Internet Marketing 101: Seven Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

The field of social media marketing is relatively new and rapidly evolving. Many business owners are hesitant to dive in for those reasons—they aren’t familiar enough with the medium to feel comfortable, and they don’t want to make mistakes that could damage their credibility or their reputation.

Today we’re going to identify several of the most common mistakes we see… so that you can avoid them. And one quick word of encouragement—as long as you’re careful and you use common sense while engaging your audience via social media, the chances of making a “serious” mistake are very small. So relax and have fun!

1) Creating “one-way” conversation. Social media isn’t meant to be used as if you’re giving a speech to an audience. A better way to think of it is a cocktail party. It’s an opportunity to interact with your audience, not just preach to them. Look for opportunities to generate engagement and interaction – don’t just “preach.”

2) Constantly trying to make a sale. Of course you want to grow your business. But bombarding your audience with a sales pitch over and over again won’t work—you’ll find yourself being ignored. Instead, look for opportunities to provide value to your audience. Share breaking news, industry tips, and helpful information such as blog entries or articles. Give your audience a reason to pay attention.

3) Creating controversy. In general we counsel our clients to avoid controversial subjects. There are exceptions to this, depending on the nature of your business and your objectives. But at a minimum, if you’re going to venture into controversial territory, make sure it is consistent with the brand you are seeking to create and make sure that it’s not going to alienate your target audience. And remember that just about anything you post online could be seen by nearly anyone, so don’t say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in front of a TV camera!

4) Losing focus on your target audience. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn collectively have well over a billion members. That’s a whole lot of people, and as a result it can be easy to lose focus. Remember who you’re trying to engage (your target market) and don’t shift your focus. As an example – your law firm may be able to generate a bunch of “likes” and “retweets” by joking about the Grammy awards, but if that type of humor isn’t consistent with your firm brand and doesn’t appeal to your target market, it’s going to do more harm than good.

5) Inconsistent posting. Effective use of social media requires consistency. Posting feverishly for a day or two and then disappearing for three weeks won’t allow relationships to develop and won’t help you establish your brand. Even if it’s just a post or two per week, make sure you’re consistent.

6) Unrealistic expectations. If you’re expecting your social media presence to explode and result in tons of new business right off the bat, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re looking for rapid returns, other forms of marketing are better suited for the task.

7) Lack of a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’re flying blind. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is your target market? How will you measure success? These questions (and more) are vital- you have to have a plan!  

Questions or comments? Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!