One thing small business owners need to understand is that everything they do online: website, social media pages, Google listings, everything is how people see your business. I see so many business owners make the same Branding Mistakes over and over again. It’s like they don’t care.
It’s Your and Your Company’s Image that is at Stake!
Some may say, “I do get some sales from the site.” How many are some? 1 a month? Imagine how many you could have if you had a good-looking, functioning website with quality images, blogged regularly, and used social media correctly! It could go up to 1 a day or more!
Sure you want to save money by doing it yourself, but invest in learning how to do it properly and effectively. If you don’t take social media and online digital marketing seriously in this day and age you might as well close up shop.
Here are some of the top Branding Mistakes I see small businesses make.
- Attempting to do it yourself without properly learning how to use the tools. Sure, you can post on Facebook, but do you know how to market on Facebook? You can use Word, but do you know how to use WordPress? Creating a website might sound simple enough, but if you don’t do it the right way, it will all be wasted time and effort.
- Not committing to social media long-term. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Not having a logo! It’s all about branding.
- Inconsistent branding. People need to know who you are and what it is that you do at first glance no matter where they find you.
- Ignoring your social media accounts. If you have a link on your website to your social media networks, you better be posting regularly! Nothing looks worse than after clicking on a link, I see the last post was months even years ago!
- Hiring an intern or student to do your social media marketing. Just because someone knows how to tweet or post on Facebook doesn’t mean they know how to market on Facebook. Whoever you hire to do your marketing, should know marketing first, then be familiar with the social networks, blogging, websites, content marketing, branding, and how your particular target market uses each of the networks. Moreover, they should be able to develop comprehensive strategic and tactical plans.
- Not using an email address with the company URL for business emails. It looks more professional to use “firstname.lastname@example.org” rather than “email@example.com”. And don’t use AOL! It really dates you!
- Not posting quality graphics. There are enough free graphics tools out there so there is no excuse for having fuzzy, cut-off or crooked graphics.
- Putting social media follow buttons on your website that either go nowhere, to the main network page or go to an account that hasn’t been active in years. Don’t put follow buttons on your website until you are active in social media. It makes you look foolish.
- Making it all about you. It’s about them – your target market. Serve don’t sell. Don’t just post your stuff! It’s not about selling. It’s about sharing. Share other people’s content that is of interest to your target market. They are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
- Taking Shortcuts like buying Twitter followers or Facebook likes. These are fake accounts and definitely NOT your target market! Don’t do it!
- Not realizing that it takes time and effort upfront to build a following. Plan on spending 90 minutes a day on social media and blogging 3 times a week for the first 30 days while you’re building a following. Then you go into management and maintenance mode and based on your analytics, you’ll focus on the networks that are driving traffic to your site and where you’re building relationships.
Your online materials — website, blog and social media — should encourage credibility and trust. Furthermore, they should entice and encourage your potential target to read more, click on a link to download an ebook or contact you. That’s called a conversion and you want those.