Starting a small business is not easy. It’s fast paced and full of competition, depending on what you’re doing. Despite a growing number of small companies joining social media, they are making these five same major mistakes.

Lack of Consistency

One of the most important building blocks to building a memorable brand is consistency. When your customers are shopping for a particular product or service, you want them to spot your brand from a mile away. When it comes to building a memorable brand, it’s all consistency. The most memorable brands stick to our heads because their presence is defined by repeating the same logo, fonts and images throughout multiple channels.

Many small businesses make the mistake of not having consistency in their social media content or a standardized brand style guide. If I’m a customer who found out about your business online, the content that the business posts on social media should foreshadow the experience and vibe that I would get while being here.

Business owners and social media managers alike must ask themselves, “What kind of impression or mood or atmosphere do I want my business to portray?” That answer would vary on the circumstances; a gritty Soho nightclub aimed at finance bros would have a completely different vibe to an independent bookstore in Williamsburg that is frequented by Brooklyn podcasters.

Whatever you’re trying to portray yourself as, it is crucial to be consistent to it when social media posting. When your potential customers are sifting through your online presence, they’re not just seeing everything in a vacuum; they are checking every post which if consistent can create a consistent visual narrative . The best platform for this is Instagram due to its grid layout.

Once you’ve decided on a brand aesthetic, you’re gonna ask yourself, “How do I maintain consistency?” To build visual consistency, go for photos that compliment each other and if you don’t know what that means, I mean a consistent color scheme. Edit the photos the same way. Use the same kind of camera. Make everything look like it belongs together.

Poor Quality Photos

Many small businesses make the mistake of posting photos with poor quality. You can do better. People who live and breath social media are now used to high quality images and anything less than that is unacceptable to both users and Instagram’s algorithm. The design of social media feeds makes it so that your business’ posts will appear on the same footing as the friends, celebrities and other influencers potential customers are following.

Modern tech has made producing high quality images easy to find and make. Your average smartphone can produce images with the same quality as the best digital cameras and if you’re not convinced, basic digital cameras are affordable for less than $1000. Image quality is no longer dependent on the type of camera but how you use the camera. Things like composition and proper exposure now have more prominence.

Not Utilizing User Generated Content

The majority of small business is not making use of user-generated content. What is it? It’s social media content created by your customers. Memes. Testimonials. You name it. When customers talk about your brand, they are spending less time talking about someone else’ and can introduce yours to their network of followers. People are more inclined to try an unfamiliar product or service if it was recommended or approved by a friend. This same phenomenon extends to social media.

No Paid Ads

Many business owners think they can get away by posting organic content. It doesn’t work like that anymore. The businesses that do get notable organic growth are a small minority. Growing your social media presence organically is a long, arduous process involving a lot of luck. Expedite your rate of page growth and engagement by using paid ads which can allow for detailed targeting and insights.

Not Having Any Social Media Presence

Perhaps the biggest mistake restaurants make on social media is not having any social media at all. Recent estimates say the average American spends over 2 hours and 22 minutes a day using social media. If your restaurant is not on social media, then you are missing out on a reliable channel to reach potential customers. Social media also can be used as a means of shaping public perception and increasing social credit.

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