Social media has given small businesses a boost as it relates to marketing and promotion. Companies can build a brand, interact with current and future customers in ways not possible 20 years ago.

Though companies can now leverage this powerful tool that is social media, it can also become a liability if a business is not careful. As a company that helps others navigate the Social Media maze, we have listed six things a business can do to try and avoid a Social mess.

Limit Account Access

One of the first things a small business should consider is whom they will give access too. It may sound like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised as to how many people are allowed access to some accounts. Security is the first reason you should limit access. Second is because you want to make sure your business is putting out consistent messaging. Designate one or two people as your Social Media managers and limit access to those individuals.

Personal Opinions on Business Accounts

Our staff is often taken aback at the complete lack of civility we see on Social Media. Not only do we see it from individuals, but from business as well. Talking about Politics and Religion in any business setting has long been a no-no. Customers are not buying from you because of your position on a particular political topic; they are buying because you fix a problem or need they have. As a business, you should always have your messaging be about the customer, not you.

Take the ME out of Social Media

Sure, letting customers know they can save big this week with a killer promo code is excellent and should be part of your strategy. However, making all of your posts about you will become dull, stale, and in some cases, annoying to social users.

Engage with your customers, make posts that directly speak to the community, to their interests, and or problems. Creating content that solves problems positions your business as the authority. Content Marketing is an excellent way for small businesses to develop authority within a specific space. Even if you have a hard sell within it, people are willing to listen because the content has value to them.

Focus on your Business and Image

Social Media is a way for a business to promote themselves and engage with the public on a social level. Do not stray away from the reasons you are there. Do not talk about your competition or engage in negative interactions. Try to feed off negativity, take it as an opportunity to display your professionalism and build credit with the other customers. Make your social persona a positive one.

Beware of posting frequency.

Each platform has different benchmarks. Do your research on best practices and or contact a company that specializes in managing social media accounts. Overposting can be just as detrimental to your social growth as under posting can be. Finding a balance as to how many times and when you should be posting will directly impact your return on your efforts.

Make sure your content has a Social Aspect

Content should be engaging and have some personality. Social Media presents businesses with a chance to show their values and culture. Ask questions within the community, let others tell you their problems. It can become a great form of market research. Share other content that is relevant to your products and services. Sharing other material makes it more likely they may share yours.

In the end, you want to have a plan and use Social Media as a tool to grow business.