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Things not to do when using social media networks to promote your business

organizedoffice16487189.jpgIf you have decided to use social media networking to promote your business, there is a huge amount of information about what you should be doing. Tips, information and guidelines abound on how to use social media networks and make your business more profitable. However, there are a lot of things that you should not be doing, when using social media networks, for business promotion. If you get caught up in making these mistakes over and over again, it can undermine your marketing efforts, and even damage your business. So before you begin using it for marketing, here are some things not do to when using social media networks to promote your business-

  • Fail to respond to visitors-Even if you have a well-established presence in a social media network, if you fail to respond to comments left by customers, or worse yet potential customers, it will do you little good. Visitors will quickly see that the conversation/comment aspect on your blog or Facebook fan page only works one way. Remember that your goal here is to establish a relationship with your target market that makes them view you with trust and creditability. Experts stress that not responding to comments is one of the fastest and surest ways, to kill a social media network and destroy the effectiveness of your marketing position. Worse yet, this feedback can provide you with valuable insight and ways to improve your product or service. Failing to engage with your customers is giving up free information that could make your business much more profitable, for the long-term.
  • Outsource or automate your social media networking-It is important to be genuine when using social media networks. Your visitors will quickly see if you are not. The problem begins when many business owners find the day to day running of their business, overwhelming and try to delegate someone else to handle their online social media presence. It is important to understand that there really is not a substitute, and while you may be tempted to outsource the management of your social media or even to try automating it; it can easily and quickly backfire. Today's tech savvy consumer will see your attempts as not being genuine, and will label your efforts as spam.
  • Pretend that you are someone else-You need to be aware, that due to IP address tracking, visitors will be able to quickly tell when business owner/managers adopt fake identities, in an attempt to build up their reputations. This can not only seriously damage your business' reputation; it could also bring about some serious legal trouble. Recently a major company was forced to pay a significant amount in settlement costs, when it was found that they were having their own employees post positive reviews of the business, without disclosing their connection. The bottom line is don't do it-it's just not worth it!
  • Don't reward customer loyalty-The very nature of social media networking allows, for businesses to be able to reward customer loyalty. You can offer a variety of incentives through your social media networks that will draw customers to your shop and site. Best of all, businesses can not only run promotions more frequently than traditional marketing campaigns (think coupons and other discounts in the mail), but they can devise even more inventive and engaging campaigns, for a fraction of the cost.This is a cost affordable way to easily engage customers to do business with you. Major retailers, food businesses, and service oriented businesses, have all found success by offering these types of programs over Twitter or through their Facebook pages. Failing to do this is just a missed opportunity.
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