Last week, you got to know a little more about my new role as a contributor to Contracting Business.com. If you missed last week’s article, check it out here.

The Web is filled with tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your brand’s social networks. What are often overlooked are the understandable marketing mistakes so many businesses make during the day-to-day shuffle of running a business.

Here are three common mistakes I notice that businesses make on their social media pages:

1. Avoiding Complaints (Or Waiting Too Long To Reply)

When you provide a public forum for all clients and fans, it’s inevitable that eventually a client or prospect will have a complaint, concern, or critical question. And, they will ask it very publicly in front of your audience.

You should address this on your social media page the same way as if it happened in your store or on a service visit. It’s even more important to handle these issues quickly and correctly on your social media sites because other people are listening.

Handling a public complaint or bad review the right way can be a positive for your business. It gives your clients and prospects the opportunity to see you give real time customer support, and that’s comforting to online buyers choosing what company to give money to.

2. Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Most HVAC businesses have a Facebook or Twitter account these days. Most of them populate those pages with blog articles, videos, questions to clients, links, etc. While it’s important to deliver this type of content to attract potential customers, it’s also important to create a fun environment for the fans you’ve already acquired.

Here are some examples of posts on our DigitalSherpa Facebook page that have gotten the most engagement from our fanbase:

• Help name our mascot

• International Caps Lock Day, talk in all caps with us

• What is the silliest combination of emoticons you can come up with now that Facebook is allowing them?

These posts don’t directly attract new Web traffic or leads, but they get your fans talking with you and other people in their networks will notice.

3. Not Posting Content Daily

The most important and certainly most common mistake is not setting aside a dedicated time to post content daily. There are just too many unexpected daily interruptions and fire drills while running a business to always remember a Facebook or Twitter page. If you don’t have an employee dedicated to your Web marketing and you’re not working with a marketing company to help you, set aside some time each week to plan your social content.

Consumers are so reliant on customer reviews of social brand pages to help them make buying decisions. Having a neglected or forgotten brand page on the Web is as bad as not having one at all. Each of your businesses’ Web properties should reflect an engaged and supportive atmosphere where a consumer can comfortably spend and expect quality customer support.

What are some other mistakes you notice businesses making on social networks? E-mail them to me at chris@digitalsherpa.com.

Chris Vaughn is the Content Marketing Director for DigitalSherpa, the world's largest content marketing provider for small businesses. With the recent acquisition of SocialTract, DigitalSherpa is thrilled to welcome the HVAC community in to our client family. Learn more about content marketing and check out our free e-books and whitepapers at http://digitalsherpa.com. Connect with Chris and the DigitalSherpa team on Facebook and Twitter or e-mail Chris directly at cvaughn@digitalsherpa.com.