In this article, we’re going to list some small business social media marketing mistakes to avoid. First, failing to write effective direct response copy will bring about disastrous results. Direct response messaging has one main goal: get the intended audience to take action.

Effective social media marketers create direct response copy almost exclusively, because it is an extremely effective form of promotional communication that can easily be adapted for all products, services and delivery methods. I mention it now because, in spite of all the available resources, most small business owners fail to use effective copy elements in their websites written, audio, or video communication.

Here is the scenario – a small business owner lists their products, services and even special offers without demanding the reader take some form of action such as ‘buy now’ or ‘sign-up’. In my expert opinion, most websites do not contain attention grabbing headlines, risk-free guarantee policies, and compelling customer testimonials. Instead, you usually find something like a ‘welcome page’ or the company’s name splashed across the top of the page, exactly where a benefit driven headline belongs.

And we all understand how cautious many consumers are about handing over money in exchange for products or services, so why not make it as easy as possible for them to do so by shifting the risk from them to you with an ironclad guarantee?

Additionally, third-party feedback is one of the fastest and most effective ways to establish marketplace credibility, yet few entrepreneurs take advantage of their immense power by showcasing customer testimonials throughout their social media channels and website marketing campaigns. Direct response explains the direction in which marketing and business is heading.

Rather than shouting fuzzy messages to the masses, social media marketing should focus on crafting specific messages for particular people and encouraging them to act as directed. Understand that interactivity is at the heart of direct response and the Internet is the best direct response technique in the history of the world!

Next, failing to build permission-based e-mail marketing lists will result in catastrophic failure. Ask any successful social media marketer and they will tell you this is the holy grail of online marketing. They’ll tell you it’s their e-mail list and nothing else can generate such fantastic results. Regardless of whether they’re selling package products, giving away free information, or anything else in between, they will all be focused on obtaining their website visitors name and e-mail address. Why?

People who share their information with marketers have essentially given them permission to send promotional e-mail and other information. But once again, many fail to collect this valuable information-and it’s a huge mistake. One reason for this is they believe that marketing is a one-shot transaction. They focus their efforts on making immediate sales instead of using a sounder, relationship building model. Internet marketing, through use of social media, is a lot like building a personal relationship: it takes time, effort and commitment to develop lasting bonds. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to create a system that leads your prospects down a comfortable and natural path to the first sale and many more after that.

In the history of commerce, is there any better tool than social media for building such long-lasting relationships? So unless you sell impulse buy products or your target audience is pre-sold before landing on your site – the two exceptions to this rule of thumb – we strongly encourage you to use a marketing funnel approach. Building e-mail lists is the way to accomplish this.

This strategy works because it addresses a fundamental consumer psychological need: people are more apt to purchase products and services from companies they know, like, and trust; and it is much more effective and less expensive to get more out of existing customers than it is to attract new ones. One of the biggest mistakes made by new social media marketers is to not have an effective traffic generation strategy. Many entrepreneurs erroneously believe that the famous phrase ‘build it and they will come’ applies to their website. They are wrong. If you want to get people to your site, you need to understand the basic laws and principles that govern Internet traffic, and apply them.

As a social media marketer, understand that great marketing is a methodical and accountable process. There are no secret tricks that will effectively drive tons of qualified visitors to your website. And even though there are many things you can do to jump-start your progress, you will need to carefully plan each one if you want your site to be wildly successful.

But for now, keep in mind two things:

1. Your goal should be to entice the right people to your website, not just visitors 2. The right people don’t visit your website by happenstance. They’ll arrive because you’ve developed a comprehensive plan and executed it using well-thought-out strategies and tactics