As a small business owner, trying to stay on top of your online presence can be quite the challenge. There is so much to do from creating a following, keeping up to date on your pages, responding to comments, and more. However, it is important to become a social media guru in order to survive in this online world. Read on for the top mistakes that small business owners make in regards to social media so that you can avoid them.

Businessman and Tablet with Social Media

Not Using It At All

The number one mistake that small business owners make is not using social media at all. Most customers will check out your Facebook or other social media account before visiting your business or giving you a call, so you need to make sure that you have a solid presence on at least one platform. This includes posting regularly and responding to messages and comments on your accounts. Remember that social media is after all, social.

Using It Too Much

Another common mistake that small business owners make is using social media too much. No one wants their social media news feed filled with one company that posts over and over. You need to limit your Facebook/Instagram posts to 1-5 a day, and Twitter posts to 10 a day. Make sure that you spread them out as well so that you don’t overwhelm your followers.

Taking a Long Break

If you post super regularly, and then disappear off the face of the earth, people will begin to wonder whether or not you have gone out of business, or if you just don’t care about your business. If you are going to be out of town for a while, make sure that you set up a few scheduled posts when you are gone so that people don’t worry about your business.

Overcome the bureaucracy

Not Using Each Platform Independently

Many companies will post the same thing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., but each platform has a unique feel and post requirements, so it is important to treat each platform as its own entity. Run a Twitter-only sale, or host a contest on Instagram that you cannot find on other platforms.

Selling Too Much (or Too Little)

You need to sell your business through social media, but you also need to be authentic and approachable. If you spend all your time trying to get people to buy your product, social media users will turn off. You need to tell stories, create brand awareness, and build a relationship with consumers. At the same time, you need to make sure that you are selling enough. There was a trend in 2012 where business only shared funny photos and videos instead of relevant content about their business. Don’t be that page. Also, try not to become a resource page that directs people away from your brand for answers. Post content on your own blog and then share it to social media so that users are consistently connecting with you and your brand.

Not Separating Business and Personal Pages

It is important to have a unique page or account for your business that is separate from your personal page. Nothing is more awkward than your friends and family posting embarrassing photos to your wall that also doubles as your professional page. Also make sure that you also set up the right type of account (ie create a page not a profile on Facebook).

Two women

Trying Too Much At Once

If you try to put your brand on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, FourSquare, CircleME, Google+, etc. all at the same time, you will become overwhelmed and exhausted. Start with one platform, become comfortable with it, and then move on to another one. If you’re unsure where to start, Facebook is always a good idea (it is the most popular after all).

Not Tracking Your ROI

You could easily invest hundreds of dollars in your social media efforts, but if you don’t have a way to track your ROI, you will never know if it was worth it. You can either put a tracking code into your social media campaigns, or run social media only coupons and giveaways so that you can figure out how many people actually saw you on social media.

Using the Wrong Image Size

Every platform requires a unique image size, and if you don’t adhere to their guidelines, you will end up with photos that are awkwardly zoomed in or stretched out. For a quick guide to social media image sizes, check out this blog.