I must confess, One Part Social began on a whim. And like a magnet, it stuck around. I was working in marketing when a dear friend and small business owner approached me for guidance. At first, my plan was to train her on the social media tricks-of-the-trade. But, like most small business owners, she didn’t have the time to learn it all or the even interest to do it herself.

I began working with her to create content calendars, social media strategies, and campaign concepts. As a former entertainment reporter, I thrived on “bloodhound instincts” — sniffing out ways to engage readers and produce followers. She was happy with my work and her business grew.

Pretty soon, multiple referrals came my way, which led to the launch of my brand. Yet, it wasn’t always easy. With every post, tweet, comment, and share, there were hard lessons learned in all areas of growing a small business.

So what are the glorified highs and unglamorous lows that come with marketing your business (and others too)? Here’s an all-access pass to put out a great first impression, while avoiding the flawed mistakes that most of us have made.

Getting on every social media platform!
Just because there’s a bevy of social media channels out there, it doesn’t mean your participation is needed on all of them. Research where your clients or customers are surfing for information… that’s who you want to target and where you ought to be hanging out. If you’re a photographer, Instagram is a visual dreamland. If you’re a financial planner, chances are LinkedIn is your go-to networking tool. Don’t be afraid to think strategically and act accordingly.

Talking about yourself every chance you get!
Maybe you’re an awesome party host, and your holiday eggnog is phenomenal. However, make it about your customers. Give your followers what they “actually” want to know… dole out the recipe or blog about the most festive glassware and how to buy it. The more outward education you can demonstrate, the more you position yourself as an expert. Now, you’ve earned that humble brag. Party on!

Only posting when you feel inspired and have something to say!
Let’s call this a half-truth. Posting on social media is a game of consistency, and like it or not, fickle inspiration isn’t a leverage point. While you shouldn’t post for the sake of posting you do need to make a content calendar, in advance, to avoid awkward silences. People visit your social media channels to be inspired, to gather information on industry trends, to learn something new or just for fun. Studies show how often you should make the rounds… 15 tweets per day, alone, for Twitter.

Forgoing technology — it’s just not worth the investment!
It’s a constant evolution, my friends. Social media tools and platforms are cropping up every day and they can help get your message out. Who has time to study these nuances? Well, if sales are low or your call volume is at a standstill, chances are your competitors hit the books. So, when all else fails work smarter, not harder. Ask your vlogger friend for a quick YouTube tutorial. Hire an eager intern who loves tackling new terrain. Or, read this blog and discover budget-friendly classes worth taking… like, pronto.

Try hiring a social media consultancy – problem solved!
Not so fast… a healthy working relationship with your extended team also involves collaboration. An effective team of experts will interview, audit, and ask for informational assets. They’ll hone your brand voice, research your customer avatar, and frequently check-in with you. An excellent social media agency will develop monthly campaigns or contests, monitor website traffic, and the last thing they’ll rely on is content curation. Sure, citing Forbes or CNN for backlinks is great for SEO purposes, but a lack of original content will not move the needle.

In short, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth with any partner you hire. Here is One Part Social’s client onboarding process, which is both extensive and thorough.

Some other important lessons we’ve learned:

  • Use resources wisely.
  • Delegate when needed.
  • Surround yourself with great supporters.

Just think where your business could be this time next year… we, at One Part Social, would love to help you avoid these social media mistakes and join you at the finish line.

If that sounds falalalala-fantastic, then get in touch.

Happy holidays, old friends… and NEW!

If you liked this article, please pass it on.