Social media marketing is a big deal, no question. There is a vast diversity of people on these platforms with a vast number of rules and norms that govern these social media processes. To business owners who are thinking social media marketing as an option to build a relationship with their customers and general online presence, here are a few things you should know to stay away from if you want to make headway. I made this a quick read; enjoy.
Ignoring the “social” part of social media
Sell! Sell! Sell! Those are the major things on the minds of most entrepreneurs but the one thing they fail to remember is that people come to media to have some fun and end up interacting with the “fun” part of brands. If used properly, social media can be used to “humanize” your brand. Keep it interesting. Share good stuff. Don’t be afraid to let a bit of your personality shine through. People do business with people, not companies.
Thinking social media is free
There are too many naive entrepreneurs in the world today, they feel they can just put up a landing page on Facebook and expect people to rush and interact with their pages. Let me start by saying “There are thousands of other similar businesses on social media too”. To be effective, social media requires strategic planning and dedicated resources. If you have no budget/time to spend and want to push your social media pages, then you are better off sticking to your fliers. If you’re a business owner who loves Twitter, that’s awesome, but if you’re not, you need to make sure you have someone on your team with ownership and accountability.
Ignoring social media altogether, because they don’t have time to understand its impact
This is 2013, the age that many companies continue to commit digital suicide when other brands are unlocking the power and ROI that is available via social platforms. Entrepreneurs still misinterpret social media as distractions, silly networks and apps that kids use. The secret to leveraging on social media is to take the time to really think about how you can use social (and mobile) to deliver value to customers and strengthen your brand promise.
Thinking that simply having a Facebook page and a Twitter account means they’re doing social-media marketing
Facebook has over 1 billion fans- true, Twitter has crossed the 300 million mark- yes, but two questions concern you- How many of this total population is actually relevant to your brand? And how often do you engage with this population? A successful social media marketing campaign requires engagement and dialogue with your audience, and that doesn’t mean one or two “updates” a week. It means participating in discussions and “humanizing” your brand. This is what builds brand loyalty, authority and credibility.
Trying to be active on every social media platform is a big mistake
Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Path – there is a social media for every alphabet. This can leave entrepreneurs concerned a lot of times. Don’t be scared, make a plan or sit down with someone who can help you make a plan about what social media marketing channels align with your goals as an organization. Time is money and the more channels you are active on, the more time they require for upkeep. Take a look at each channel and understand what audience is active on that network and if they match your customer base and your company’s messaging. A healthy starting point for most organizations is using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at first since each have a broad user base and can help many different types of businesses reach their goals.
Inconsistent branding on different social media sites
The importance of “look and feel” consistency across platforms can never be over emphasized. A lot of time you visit a brands website and get one look, feel and message but then totally different ones on their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. Presenting one consistent brand in logo, look and message is critical. To do this, use only one or two photos for all your social-media sites. Customize your Twitter and Facebook backgrounds using elements from your website. Keep the keywords and core descriptions of who you are and what you do relatively the same across all sites. Regularly update this information, bring out the power of your brand with designs that “Pop” and “convert”. To understand more about branding, See best brand identity design practices for your business .