Social media. Much had been written, everyone is talking about it. Everyone wants to know what you are doing in it. Still many folks do not understand the process. But that doesn’t stop some companies from jumping in anyway. However, that might not be the best strategy.
Executing a social media strategy that makes a difference takes thought, planning and consistent execution. In social media many companies feel the pressure to be involved and jump in before they have really thought it through. They end up making one or more of these easy-to-avoid mistakes:
- Starting without a plan. A fairly common way for some companies to get started in social media is to sign up for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts and then “let’s see what happens.” It’s also likely that almost nothing will happen and certainly the world won’t beat a path to your door to see what your next pearl of wisdom will be. Social media is a crowded place and you need to carefully stake out your audience, your voice and your expertise. It will not “just take off” on its own.
- Not knowing the audience. Social media platforms are excellent places to find and grow an audience for what you have to say. However, your content must be relevant to the audience to get noticed. You’ll attract different audiences based on how your position your social media accounts and by the content that you post.
- Broadcasting the same exact thing over all networks. One seemingly popular strategy is to join all the relevant social media platforms and then, send out the same exact news releases, at the same time, on all of the networks. Since many in your audience will sign up for multiple social media networks, based on their favorites, you’ll be sending out redundant messages. A more forward thinking strategy would be to give each network a different voice. Concentrate on different things in different streams. Grow different types of audiences.
- Mixing business with pleasure. This tends to happen with small entrepreneurial companies where the owner uses the company’s Twitter account to tweet out personal opinions, comments on service at restaurants and the like. Telling us you have a hangover is not a way to enhance your brand. Keep this type of chatter on a personal account and not on anything associated with your brand.
- Losing interest over time. Many companies start sending out all sorts of content through social media and after a few months have run out of ideas or the person who was doing all the activity left the company, etc. Social media is no longer something you “try and see if it works.” It works and your competitors are making it work. If you begin a social media outreach the goal is to make it an asset to your business and a major boost in your branding. “There is no try; there is only do.”
Social media is with us to stay. It’s become a complex and interesting world where marketers have a chance to differentiate our brands and showcase innovative content. Embrace it, understand it and make it happen. You hopefully won’t make these mistakes!
Has your social media implementation had issues? Did you make any of these mistakes?
You can connect with Eric on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericlundbohm/
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