If you want to grow your business and engage potential customers where they’re spending their time, then social media marketing is a must. If you’re not making good use of social platforms, it can be a costly mistake for your computer business.
The average time per day that people spend on social media is 2 hours and 22 minutes. And part of that time is devoted to purchase decisions. 54% of social media users report using it to research products and services.
But just signing up for a social media account and posting when inspired, isn’t going to be enough to get you traction on these important platforms. You’ve got to devote some time and effort to it and avoid making some of the key social media mistakes if you want to take advantage of what social has to offer your IT firm.
Avoid These Social Media Mistakes at All Costs
Social media has changed the landscape of local computer business marketing and the way people consume information. There are over 2.2 billion users on Facebook alone, and approximately 3.04 billion social media users overall around the world. In the U.S., 77% of people have at least one social media profile.
So, to reach your potential customers and keep your business thriving, social media is the place you want to be, and you want to do it right. Here are 5 key mistakes to avoid making in your social media marketing.
Always Promoting Your Services
An easy way to turn your followers off quickly is to only post promotional posts on social media. This environment is meant to have a back and forth element… i.e. “social”… so you want to do more than just be in salesperson mode.
Imagine if you were at a party and this one person was always trying to sell their clothing line every time you passed them at the chip and dip bowl. You’d soon be avoiding them like the plague. It’s the same type of feeling on social media.
51% of people will unfollow a business on social media if they find their posts irritating.
Of course, it’s okay to promote your services sometimes, after all you’re hoping to gain new customers, just not all the time or you’ll drive them away.
You want to use a mix of posts types, such as:
- Educational content (like links to blogs)
- Curated content in your niche
- Funny/entertainment (memes, gifs, etc.)
- Get to know us posts
- Questions or polls for your followers
- Sales or other promotions
Not Engaging with Your Followers
Social media isn’t meant to be a newsletter that you just put out and other’s read without much interaction, it’s just the opposite. It’s designed to get to know a brand or business better and that means engaging with your followers, responding to comments, and asking them to give their input.
You want to build up relationships over time on your social feeds, which will instill trust in your business and add up to recurring sales from loyal followers.
93% of people that follow small and medium-sized businesses on Twitter plan to purchase from them. (Hootsuite)
You can gain some valuable insights from your followers just by asking them a question like, “What’s your biggest IT challenge?”. It can provide you with ideas for service promotions and let you know what key challenges your market is seeking answers for.
If someone posts a compliment on that cool IT meme you just posted, “like” their comment and give them a “Big Thanks!” back. That commenter won’t be the only one to notice that you took the time to respond back positively.
And when it comes to negative comments, address those too. Even if it’s just the offer to discuss their issues by phone or email. This too will be noticed by your followers and you’ll gain some trust points.
Not Using Video
How important is the use of video on social media? Posts with videos generate up to 1200% more shares than those with text and images combined.
Video has become a major marketing tool that drives user engagement. In fact, the popularity can be seen in Facebook’s use of live video and the Instagram Stories feature that make it even easier to share video with your fans.
And, don’t forget the social media channel that’s all about video, YouTube. This social media platform is the second most visited website in the world. Using YouTube also makes it easy to share those videos on your other social media platforms and embed them on your website.
You don’t have to be Martin Scorsese to put out great looking video content that engages your users. There are a lot of helpful tools online that you can use to put together attractive looking videos in no time. A few of those are:
- Adobe Premiere Rush
What types of videos can you make? Here are a few ideas:
- Virtual visit to your computer shop
- Tips & Tricks (for Google, Office 365, Windows 10, etc.)
- Videos based upon your blogs
- “Recipe style” (only do it for something like installing a memory card)
- Q&A based on some of your FAQs
Not Celebrating Your Wins
We don’t always like to toot our own horns, but on social media, you have followers that would love to cheer your successes. If you’ve followed the rule about creating relationships rather than promoting yourself all the time, then your followers will see you as a friend and would love to hear when you get a win.
Celebrating your accomplishments also lets your followers know that you’re good at what you do without being in their face with a sales pitch. You can also use some of those great gifs that you’ll find on many social platforms to add a little fun and excitement. (Cat with party hat tooting a horn, anyone?)
Here are some of the accomplishments that you should not be shy about sharing on social media:
- Positive customer reviews
- Successfully completing a project
- Having a well-attended training session or webinar
- Earning a new IT certification
- Winning a local “Best Of” contest
Not Customizing Your Message for Each Platform
If you’re just copying and pasting the same social media posts on all your platforms, this is a common mistake and one that’s not going to serve you well when trying to gain traction on social media.
Each social platform is distinct and different types of messages work better on each one. Another key element is the types of people that use each platform and how you message to that customer persona.
For example, Facebook is the best place to find people of all ages, and according to Pew Research 46% of people 65 and older use Facebook, but only 7% of them use Twitter. Looking for the 18-29 age group? You’ll find 67% of them on Instagram and 62% on Snapchat.
Here is a cheat sheet of four main social media networks and how to customize your posts there.
Facebook: Friends & Family
Users on Facebook are catching up with friends and family and enjoy funny memes and engaging posts they can share on their timeline. You’ll want to make use of Facebook’s emojis and backgrounds to make some of your posts stand out.
Hashtags can be used, but they’re not as big of a thing on Facebook as other platforms, so keep it to just one or two here.
Twitter: News & Information
People come to twitter to find the most up to date information and often search via hashtag. You have a text limitation here of 280 characters, but often that can be a great way to learn how to hone a message using just the most important words.
Photos and videos are popular and be sure to attach a hashtag or two to your posts. You can both create a hashtag you use for your company, and also be sure to use a popular one that will give you a larger audience.
Instagram: Images & Video
Instagram first began as a cool way to filter your photos to make them look better, and it’s now bloomed to a social media site that has launched multi-million-dollar businesses. 43% of women use Instagram as opposed to 31% of men, so tailoring your message appropriately can help it be more relevant.
Hashtags are big on Instagram and will help you reach more people. It’s not unusual for a post to have 10 or 11 hashtags at the end. They’re not considered spammy here as much as that many would be on a site like Facebook or Twitter.
LinkedIn: Business Networking
If you work with B2B customers at your IT services business, then LinkedIn is an important virtual business networking social media site to be on. You want to keep it more business and less cutesy with your LinkedIn posts.
While later to the hashtag game, LinkedIn has started enabling them in posts and even offers hashtag suggestions. In addition to posting on your timeline, you can also add articles (a great place to repurpose your blogs), which are available to all members and can help you position your firm as an industry IT expert.
A Strong IT Business Marketing Strategy Includes Social
If you haven’t included a social media component in your overall marketing strategy, you could be missing out on a channel that can bring you business without huge advertising costs.
Treat it as importantly as you would any other marketing channel (and avoid the mistakes above) and you may be surprised how effective it can be for driving sales.
What’s your most effective social media channel? Are there any you stay away from? Share your thoughts below.