by Alan Smith
Most business owners know that social networks can be a powerful tool when promoting their business. Because of this, almost every business now has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a host of other social media profiles.
But it’s never good enough to just have accounts in social networks. It’s also important to use them well. Here are some common mistakes people make when promoting their website or business on social networks:
Mistake #1 – Ignoring the new, smaller social networks.
Just because a social network doesn’t have millions of users, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for your business. Promoting your business newer, less popular networks may have better results for the following reasons:
a) Less competition. Since the social network is new, big brands probably don’t spend their time broadcasting their marketing messages there. Also, it’s unlikely that your competitors have heard about these new social networks; much less launch their campaigns there. Because of this, your marketing messages will stand out, and you have a unique opportunity to monopolize your audience.
b) You could be a pioneer and leave the competition in the dust. Even when Facebook was on the rise, most businesses didn’t exactly rush to create accounts there. They saw it as a fad for young people. This means that by the time they took Facebook seriously as a marketing platform, they didn’t know how to go about it yet, while their more saw competitors were already masters on using Facebook for their business. If you try promoting your business via the newer social networks, you’ll be one of the first businesses to learn how to use it.
With that said, which new social networks can you try’? One of the fast rising ones you can start is Mezee.
Mistake #2 – Assuming that performance in one network determines success or failure in other networks.
Here’s why you can’t expect the same results across all networks: the demographics of the people using them are different. For example, most Facebook users are within the ages of 18 to 25 and are in college (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.comfinfographic-facebook-vs-twitter-demographics-2010-2011/). Twitter, on the other hand, has an older demographic, with most users being between the ages of 26 and 34. LinkedIn, however, is for professionals and businesses, with most North American members aged over 34 (http://www.slideshare.net/amover/linkedin-demographics-statistics-jan-2012).
This means that if you’re marketing to young adults in college, don’t expect a LinkedIn campaign to do well. Or, if you’re marketing to other businesses, don’t expect to find them on Facebook. Study the target audience of your business well and look for social networks that they regularly visit.
Mistake #3 – Posting in the exact same way across all their social networking accounts.
Sure, it’s easier to link your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, and other social networking accounts together. You’ll only craft an update once, and it will automatically be placed in all these social networks.
The disadvantage to doing this, however, is that what works in one social network doesn’t work in another.
For example, Twitter restricts updates to 140 characters. If you stick to this minimalist rule, you may not be able to engage users who can post lengthy comments via Facebook or Google +, or carry on an entire discussion thread similar to what happens within LinkedIn groups. Study which formats work better in which social network, and craft updates unique to each network based on this.
Now that you know the most common mistakes that business owners make when promoting on social networks, you can start avoiding these mistakes altogether. The good news is that by reading this, you’ve avoided the biggest mistake of them all – which is to ignore the use of social networks in the first place.