For some small businesses, navigating the world of social media can be daunting. A lack of understanding how to effectively create, curate and post compelling content and authentically engaging with your audience can put your small business social media efforts in jeopardy. However, we want to help! By knowing some of the most common social media mistakes made on small business social media pages, you can gain a better understanding of what NOT to do and therefore, make smarter decisions about how to engage with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.

1.  Too Much Text: Many small businesses try to cram every piece of information into a post, but too much text can overwhelm readers and cause them not to read the post. In addition, because of the momentous amount of information that passes through user’s newsfeeds every minute, users tend to scan content rather than word.

2.  Not Enough Images: According to Facebook, pictures garner 53% more likes than the average post. Those statistics ring true on all social media channels, so if you aren’t posting images, you aren’t communicating on these channels in a way that is heard. Picture generating tools like PicMonkey can make posting a fun quote or special offer simple. According to Social Media Examiner, “Larger images tend to get more likes, shares and comments. Use the Upload Photos/Video function to publish photo files directly into your post instead of posting a link that shows a thumbnail.”

3.  No Personality: Although it is important to remain professional on Facebook posting as your business, it is equally important to connect with customers by throwing in some fun and/or humorous posts that show your business has an approachable yet credible personality. People do business with people, not with businesses. If your social media posts don’t have personality, your fans won’t engage. To highlight your brand’s personality, try posting a photo of a business event you’re attending/hosting, post pictures of your employees having fun at work (e.g. employee highlights), or simply show your sports spirit with a relevant pop culture post.

Check out this creative example from our client Original Pancake House who chose to recognize a national holiday related to its food industry.OPH screen shot

4.  Failure to Post Searchable Content: One way to post content that is “searchable,” that is, easy to find when searching, is to use hashtags. This is a relatively new addition to Facebook, but has been a feature on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for quite some time.  Using keywords in hashtag form allows your customers and clients to easily find content related to that search term. Hashtags increase brand and product awareness to wider audiences who may not engage with your business profiles yet.

Here’s an example from our client the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, which used the hashtag as well as directly shared a photo:RMADA Center screen shot

5.  Violating the 80/20 Rule: The key word in social media and social networking is SOCIAL. While social networking sites are a great place to build and do business, the social connection must ALWAYS come before the selling. The 80/20 rule simply states that 80% of your posts should serve your fans and be relationship building, while only 20% should be promotional. Don’t get this reversed!  from a like-minded organization’s page to increase visibility. Two great tips in one post!

What social media questions do you have? Unsure whether your business page is conveying the right message or reaching the right audiences? We would love to help hone your social media strategy. Reach out at hello@orapinmarketing.com or call 303.630.9527.

Author: Angela Shugarts, PR Strategist for Orapin Marketing + Public Relations | @angelashugarts

Rhiannon Hendrickson
About the Author: Rhiannon Hendrickson

Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder and CEO of Orapin Marketing + Public Relations, which helps purpose-driven businesses increase visibility, expand the reach of their message, and become sought-after industry leaders. She has worked with organizations of all sizes across myriad sectors to develop memorable and effective communications programs that generate awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for those that are making a meaningful impact.

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