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Whoever said it’s better to have tried and lost than never try at all knew a thing or two about the social media realm.

In today’s world, amid the Tweets and Instagram posts and status updates and Google analytics and keywords and all of the things, social media has become a primary source of information.

The truth is social media is a necessary element for any marketing strategy but bears a particular importance for small businesses.

Why? While it can seem like an overwhelming addition to an already lengthy to-do list, the opportunity it offers knows no bounds. It’s fast, pointed and global. It’s an investment worth making.

But in the business of social media for small business, it’s not okay to stop there. Doing your research and prioritizing the development of a social media platform best suited for your business is a good place to start. Putting together a profile on Facebook, for example, is a perfect next step.

After that comes the most important part. Building a following. Having conversations. Being engaged with your audience and potential clients. In short, being present is the number one rule of thumb in social media marketing.

While it’s true that having a presence is better than not having one at all, that may not be the case if you don’t take time to properly maintain what you started.

Here are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid:

1)     Don’t be superficial. It’s a dilemma most of us know all too well: that moment when you see one of your 1,314 Facebook friends at the grocery store. It’s your ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s sister and you know she just had a baby because of the photos you’ve stalked online, but you’d rather make a second run down the cereal aisle than actually say hi or congratulations in person. The same can happen to your social media account for business if you’re not careful. Instead of having a surface level presence, dig deeper. Be real.

2)     Don’t ignore opportunities. One of the best things you can do with social media is engage. By definition, that’s what it’s for after all. We are social beings connecting on social networks. So connect. Do more than just post a relevant article – ask questions. Respond to comments. Create conversations. Not only does it bring personality to your page, but adding links in more places online helps bring your content, and ultimately your business, to more people.

3)     Don’t be inconsistent. In many ways, your page should represent your business. You wouldn’t want to leave your storefront empty for days or weeks on end. Nor should you leave your page bare of new content that long. Fortunately, there are very easy-to-navigate tools at your disposal to help with this problem. Setting time aside each day for social media management is definitely a gold-standard best practice that will ultimately be best for your business. However, if that’s not an option there are tools like Buffer and Hootsuite that are very helpful and can keep content rolling out regularly.

4)     Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. This starts with that first step of doing research to determine which social media platforms will work best for your business. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to be on every social media platform is shooting yourself in the proverbial foot. Instead, hit the ground running with one strong profile before building out a larger presence. A crucial element of that is to prioritize having only high-quality content that will engage readers throughout.

5)     Don’t forget to let the numbers work for you. Ask not what your numbers can do for you, but what you can do with your numbers. This is particularly true of Facebook, which offers valuable insights into the traffic and engagement generated by each post. By taking some time to analyze what works, you can become more efficient at offering content that will both bring in new customers and offer added value to existing customers.

From Instagram to Twitter, the way of the future has been and will continue to be online.

While it is a good idea to establish a solid social platform network for your business, it’s best not to do so without a quantitative and strategic plan for doing so.

It can be a challenge to manage this, in addition to everything else involved with taking care of your business. Yet that’s exactly why you should.

Interested in learning more about how you can grow your social media presence?

Contact us for more information about our web presence and social media services.