Congratulations and well done to all business owners who have embraced some sort of social media for their business. Especially if the idea of tweeting, posting, liking, pinning, digging and sharing evokes panic and fear – and generally feeling out of your depth. Whilst we embrace the marketing opportunities provided by social media, it is important to be aware that this has been, and still is an opportunity for others to make money by boarding the social media rocket ship.

Approximately 18 months ago I read an article “beware of any person calling themselves a social media expert” and as the months have gone by, I have seen this warning ring true.  For marketers who do use the social media forum effectively, the rise of the so called ‘experts’ can be frustrating as it creates client mistrust. It is important to remember that social media is simply a different type of marketing tactic for you to use, and as with all of your other marketing tools you must know what your goals are, and what the message is that you are trying to communicate.  Your ‘expert’ should be trying to achieve this for you.

Signs your ‘expert’ is not helping your business.

Your business posts are (let’s be honest!) dead boring. If you don’t find your own posts interesting then why would anyone boredelse?  Generalised, boring questions posted on Facebook or sent into the twitter-verse are not helpful, in-fact they are hurtful as your business brand is being damaged with blandness.

Every Tweet has come from Facebook by the Auto-tweet app. What used to be a useful tool to drive twitter users to your Facebook Business Page, has now become so overused that many twitter users are ignoring them on principle.  Not every person on twitter has a Facebook account, or wants to have to connect to Facebook from Twitter just to read your news.

There is no option to learn to contribute to or manage your own profiles. Particularly in small business, the contribution of the person behind the business is essential.  Your customers want to hear from and engage with you.  Many business owners begin with no desire to be involved, but with a little encouraging come on board.  Even if you want nothing to do with managing your profiles, remember, if your consultant is not checking in and talking with you, about you regularly, then your content is unlikely to hit the mark.

Your Facebook Links on Twitter don’t have a message – if your tweets regularly just have a Facebook link and no message, your ‘expert’ is not thinking of how the automated tweet feature is presenting you.

Your Facebook page has old content re-posted, even when you have new things to say –  while it’s perfectly fine to re-promote news like coming events, specials, competitions and special dates, if basic photos or past posts are resurfacing it’s time to ask a few questions. Pay attention particularly in busy times, when you have plenty of news to tell.

Your Facebook page header is your logo, or is irrelevant to you, your business or your personality. Any savvy social media consultant knows that not only should your header should be an image that represents you, it must fit within Facebook’s 80/20 Rule. Consider it your virtual shop window.  If your consultant puts your logo as your header, alarm bells should go off.

There is no conversation happening –  a completely automated approach to social media is like trying to use a mirror with your eyes closed – It makes no sense; “social” media remember?  If you scroll through your feeds and notice no one is commenting, liking, favoring… (anything!) then perhaps there is something wrong.

The good news is – you can come back from being Mr Dead Boring and become the magnetic Master of Ceremonies for your business and brand. Do your homework, talk to owners of profiles you like.  Ask friends who they follow and what pages have content they enjoy.  Ask other businesses if they self-manage or have some help. Who do they recommend? And get talking!

Tough Cookie Marketing offers both social media training and management – Find us at www.facebook.com/toughcookiemarketing 

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