For a professional service business, getting on social media can seem like a waste of time. And making sure you’re doing everything right to get the best return on your investment can feel overwhelming. That is where Vivial comes in.
As a digital marketing provider, we have helped thousands of businesses across hundreds of different industries with their social media marketing. And a fair share of those clients are in the professional services space, which is why want to help by giving you a list of the most common social media mistakes we see and how to correct them.
Mistake #1: Not Getting in the Game
When it comes to professional services, many businesses have trouble understanding how social media can work to grow their business, but avoiding social media can be a costly mistake. You could be missing out on finding and engaging with potential customers when you do not have a strong digital presence.
So, while platforms like Snapchat may not be a great fit for a tax firm, there are networks that work well to support social media marketing for professional services. Twitter, for example, can be a great place to share #taxtips and connect with people who need help. The best way to begin your social media strategy is to focus on the top networks that your potential customers are already using: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Mistake #2: Not Considering Your Audience
It might seem obvious, but the only way to foster engagement on social media is to initiate conversations. For example, if you are going to a cocktail party and sit in a corner not talking to people, you most likely won’t engage with many people. Similarly, if you start talking with someone and dominate the conversation, never asking them questions, people may steer away from you. However, if you play the crowd, ask questions, have a host of topics up your sleeve, you can be the life of the party. Your social profiles need to reflect this cocktail party persona. It takes more than just signing up and creating a profile – you have to go out there and engage – in the right way.
It’s also crucial to stay genuine and helpful when posting content. Authenticity is the name of the game on social media. Think about what your audience would find value in, and how that post reflects on your company. If a law office, for example, regularly posts crazy memes and comics, people may not take them seriously and look to someone else to help them with important legal matters.
Our best advice is to test posts with your audience and see how they react and engage. You may find that a lawyer comic would be welcome now and then, but it will likely do better for your brand when mixed in with more informative content on which your company is an expert.
Mistake #3: Sharing Without Thinking
Quickly sharing 3rd party content is an easy way to make sure your social profiles are active, but the easiest or fastest route isn’t always the best one.
We’re not saying that all of your content on social needs to be original– retweets, reposts, and shares are an important component of a robust professional services business’ social media strategy – but you need to think through what and how much you’re sharing. Don’t fall into the trap of retweeting or sharing an article based on its title, only to find out later that it was written by a competitor or emphasizes a point that doesn’t align with your business.
If you share 3rd party content, we recommend reading the content you share and pulling out some key takeaways to append to your post. This way, you are sure of what you’re sharing and are adding unique value to a retweet that’s relevant for your audience.
Mistake #4: Not Switching Up Your Strategy
Once again, the easiest option is not necessarily the best option. In this case, having a one-size-fits-all posting plan across all networks is not the best way to execute your social media strategy. While it’s certainly a greater level of effort to break down historical posts to determine unique successes on each platform, it will serve you best to have a clear and separate plan for managing your profiles on different platforms. What you do and say (and how frequently) will be quite different on Facebook than LinkedIn.
However, if you don’t have the time or the history to find how your specific business should differentiate your social messaging, here are some quick rules to follow:
- Don’t use hashtags on LinkedIn
- Don’t automatically post from one social network to another
- Don’t use Twitter for long messages – keep it short and concise
- Don’t over post on Facebook on LinkedIn
- Don’t post too infrequently on Twitter
While these rules don’t cover every potential blunder of not having a specific strategy for each platform, they will help you make the most common mistakes.
Mistake #5: Not Establishing Metrics
You wouldn’t pay for traditional advertising and then not expect to receive analytics on how well your ads performed, so don’t treat social media that way! Digital marketing technology has made excellent tools available to help you measure the return on your marketing investment. You may not be paying to have profiles on the different networks (although we highly recommend that you invest in paid social media tactics), but you are spending your time to manage the accounts, and time is money.
Useful metrics to track include mentions, social shares, social media traffic to your website, number of followers/fans, number of comments/direct messages, and number of likes. These may vary slightly depending on your business strategy, but overall they can help you monitor what is and isn’t working with your professional services social media efforts.
Still not sure you’re on the right track with social media for your professional services business? Don’t fret! Contact one of our Digital Marketing Experts today!