Social Media Mistakes Small Local Businesses Need to Fix

by Joanne Steele on November 22, 2011

oopsMy good friend and relentless internet marketer, Herb Laurence, posted a link to a good list of social media mistakes from Hubspot that I’ll pass on. 10 Sloppy Social Media Mistakes to Fix NOW.

You know that I’m all about “simple doable steps” so if you’re guilty of any of these, pick ONE and correct it, then another and another.

Let me reorder them for you based on what is most important to small, locally owned businesses like yours, particularly if you’re a rural tourism business:

1. Hubspot and I agree – “Not using the social media accounts you set up”

Having a bunch of social media accounts isn’t benefitting your business. Actively participating and interacting on a few that you are committed to is. Hubspot is the social media bible for “small businesses”  – Uh… small meaning less than 100 employees.

They don’t have a lot of experience with micro businesses where the owner is in charge and responsible for everything from internet marketing to bathroom cleaning.

If you have claimed your business on a zillion social media sites, I give you permission to ignore a zillion MINUS ONE. Keeping in mind where your customer is congregating online, PICK ONE and get active, then pick another.

And for heaven sakes, don’t claim your business on anything else until you’re caught up! Ignore Hubspot mistake #3!

Here’s the exception:  If you’ve, in a moment of temporary insanity, claimed your business on a site you’re customer wouldn’t ever visit, you can ignore it forever – just like your customer.

AND, if you find a social media site that your customer is flocking to, put it at the top of your “to do list” and claim your business there. Otherwise, ignore it until you’re caught up.

And that goes for Google+ too. Hubspot uses Sara Palin as an example of what will happen if you don’t get your business claimed. You’re micro. You probably don’t have to worry about someone claiming your business name and subverting your marketing message. You have bigger problems to worry about!

2. Hubspot mistakes 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9, 10. Easy peasy. As you develop your social media presence one and a time, make these things a habit. Done.

3. Hubspot #7 – “Not having a blog subscription and RSS feed set up.: Once you have a blog on your website, do this. Before you have a blog, you need to get that website updated to a WordPress site that you can update yourself. THEN, when the site is all updated, add the blog and RSS feed.

Finally, Hubspot says #4, “Not separating your business accounts and personal accounts.”

Remember who Hubspot’s Perfect Customer’s are – businesses much bigger than you are. You are your business and your customers in many cases are also your friends.

That’s the huge attraction and affection that people have for small locally owned businesses.

That’s why WalMart has old grandparently people greeting you at the door – to try to be like YOU!!

Looking specifically at Facebook, my suggestion is that you USE that personal relationship you have with your customers. Yes, have a business profile to do business, but “friend” your loyal customers.

Listen to them. Learn what they’re problems and concerns are. Learn about what their needs are. That is how you can continue to be of service to them as a business.

Please note: Facebook has privacy setting that you MUST USE to restrict access to any intimate details about your life that you’re sharing with close friends. Now, in the last few days, Facebook has agreed NOT to change those settings every time they update their service (every few days!) so you can set them and forget it!

AND ANOTHER NOTE ON THAT: Remember that there is no privacy on the internet!! If you don’t want your mother and your preacher to know about it, don’t post it anywhere online!

Let me know about your social media concerns and successes.

Brooke baking pie

Grandchildren! So thankful we have them to help us remember what is really important in life!

Now. It’s the Thanksgiving holiday week here in the United States. I have a charming young lady (my granddaughter) waiting at my son’s home to take the next step on our pumpkin piebaking project!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for all of you!

Oops! photo on Flickr by Signote





1 Lon Safko November 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

Great blog! But, actually, I am The Social Media Bible for small business…
-Lon Safko, author of The Social Media Bible, by John Wiley & Sons

2 Joanne Steele November 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

Thanks Lon! A hard job you’ve carved out for yourself, being “biblical” about a moving target like social media. But we know your watching and will continue to publish authoritative updates.

3 Herb Lawrence November 23, 2011 at 8:11 am

Joanne wonderful post and you are absolutely right about the differences between “small businesses” with less than a 100 employees and “micro-businesses” as to the amount of time they have and what they should concentrate on.

Hope you and your readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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