right’ thing by getting an account in your business’ name for every single social media platform there is (even though you can’t possibly manage another profile).
- You avoid spam accounts at all cost. So much so that you keep your Twitter and Instagram accounts private and force people to verify their real-ness using tools like TrueTwit before you’ll follow them back. Private accounts are fine for personal use, but not business.
- You connect a bunch of RSS feeds to your Twitter account. You haven’t read any of the articles before they’re published on your profile, but you want to make sure you have lots and lots of content publishing on your profile. Blind publishing can bite you in the butt. It can also be pretty obvious to even a moderate social media user.
- You over-optimize your blog posts, website pages, and social media bios. Your heart is in the right place, but keep in mind that you are writing for humans and not bots. Â #You #also #aren’t #writing #for #the #hashtag #olympics. P.S. That’s also what Google wants you to do…write for your readers first and foremost.
- You publish all the same updates on every single platform you have. I’m a big fan of cross-posting or republishing content, but only when it makes sense. Not everything you tweet is going to be appropriate for LinkedIn, for example. Pick and choose wisely. Having active profiles is great, but not if your choice of content to share isn’t the most appropriate for that crowd. The social media posting tool, Buffer, lets you make the social media profile selection on a post by post basis. Take advantage of this feature.
- Buying followers. Social proof, right? Wrong. Plus, it’s against social media platforms’ terms of service to buy followers.
- Accept every Friend and Connection request and follow back every account that follows you. The more people you are connected to, the better it is for your business, right? Unfortunately, no. Connecting yourself with irrelevant or spam followers adds noise to your stream, drives your engagement down, and can reflect poorly on your brand when a potential customer looks at your list of accounts you follow.
- You don’t link your social media profiles on your website. For some reason, some web developers instruct their clients to follow this approach, stating that including linked social media icons on your website leads people away from your website. However,Â all web developers should know of the tiny bit of code to add to your linked social media profiles (or any other external link on your site)Â that ensures those buttons or links open a new tab when clicked as opposed to refreshing the current page.
The point of this post is really to highlight the fact that not all “good advice” is actually good advice. If you are eagerly trying to do the right and best things for your business’ social media presence, you need to put some thought and personal research into determining what works best for you.