I work with a lot of people who are beginner social media users. They’re usually people who don’t really like social media or have only used it personally. Once you get into using social media for your business, it can be difficult to know what to do. 

For those of you who have been on social media for a while, these tips might not be helpful. But I want to make sure I’m addressing some of the common pitfalls I see for beginner social media users. 

Make Sure Your Page is Fully Setup

The first thing is to make sure that whatever social media platform you’re on, you have your platform setup properly. Here are some quick tips for that:

  1. Fill out everything you can when you’re prompted. The information can be really helpful For instance, the Instagram category you pick can help you be found by people.
  2. Setup your page as a business page. This gets complicated on Facebook, so do some research on if you want a page or a business account. The latter is most helpful when you’re planning to do a lot of ads. 
  3. Keep your usernames the same across platforms. This will make your life a lot easier. Sometimes you’re not able to, but always aim to keep it the same.
  4. Use Canva or Pexels for your cover photos or profile pictures. The profile picture follows you everywhere so make sure it’s a clear image or your logo or your face. 
  5. Go through your settings to make sure everything is how you want it to be. If you’re not sure what something means, Google it. 

If you start with a page that is setup well, you’re going to be better set for the future. Keep in mind, you can always go back and change these things if you’re already too far into the setup process. 

Keep Track of Passwords & Access

This is one of the things that most people with a social media profile struggle with. If you set a password, remember it! It’s hard to get back into social media platforms after the fact and you don’t want to lose all the work you previously had. 

I love using LastPass for this. It’s also a great way to share passwords securely. For instance, I have clients who share a password with me via LastPass and I never have to see the password to login. 

For platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, your business page is connected to a personal account. Keep your personal account password safe. 

To be extra careful, give someone else that you trust access to the page. I previously had a client who was the only admin on their Facebook page with tens of thousands of followers. When her personal Facebook account was hacked, she lost access to the business page. It took almost a year to get it back. When you have someone else on the account, you have a new way to access it. 

Along the lines of access, make sure you’re removing people who no longer need access. There’s nothing worse than a disgruntled employee still having access to your company’s profile. It can get bad really quick.  

The last thing I’ll say about access and passwords is to be really careful about where you set up two-factor authentication. I’ve talked to a handful of people lately who changed their phone number and suddenly found themselves locked out of their accounts. You can use an app like Google Authenticator to make two-factor authentication a little easier or set up a Google number that won’t change when you get a new phone. 

Avoid Common Scams

No one wants to be scammed and no one means to be. However, it’s easy in the world of social media to fall for the tricks that are out there. 

If you get an email from Facebook, Instagram, etc. make sure you know it’s from them. Check the email address, make sure it has the proper logo, check that the grammar is accurate, and ensure that any links they send you to are the actual site. 

It can be hard, but don’t freak out when you get a message saying “your account has been locked” and assuming it’s true before doing your due diligence. Take a moment to breathe, and be skeptical. 

The other scams that are out there can come from people trying to impersonate other businesses. It’s very easy for anyone to find a business’s logo and create an account that looks legitimate. 

I had to call out my sister for this a few months back. There was a post from “Southwest Airlines Customer Service” that claimed people who commented were going to get 2 free tickets to anywhere in the world. My sister commented. 

If something seems too good to be true or elicits a really strong emotion in you, question it. That goes for news shared on social media too or hearing that you won a giveaway. Check the spelling and the grammar on the page. Check to see if you can find another page with the same name. Look for those blue check marks. Investigate before giving your information away or clicking on links. 

Start With What Your Audience Wants

While the other tips on here are more about the logistical side of social media, this is my biggest takeaway for strategy

You shouldn’t be thinking, “I want more sales. I’m going to use social media for more sales.” Change that mindset to, “What value can I provide to people within my ideal audience on social media that makes them know, like, and trust me enough to make a purchase.”

If you’re just thinking about sales, you will fail to get sales. Social media isn’t a billboard or a bus ad. It’s about building a community with your audience. If that’s not what you’re trying to do, go ahead and purchase that radio advertisement or get your face on a billboard. 

Social media is about what you can provide to others. Maybe that’s a look into what your business is like or educational materials. It could even be an aesthetic look or calming feelings. When people get some value from you, they’re more likely to engage, follow, and eventually purchase. They’re also more likely to become raving fans and advocates for your brand. That’s the long-term goal.

Pick Your Platforms Strategically

When you first get started on social media, it can be tempting to get on every platform. However, each platform is different and really needs some different content. There are times you can put the content across platforms, but you’ll really need to develop your strategy with one or two platforms in mind. 

Before you decide which platform you should be on, do some research. Is your audience even on the platform? What kind of content performs best there? Do you have that kind of content available? Where are your competitors? 

Once you know the platform you want to be on, get to know it really well before you expand to another one. 

Be Realistic About Time With Social Media

When I say be realistic about time, I mean that in two ways. Be realistic about how long it takes to run a good social media profile and how long it takes for social media to give you results. 

Some people’s full-time jobs are running just one social media platform. You likely don’t need to go that deep, but you have to be realistic that there is some time involved. 

Social media is also about the long-game. It’s kind of like public relations or SEO in that way. If you’re consistent and strategic, you’ll see some great results but it can take months. 

For me, social media helps make sure that when I send out a proposal to a potential client, they already know and like me enough from my social media profile that they don’t want to work with anyone else. 

Social media is the beginning of your marketing funnel. When you do a good job at the top of the funnel, that will translate further down. 

Need More Social Media Help?

If you need more help, I share a ton of tips on my Instagram. Go give me a follow to learn more about making your business social media work for you.