Using social media for business in the 21st century is an absolute necessity. From making new connections to promoting and selling, the internet can help grow and expand your business if used correctly. Social media has become a big part of our culture, and everyone from pre-teens to great-grandparents are using it. As a business owner, your job is to translate the heart of your brand to the billions of people on the world wide web. When doing this, you have to act strategically while avoiding common social media mistakes.

The “treat others as you would like to be treated” rule also applies when interacting and engaging with people online.

Social media can be described as websites and apps used to communicate and network with other people around the world. Although you are interacting from behind a screen, engaging on social media is all about making real-life connections with other human beings. Just as you would act cordial and courteous to a stranger in a business meeting, the same “treat others as you would like to be treated” rule applies when connecting with people online. When that rule is forgotten, people tend to make social media mistakes that can have serious repercussions.

If you are not familiar with social media, keep in mind that each social media platform has it’s own “culture” and no two platforms are alike. The way you grow and engage your audience on Instagram will be different than the way you interact on Facebook and Twitter. When you understand each platform and how it works, it will become easier to avoid common social media mistakes.

Click here to read “Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business”

Your social media is a strong reflection of your brand and business.

When promoting your business and brand online, remember to put your best foot forward. Thre people you are trying to attract are meeting you for the first time through what you present to them on the internet. Here are a few tips for what you should do and the common social media mistakes you should avoid.

5 Social Media Mistakes You Must Avoid for Online Business

1. Not having a clear and cohesive brand. Use social media as a tool to cultivate brand recognition. Every social media platform has the ability to upload a profile picture and bio, so all social platforms should be cohesive across the board. Logos, fonts, colors, and images should all be a direct reflection of your business or brand. When new followers search for or find your business, all of your social platforms should have a consistent look or theme for them to easily identify your brand.

Read: How to Use Visual Branding to Attract Your Audience

When posting on social media, use the same color scheme in your photos that you have in your business logo. When designing your website and blog, use the same fonts and colors to create a matching Facebook and Twitter banner. If you are using your face as your social media profile pictures, use similar photos (if not the same one) wearing your distinct brand colors.

2. Not being accessible. The purpose of using social media for business is to attract new and potential clients and customers. For that reason, your business should be fully accessible to people looking to find more information about your brand. Your blog, website, and all social media plages should have your name, info, and at least an email address to contact you.

If you are already using social media, your personal and brand pages must be separate. For example, I have a Facebook profile page where I share pictures of my family and interact with my loved ones. This Facebook page is private. I have another Facebook Business page specifically for my blog, where I share blog updates, quotes, videos, and interact with my followers. This Facebook page is public.

To successfully promote your brand or business to a new audience, you should never have a private profile. If you are on Instagram, you should have a business page, and it should be set to “public”. If you are using Facebook, your brand needs a Business or Fan Page that potential readers, clients, and customers can easily find.

3. Not posting quality content. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply when it comes to social media. As soon as someone lays eyes on your social media account, they will have one of two reactions: “I like it, show me more!orno thanks” with an immediate click away.

The best way to keep someone actively engaged with your social media account is to give them something interesting to watch, read, or view. Use high-quality images to represent you and your brand. Write fascinating captions that leave the reader wanting to read or learn more.

4. Not being social. Treat your online followers like you would treat your in-person customers. You wouldn’t walk into a room full of people and not speak to any of them, would you? The same concept applies online with social media. Don’t just quietly browse the social profiles of other people – hit the like button, leave a comment, or introduce yourself!

Keep in mind: followers and subscribers don’t visit social media to be sold to, they visit to be interactive and social. If you look at your past ten social media posts and they are all advertisements and sales pitches, you may need to re-evaluate your social media strategy. If you want to grow an authentic audience of real fans, you need to give them something to engage with.

One of the biggest social media mistakes that cause businesses not to grow on social is their lack of connection with their audiences. Your brand and business must have the ability to captivate attention and use it to connect with others. Brainstorm a way to grab their attention and keep it.

5. Not posting with intention. Another misconception most people have about social media is that if you just post something – anything – that will be enough to gain followers. With each social media post, keep in mind how it will be perceived by the person who sees it. Is your post consistent and authentic to your brand? Are you posting quality content to inform, entertain, or persuade? Your social media platforms are a reflection of your brand, so post what you want to be known for. Content that is forced feels fake and unauthentic, and you won’t succeed on social media without being genuine.

Come up with a solid social media strategy that will save you time and maximize your efforts. Determine what you will post, when you will post it, and to what platform you will post it to.

I hope this helps!

Do you have any social media tips? Share with me in the comments!

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