Social media can be completely overwhelming for new business owners, yet depending on your business, it could be an essential part of your marketing strategy.

If your target market uses social media, then you’re going to want to have a presence on the platform that makes that most sense for your business. Whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, you’ll want to show up where your customers are hanging out.

Since social media is constantly changing, you’ll want to stay up on the trends and avoid some of the key mistakes that newer entrepreneurs make when using social media as a marketing strategy.

Mistake #1: No Strategy

Having no strategy is as bad (if not worse) then having no presence on social media.

Did get a strategy in place, start by asking yourself a few questions.

1.Which platform(s) should I be on? Where are my customers hanging out (which social media platform)?

2.What are my customers looking for on those platforms (ideas, inspiration, information, etc.)?

Take a step back up and look at the bigger picture. What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to engage with and what does that person want? Does she love contests or enjoy watching how-to videos? If so, you might want to start working those into your social media activity.

Put together a monthly or quarterly calendar and map out ideas, themes, contests, etc. that your audience would enjoy reading, watching or sharing.  Give them a reason to check out your product or service. 

If you’re stuck putting a strategy together, find someone to help you. There are a lot of freelance social media consultants that work on a per-project basis and can help you put a strategy and calendar together. Just be sure and find someone that is a good fit for your brand and knows how to target your audience.

Mistake #2: Trying to Do It All

This really falls under strategy, but it’s worth making it big and bold. Entrepreneurs often feel like they need to do it all. The truth is, there are only so many hours in a day. You can’t do it all!

Pick one or two social media platforms and work on only those. And if you’re really crunched for time, just pick one to start.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Maybe your customer doesn’t use social media at all. If that’s the case, then focus on engaging them where they do hang out or through a blog on your website.

Mistake #3: Not Automating

Again, you’re not superhuman.

Automate and batch your social media posts as much as possible. Leverage that precious time you have and get the most bang for your buck.

This comes down to planning. Use that marketing calendar and strategy you created to schedule out your social media posts. There are several services out there for different platforms that will allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time.

If you can afford it, outsource your social media posting to a virtual assistant who can take this task off your plate. If they are good, it will be money well-spent.

Save yourself the time and stress while growing your business with social media!