These days it feels like everyone is on social media, and if your small business is not, you’re missing out on some great opportunities. While Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms used correctly can enhance your business, making mistakes in your social media interactions can be costly.

When managing your social media accounts, be sure to avoid these common errors that many small businesses make:

Doing Too Much

In the beginning, it’s tempting to want to engage on all of the social media platforms available – but if you don’t have the resources to regularly post relevant and engaging content you could be wasting your time by spreading yourself too thin. Pick one platform to start, and build slowly as you become more adept at navigating marketing via social media.

Ignoring Feedback

When visitors leave questions or comments – even negative ones – you must respond! Replying helps build an on-going relationship and lets clients and potential clients know you truly care about their experience with your product or service. Own up to mistakes and be sure every person who comments feels valued.

Not Posting Enough

Regular posting schedules helps people get to know your company. If you’re not posting frequently, it’s easy for your message to get lost in the shuffle and overlooked.

Spam

No one likes spam. It’s imperative that you know and follow accepted protocols for how to contact visitors. Direct or private messages are often considered spam unless you have previously made contact with that person and are responding to a particular situation, such as a product complaint. Always ask before initiating such contact.

Deleting

The Internet is forever – and deleting sends the wrong message. If you’ve said something you regret, create a new post, apologize and clarify. If someone leaves a negative comment, acknowledge their experience and ask how you can make it better. Deleting makes it look as though you’re trying to cover something up, reducing trust rather than building it.

When used the right way, social media can be an effective and affordable marketing tool. Before starting, set up a strategy and make sure you have a way to measure your success. With care, you can create brand recognition and a reputation for excellent customer relationships.