A lot of entrepreneurs have made it big solely by using social media to advance their business’s brand and connect with customers. Big names in retail clothes, electronics, and apps have started out first by creating a Facebook page and connecting with their friends. These success stories are wonderful, and show how the social media world is changing how businesses connect with their customers, and how easy it is to set up and start a business from scratch.
However, not every business out there is able to take advantage of these platforms, and most of the success stories, where a mom and pop business bootstrapped their way to fortune, took place when these platforms were much more open and “wild”. Now, it takes real ingenuity to engineer a low-cost campaign, and a lot of testing to find your target audience.
With that in mind, we’ve created the top five mistakes entrepreneurs make when they start using social media.
1.) ENTREPRENEURS AREN’T CONSISTENT
Most entrepreneurs will make a Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter handle for their business, and begin posting, usually with a “hello” message. The intent is to later post more, and maybe take some pictures of the business or staff hard at work. For the first week or even month, the posts come freely. After a while, there aren’t any serious results, and the posts drop off. Soon, the Facebook page is inactive. Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone, there are thousands of inactive accounts in social media land, not making their owners money.
2.) NO STRATEGY
If you look at a carefully developed account, such as an Instagram account with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers, you should be able to identify a theme, common post types, and usually also see that these posts are far from “spontaneous” or “natural”. Most of the pictures are taken weeks or months in advance, go to an editor, and have copy written for them by a marketer. All of these steps are more and more common for even the biggest stars. If your business is relying on your gut, or someone’s else’s talent on staff, to make your accounts profitable, then you have to think to yourself, what’s my strategy? Do I even have one? If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you’ve neglected this entirely.
3.) NOT RESEARCHING CAMPAIGNS
Ok, let’s say you’re ahead of the game. You’ve got a decent strategy after doing your own research. You’ve been posting on your accounts consistently for a few months, and have developed a nice organic following. Now, you want to expand your reach, so you’ve decided to run a few campaigns. Here’s where things can go very wrong. If you haven’t researched your audience or target market, and you have no idea what you actually want them to do beyond seeing your products and buying them, you’ve got an issue.
Social media advertising can be massively expensive if you don’t have the right audience, and you’re not converting those who you’re targeting into sales. The path from like to click to buy is one of the most expensive advertising processes a business can undertake if it doesn’t understand each step of the process, and how to maximize the pipeline of potential customers along the way. Has this happened to you?
4.) THINKING LIKES AND FOLLOWS MEANS SALES
Likes and follows mean that you have a chance to market again to people who want to hear more about your product or service. If you’re unable to engage with your following, then you may just have purchased a very expensive audience that doesn’t intend to buy a thing! Engaging with them strategically and converting them to sales can be the most time consuming and expensive process in all of e-commerce. Do you currently have a large following that’s not leading to sales? Then you’re a lot like many entrepreneurs that have spent a lot of money on campaigns.
Campaigns can generate likes and follows, and this often feels like the “result” of the campaign. But this isn’t the real result. This is the chance at a result, the real result is sales. Likes and follows can lead to traffic, and traffic properly converted is what leads to sales. That’s what all entrepreneurs are really after. If you had 1000 likes and every one of them bought every day, that would be worth as much as 1% of 100,000 likes that did the same.
5.) ENTREPRENEURS NEGLECT THEIR WEBSITES
This is a big problem for most social media savvy entrepreneurs. Social media platforms are designed to be easy to use and accessible to all users. Setting up an account or a Facebook page is a simple process. So is setting up an advertising campaign on these platforms. Once you’re sending the traffic you generate on social media platforms to your website, it all falls apart. You’re not turning them into sales, and they leave and never come back. Why? You’re not a web designer, and you’re doing most everything yourself, so your website stinks. It can’t sell anything. Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure your site is up to snuff before you start that campaign!
Those are our top five mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting up social media marketing. These largely have come from our own experiences working with many entrepreneurs at organizations big, small and in between. We work with our clients and use our experience to make sure these things don’t happen to you! Contact us and we’ll set up a free consultation to talk about your business and how we can help. Contact us today, and we’ll chat!