Five Common Social Media Mistakes

Social networking conceptMore and more small businesses are catching on to the fact that social media is more than the latest hype, and they are beginning to see its value for marketing purposes. Larger businesses have paved the way for these smaller businesses to follow. They have done this by making a lot of mistakes from which small businesses can learn a few valuable lessons. Below is an overview of five common mistakes you should try to avoid making with your business.

Mistake 1: Constantly offering special deals.

While daily or weekly offers are no doubt appealing to consumers, you run the risk of your business developing the reputation of being an online discount store. Be sure to offer added value to consumers beyond being the cheapest. Your goal is to get people interested in buying from you for other reasons than just price.

Mistake 2: Waiting for consumers to find you.

Just because your business has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, that doesn’t mean that consumers will spontaneously drop by. Setting up a social media account or two alone is not enough. You will need to put some time and effort into the various social media channels by engaging in conversations with potential fans or followers.

Mistake 3: Posting long (news) items.

It is best to avoid posting entire articles on Facebook or Google+, no matter how interesting or relevant the information might be to your fans or followers. Instead, you should post a teaser. This usually consists of a short introduction and a link to the relevant web page.

Mistake 4: Frequently organizing competitions.

If you run competitions all the time, consumers will start to feel less emotionally connected with your brand. In time, they might not even remember what products or services you offer. Instead you will forever be associated with the chance of winning something. You can, however, run competitions periodically, as long as you make sure that you leave plenty of time in between competitions and you never run two competitions at the same time.

Mistake 5: Blocking negative feedback.

Larger companies have been known to ignore or even remove negative comments by consumers. Funnily enough, consumers are suspicious of businesses that receive only positive comments all of the time. When consumers see some negative comments as well, they get a much better impression of the business, because their suspicion that the comments might be fake falls away completely.

Social media is a great marketing tool for small businesses, but when things go wrong, they go wrong very quickly. With social media, your mistakes are there for everyone to see. That is why it is important to set out a clear strategy before you begin using social media. Some sound practical judgment will stand you in good stead.

Outranking Your Competitors

If you want to outrank your competitors and get that first spot in the Google search engine you need to investigate the websites that are ranking above you right now. You need to know what they are doing right so that you can copy their moves. But copying their moves will not be enough for you to outrank them, as you will then be two equally good websites. You instead have to be better than they are and have greater content, better backlinks and a better reputation.

Check the Backlinks of Your Competitors

Do some research to find out where your competitors get their backlinks. You can do the simple Google search where you type in “link:websitename.com” in the search field, but this will only give you some of the sites that links to your competitor. There are also some free tools online that allow you to check websites’ backlinks. So go through the list and select the sites that look good and relevant and have a PageRank over 3. Find out how you can get a backlink from that site. Do they allow DoFollow comments or should you E-mail them about guest blogging opportunities?

You should not focus on how many backlinks your competitors have but more on the quality of the backlinks. If they for instance have ten thousand backlinks but only five of them come from websites with a high PageRank, you may have a good chance of outranking them if you can get those five high quality backlinks as well.

So try to find some really great sites such as CNN, BBC, or some sort of popular online news-site and see if it is possible to get a backlink from some of them.

Offer Something That They Do Not

Take a look at your competitors’ websites and see what they offer people. What kind of information do they offer, do they have some sort of free download or do they have a community such as a forum or membership site? Write down everything you can find on your competitors and why you think this makes them successful. So for instance, why would a forum make a website popular? People love to be a part of a community, especially if they are not that many websites in that particular niche. They like to share their own knowledge and experience and get feedback and help from others who are in the same situation and are interested in the same topic.

Are They Bookmarked?

Outranking Your CompetitorsSee if you can find any social bookmarking share buttons on their sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit or a Facebook like button. If they have some of these you will sometimes be able to see how many have liked, tweeted or stumbled their sites. This will give you an idea of how popular the sites really are.

How is Their Content?

Take some time to actually read some of the website content to see how good the sites really are. Is the content unique or just like what you could find on most websites and blogs? If the content is not that great you will have an easier time outranking them.

Make Keyword Targeted Videos

Submitting videos to those well-known sites such as YouTube and Metacafe is a really good idea, as Google sometimes tends to rank videos much higher than websites. So make some videos on some of your keywords and then hope that Google will place the videos on the number one spot.

So improve your ranking and outrank all of your competitors. Getting to the top in Google means that you will get most of the visitors, which means your will get more traffic, which leads to more sales in the end.