Six Things Solopreneurs Are Still Doing Wrong on Social Media

Social media is both a gift and a curse, and the only difference is in how you use it. Today I’m highlighting a few of the social media mistakes bloggers, marketers and other solopreneurs are still making, and how to put them right.

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Six Things Solopreneurs are Still Doing Wrong on Social Media: Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

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Not understanding its power (or its limitations)

When I earned my degree in Public Relations back in 1993, the internet was barely a thing, and social media didn’t exist. At the big London agency I found my first entry-level job at, we obsessed over how to get publicity for our products and services, and in particular how to generate ‘buzz’, brand awareness and word-of-mouth recommendations.

We’d have killed for a platform like Facebook, where we could build a community, post funny stories about our brands, or beautiful pictures of our products, and easily persuade our current customers to tell 200 of their closest friends all about us at the click of a button.

Now that platform is available (as are other similar ones like Twitter and Pinterest) and many people still don’t really get how powerful it is. They have a Facebook page for their business but don’t value the people who like it, or give them anything interesting to interact with. They underestimate the platform and don’t work hard enough to build their community, generate buzz around new products or build brand awareness.

On the other hand, some solopreneurs don’t understand the limitations of social media either. They build a Facebook page or group, then expect to be able to sell direct to their community, from social media.

You can make sales on social media , but it still works better as a PR tool rather than a sales tool. And your audience get fed-up very quickly if all your posts are sales pitches.

Social media should be part of your content marketing strategy, not the whole strategy. I talk about why it’s important to drive traffic from your social media platforms to a blog or website in this article.

Trying to do ALL the platforms, all at once

There are a lot of social media (and social media like) options. There are the big ones like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. There are more specialist ones like Snapchat, Tumblr and Stumbleupon. And then there are the ‘we’re not a social media platform at all’ ones like Reddit.

They’re all different in style, tone, and audience, AND in the way they work, both from a technological and cultural perspective. Yes, each social media platform has its own ‘culture’. Much like a country or region, you’ll only truly understand if you spend some time there and immerse yourself in the community.

DON’T try and master them all at once. Pick one. Study it. Learn all about it. Hang out there and look around. Read blog posts and articles on it. Buy an ebook or even an online course (I recommend this one for Pinterest and this one for Facebook) if that’s your thing (and you have the budget for it).

Master one platform before learning about another.

Not defining their objectives

When I wrote an ebook about Twitter I called it Tweeting For a Reason: How (& Why) to Use Twitter to Market Your Business. Your ‘why’ is as important as your ‘how’. You need to define your objectives for each platform before you start.

Your objectives may be sales related or related to PR, image, branding, and awareness. They may be related to traffic, sales, conversions, opt-ins or building a community. Just know what they are, and make sure everything you post on social media supports one or more of those clearly defined objectives.

Obsessing over numbers

If your ‘why’ is important, your ‘who’ is more so, and your who is way more important than your how many. Quality trumps quantity on social media. You’re aiming for an active and engaged following. 1,000 followers who know you, trust you and want to buy from you are way more valuable than 10,000 followers who have no idea who you are and don’t remember why they followed you.

A social media following that grows slowly and organically as genuine fans find you is valuable. A social media following that explodes suddenly because you bought followers, or did a ton of paid advertising to get them… not so much.

Not having a written strategy

People still just hop on social media and start randomly sharing stuff, because that’s how we do personal social media. Business oriented social media should be strategic. Everything you share is meeting your objectives, remember.

So plan out what you’re going share and why. Put together a written strategy of what you’re trying to achieve. Make sure it’s a mix of content, but that it all appeals to your target market. Make sure you’re sharing the content of influencers you want to reach. Include positive messages, calls to action, and incentives.

Getting distracted

Social media is a great example of something that can be effective, cost-efficient and strategic, or a huge time suck, depending on how you use it. That’s why strategy and planning is vital.

When you’re using social media for pleasure you can go down a rabbit hole and spend hours on there, and those hours may even be a good use of your leisure time, if you enjoy them. Spending hours on your business oriented social media is never a good use of your time. Once you’ve met your business objectives, get off social media and back on to your core business activities. Social media should complement your core business activities, not detract from them.

Check out all our articles about social media marketing for more tips. Need to get more clarity in your business (or want the chance to grab the Busy Blogger’s Success Kit at 50% off)? Sign up for your free goodies and exclusive offers below.

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Comments

  1. Thank you! I really needed to hear this right now, because I honestly believe that I’m not as being effective on social media as I should be.
    Gigi Kiersten recently posted…The Top Ten Summer Color Palettes That You Will Absolutely LoveMy Profile

    1. Karen says:

      Glad you found it helpful, Gigi. Thanks for stopping by.
      Karen recently posted…Six Habits of Insanely Productive PeopleMy Profile

  2. Nadalie says:

    Hey Karen,

    haha, I’m a bit guilty of a few of these, but I completely agree. I am revamping my social media strategy this week, mostly because I’m switching schedulers again, so it’s perfect timing to get clear about my objectives.

    And yes, you cannot do all. I love Instagram, but it’s just not doable right now with Facebook, Twitter + Pinterest (mostly because of Pinterest).

    Thanks for the awesome advice,

    Nadalie, It’s All You Boo
    Nadalie recently posted…19 Powerful Quotes that Motivate You to StartMy Profile

    1. Karen says:

      I think we’re all guilty of them at times, Nadalie. This post started as a ‘what I wish I’d known when I started out’ type post because I’ve certainly made some of these mistakes myself before I knew better. Still make the ‘getting distracted’ one regularly! 🙂
      Karen recently posted…16 Strategies For Promoting Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  3. Cathy says:

    Great post. I have made a few of these mistakes and have been working to correct them. I couldn’t agree more quality over quantity.
    Cathy recently posted…Does Your Family Need A Budget?My Profile

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks, Cathy. Definitely quality over quantity when it comes to followers. Always. 🙂
      Karen recently posted…Affiliate Marketing Best PracticesMy Profile

  4. This is some great stuff, Karen, and im surprised the subject isn’t brought up more frequently. A lot of us (bloggers) like to parrot how great social media is and how everyone should be on it. But there’s no real point in joining if you don’t know how to leverage it.

    I always advice people to only pick one or two of the very best for their niche, as opposed to joining all of them simply because “they are popular.” I made that mistake myself, and i have since cut back drastically. This has allowed me to increase the quality of my shares and (as you pointed out) develop a better strategy as a result.

    Thanks for bringing up the issue, and P.S. i’m starting to look into platforms like Hootsuite to assist me with a more predictable planning/execution on a daily basis.

    Elvis
    Elvis Michael recently posted…Online Security Tips for Writers Working from HomeMy Profile

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks, Elvis. I think you can eventually build up to using several social media channels but trying to learn them all at once slows you down, confuses you and actually leads you to interact in a way that’s just not appropriate, especially on some of the more quirky platforms. You can just drop links to your blog posts all over Twitter (and if they’re high quality people will click, read and ReTweet, but do the same on Reddit and you’ll probably get reported for spam.
      Karen recently posted…How To Make Money With Affiliate MarketingMy Profile

      1. LOL you’re right; Reddit is an entirely different animal. Feeling like you’re walking on eggshells doesn’t even begin to describe it.

        Enjoy your day 🙂
        Elvis
        Elvis Michael recently posted…Online Security Tips for Writers Working from HomeMy Profile

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