Top 5 Small-Business Social Media Mistakes

It starts off innocently enough. Let’s say you have a brand-new coffee shop, and you are super proud of it, as you should be. You know you need a Facebook page to promote it, so away you go, setting up your business page and inviting your friends to like it.

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A handful of friends take the bait, and pretty soon you’ve got 50 fans. You are diligent about posting daily status updates, and people like them. Your “Come on down to the shop today and mention our Facebook page to get a free cup of coffee!” earned 33 likes and 14 shares. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself.

And then, it happens. Suddenly, without warning it seems, your little Facebook page has exactly zero engagement, even on days when you remember to post an update. If you listen closely, you will hear crickets. Where did everyone go?

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It isn’t just the frantic pace of entrepreneurship that causes business Facebook pages to sink into oblivion. If you’re making one or more of these social media mistakes as a business owner, the sooner you fix them, the better:

#1: You’re not posting enough.

When you first create a business Facebook page, you will post things frequently, but when you have bookkeeping to tend to, vendors to call and meetings to make, the Facebook page will be one of the first things to fall by the wayside. The result is often a thin-looking page that makes users question whether you’re even in business.

People are already checking out your business online in social platforms when deciding whether to do business with you. If they see a robust social presence with lots of engagement, they will have more confidence in the business. It could be the push they need to pick up the phone, stop by your store, make a purchase or make an appointment. On the other hand, if they see a quiet social presence, they will go looking for a business that seems more trustworthy, up to date and capable of delivering a positive customer experience.

If you’re looking for content ideas, see my post 31 Days of Social Media Ideas for inspiration.

#2: You’re posting too much or at the wrong times.

Just as you don’t enjoy reading a play by play of what your personal friends do all day long — from the moment their eyes open to the moment they turn off the lights at night (and sometimes even in the middle of the night, when they’ve developed a case of insomnia) — your audience doesn’t need to hear from you throughout the day. As the saying goes, “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”

Another issue could be the time of day or day of week that you’re posting. You’ll have to test different days and times to see when you tend to get the best response, but this infographic offers a nice breakdown of the best posting days and times according to the platform. On Facebook, for example, engagement tends to peak on Thursday and Friday.

The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook. — Buddy Media via @RallioHQ Click To Tweet

#3: You’re ignoring feedback.

Remember that people go to your social pages to connect directly with your brand. If they leave a comment, either positive or negative, it’s important to respond to it.

Let’s say someone leaves a negative comment on your page. Rather than deleting it or ignoring it, use it as opportunity to demonstrate understanding and empathy. The way you handle these situations speaks volumes about your character. It’s a chance not only to smooth things over with your customers, but also to show the rest of your audience that you can respond in a timely manner with grace and respect.

Responding to positive feedback isn’t as time-sensitive in that you’re not trying to put out a fire, but it’s still important. A simple “Thanks for being such an awesome customer, Shelly!” lets her know you’re listening and appreciate her taking the time to leave a good word.

#4: You’re too self-promoting.

The occasional self-promotion on Facebook is acceptable. When your self-promoting posts become too frequent, however, you will begin to lose your audience. If the only thing they ever see when they visit your page (if they visit at all) or see you in their newsfeeds (if you even appear there) is a bunch of posts about you, your offers and your general awesomeness, they will lose interest at best and shun you at worst.

Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine your favorite restaurant, for example. Would you rather see a post that shows the recipe for one of your favorite dishes that they make — or a post about how amazing the food is, how superior they are to everyone else and how no one does it better than they do? More than likely, the recipe will cause you to read, click and share. The self-promotion will cause you to ignore, click away, perhaps even roll your eyes and stop following the page.

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#5: You’re not promoting your posts.

For as little as a couple of bucks per day, you can pay for individual posts and promotions to be seen in more of your fans’ newsfeeds. The Rallio platform makes it easy to view analytics on posts and, with just a few clicks, boost one or thousands of posts all at once. To get new customers at their new salons, our client Fantastic Sams boosted offers to people a few miles around each location. One-third of the people who got the coupon walked into the salon to claim it, producing a 330 percent ROI for the campaign.

Promoting your posts this way increases the likelihood that you’ll reach a larger number of people outside your current fan base. As more of your fans like and share your promoted posts and/or buy any special offers you create, their friends will see the posts and begin to build trust in your company as well. Over time, the viral effect of promoted posts will boost your likes and encourage more and more people to buy from you.


Making time for social media, and doing it right, is no longer a “nice to have” for small businesses. The better engaged you are in social platforms, the more you will build credibility, trust and profits.

What other mistakes do you think are important to avoid on social media as a business owner? Drop your comments below.