social mediaSocial Media can be an effective tool for your business – if you know how to use it.

Unfortunately, many people think all you have to do is set up your networks and potential customers/clients will come to you.

Not true.

Using Social Media takes work.

Here are three ineffective uses of social media and how to avoid some Social Media pitfalls.

Not Knowing Your Target Market

Your target market are the people who most likely would use your product or service.

You need to know who they are and where they hangout.

For instance, if your target market comprises of affluent males over thirty, you probably don’t need to spend much time on Pinterest.

Taking the time to do a little research beforehand, could prevent frustration later.

What you want from your Social Media is ROI (Return on Investment).

Many platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer an analytics tool so you can track how many hits your posts get.

That way, you can gauge how much time you need to spend on each.

Not Engaging People

Social Media is a dialogue not a monologue.

Even though you may never actually meet these people, you need to build a relationship.

Think about it.

If you just walked up to someone and asked him or her to like you or connect with you, what kind of response do you think you would get?

You need to offer something of value to people going on your network.

Reach out to your customers/clients and find out what they want, don’t just use Social Media to push your products or services.

Keep on top of your networks.

If someone leaves a comment on your Facebook page or tweets about your company, take the time to respond.

People appreciate the acknowledgment and are more likely to continue engaging with you.

Trying to Capitalize on What’s Trending

Just because a topic is trending, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your business.

At best, it’s ineffective, at worst, could turn into a PR nightmare.

Take this horrible use of trying to capitalize on a trending topic.

Everyone who is not living under a rock saw the video of Baltimore Ravens’ player, Ray Rice, punch his then fiancée, Janay, in an elevator.

Rice was subsequently suspended indefinitely (since overturned) and criticized all over the media.

Janay took to Twitter to lash out at Rice’s detractors.

This inspired the #WhyIStayed Twitter Campaign where many shared their stories about domestic abuse.

DiGiorno pizza used the #WhyIStayed and added, You had pizza on its Twitter Feed.

Digiorno is a big corporation and will ride out this snafu, but a small business owner may not.

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