Running a small business has always been a challenge. Nowadays, in addition to payroll, product development, and (of course) keeping the lights on, small business owners and entrepreneurs need to worry about their social media presence. Unfortunately, many small business owners seem prone to common mistakes that are bad not just for their digital presence, but for their real-world reputation as well. Today, we’re going to take a look at some common small business social media mistakes and what they could have done instead.
Common Small Business Social Media Mistakes
Pestering Famous People
Has this ever happened to you? You log onto Twitter, you look at a feed, and you see about a dozen tweets like this:
-Hey <Famous Person>, I saw you were in town! Why not come check out <Cupcake Shop?>
-Hey <Other Famous Person>, I saw you were in town! Why not come check out <Cupcake Shop?>
-Oh and you, <Yet Another Famous Person>, I saw you were also in town! Why not come check out <Cupcake Shop?>
One of the cool things about Twitter is that it let’s you interact with people all over the world, including celebrities. Also, getting a celeb to visit your business (and post about it) can be a HUGE boon for a business. Unfortunately, pestering famous people will more likely alienate them and anyone else whose feed suddenly became full of desperate tweets.
Instead, try doing what Morton’s Steakhouse did. Morton’s delivered a porterhouse to a man who jokingly Tweeted about how great it would be if he got one when his flight landed in Chicago. By monitoring mentions on Twitter, Morton’s was able to surprise and delight a customer, get great PR, and pull off a HUGE social win.
Giving Rote Responses to Negative Feedback
No one likes negative feedback, especially when you get a lot of it at once. Often, when a company gets a bunch of negative feedback all at once, they respond with a generic message like “We appreciate your feedback and will take that into consideration!” This is basically customer service jargon for “you are wrong and leave us alone” and most customers nowadays are savvy enough to realize that. Instead, if the customer has a reasonable complaint, try to engage them in actual conversation. AT LEAST write an original response instead of copying and pasting a response to them. It is absolutely essential that you talk TO your customers and not AT them.
Creating a Social Media Presence… And Then Doing Nothing With It.
We’ve talked about this one in depth here. But in a nutshell, many small businesses set up a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media page and then… silence. If you’re going to be on social media, it is absolutely essential that you use it to take part in the conversation. Social dialogue about your business is going to happen, and when you don’t invest in social, it happens without you.