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Five social media mistakes your business should avoid

8 January 2020: social media can be a phenomenal marketing tool for your organisation. But getting it wrong could mean a waste of time, or worse. Accountant and social media adviser Mark Lee highlights five common blunders your business should be avoiding, and what to do instead.

“Social media doesn’t automatically magic up clients,” says Lee. “It’s all too easy to make mistakes and get no results at all.” So what are the major pitfalls – and how can you avoid them?

Confusing LinkedIn with generic social media

“LinkedIn is for generating, managing and maintaining contacts,” Lee says. “It’s where you offer tips, advice, promote yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader to a network full of potential referrals. Social media is distinctly different, much more generic. Both can work well, but treat them differently.”

Not clarifying your target audience

Like any good marketing strategy, effective social media means matching messages to audiences. “A scattergun or one-size-fits-all approach won’t work,” advises Lee.  For instance, Twitter can build brand awareness while Facebook works for targeted local advertising, especially recruitment. 

“Few significant business owners look for accountants on social media, but you can attract them,” he says. “Look at who you want to reach and what you want to say, and tailor your message accordingly.” 

Lack of engaging content

Writing regular original articles is great, but if you can’t do that, you should still make everything you post unique. “If you see an interesting post, don’t just forward it – add your own perspective,” says Lee. “Even a brief, good comment engages people and makes them react, remember where they saw it and look out for your next post.”

An uninspiring website

Social media should push your audience to your website – so ensure there’s something there for them and that it is easy to navigate. 

“People often complain their social media doesn’t work when it’s actually done its job of driving people to their website – but they found nothing of interest there. Have an exciting, consistent online brand.” 

Using your business name as your social media name

“People engage with people,” says Lee. “Prospective clients want personal service. If your social media name’s ‘busbyaccountants’, no one’s interested. Make it ‘markbusbyaccountant’ and you’re a human face, ready to interact.” 

On LinkedIn he recommends having both personal and business profiles: “Human presence is vital again. But LinkedIn doesn’t let you load your logo on a personal profile, so create a business page too. When you link the two, your personal profile employment history shows your company’s logo instead of a grey box. It’s a little thing that looks a million times more professional – which is the key to all successful online offerings."