In order to have a successful online business, there are some strategies that you must implement. Having a social media marketing strategy is one of them. It is OK to have a website or a blog and use different internet marketing techniques to get people to become aware of your business. But now it is not enough to just build awareness, you must build relationships with your potential customers/clients before they will ever consider purchasing from you. Utilizing social media to market your business is the fastest and easiest way to build this relationship. But just because it is fast and easy does not mean you do not have to know what to do and what not to do. Here are the top 3 mistakes people make when using social media marketing that can destroy those relationships before they ever get started.
1. Leaving profiles incomplete
It is not enough to just sign up, enter a user name and start using the various social media platforms. To build your credibility and look more professional, you should complete your entire profile. You should also upload a professional looking image of YOU. Please do not put a cute picture of your dog or even just your business logo. People want to see who they are connecting with.
In order for them to get to know you and possibly build a relationship with you, your profile should be complete and consistent across all of the social media platforms you belong to. You should also claim your user names and set up a complete profile on other social media sites that you don’t plan to use as often. The benefits of doing this is to have a consistent online presence everywhere, prevent others from capitalizing on your user name and not to mention building a backlink to your site.
2. Selling without first building relationships
Yes, it is true that all these social media networks were made for social interaction, but they can still be used by businesses to sell their products and/or services. The important thing to remember is people only buy from those they know, like and trust. The biggest mistake you can make on these social networks is trying to sell right out the gate without building relationships first.You must add value to the conversation first. Give and you shall receive. Offer tips, advice, or information that you know will be of value to others. Answer questions that are being asked to display your expertise.
Help others promote themselves and their expertise by retweeting their tweets or sharing their posts with your community. On Facebook, post on their walls which will put them in front of your fans and friends. On Twitter, add a Follow Friday hashtag to recommend others as the person to follow. On Linked In, give recommendations of others to those in your network you think are a good fit. All of these things will increase your like and trust factor. It is only then do you begin to softly sell your products and/or services. People will not think twice about buying from you because you are now a trusted ‘friend”.
3. Spamming your connections
Just because someone has agreed to become your friend, fan or follower does not give you permission to add them to your email list. They have agreed to receive tweets and status updates from you and that’s it. If their email address is listed on their profile that is for contact purposes only and not bait for spammers. If you want to get your new connections on your email list, post a tweet or update offering them a free gift and inviting them to join your email list with a link to your opt-in page.
Or if your able to add an opt-in form directly to your social media profile, like your Facebook Page, then do so. Email marketing companies like aWeber can even integrate your ezine with your Facebook and twitter profiles. One other area to avoid using spam is the private emails available on the different social networks. Do not send a direct message or private message trying to sell your products and/or services. This is the quickest way to be un-followed (is this a word?) or removed and blocked as a friend or fan.
Adding social media marketing to your overall online marketing plan is a must to build a successful online business. The various social media networks allow you to become known in your niche a lot faster. They also allow you to build up your credibility as an expert by giving you a medium to offer tips, advice and strategies to your target market. Your engagement with your target market on the various social media networks builds relationships and allows you to cultivate those relationships that will ultimately lead to your online business success.