Social media is all around us.
Whether you’re a small company or a large corporation, there is a good chance you are partaking in the social media phenomena that has gripped the world in recent years.
That being said, companies cannot just wing it when it comes to social media. By doing just that, they risk alienating the very individuals they’re trying to attract.
According to emarketer.com, four out of five U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees will use social media marketing this year. That’s quite an increase from 2008 when only 42% of businesses marketed via social media. With consumer usage of social media increasing in the U.S. and around the world, marketers have moved from careful engagement to a full-on attack.
While many businesses are waging an all-out battle in utilizing social media in their marketing campaigns, there are land mines to dodge along the route.
In order to steer clear of these potential problems, there are a number of practices businesses should avoid when using social media:
- Over promoting – We all get bombarded on a daily basis with emails and other electronic forms of transmissions from individuals and companies wanting to alert us to a product, sell us something or just plain want our attention. One major mistake companies can make is too much promotion. By too much promotional information, you risk turning off your followers (current and potential customers). A little self-promotion here and there is fine, but be sure to balance things out so your copy doesn’t take on the look of e-mail spam.
- Lack of engagement – When a follower comments about your business via Facebook, Twitter etc., do you respond? While you should not get caught up in an on-going discussion or dispute with a follower, responding in brief shows your interest in a follower’s question, comment or concern. By creating a relationship with those who follow you, you’re giving them an ear and keeping the lines of communication open.
- Leaving your social media profile to chance – While more and more companies try and do more with less, giving spotty attention to your social media efforts will end up costing you followers and potential sales down the road. Simply creating an account will not get the job done; manage it and be sure it receives the necessary attention to bring in a regular stream of followers.
- Know the difference between business and personal accounts – Whether a business has a written policy or verbal one, it is important for those heading up the marketing efforts to differentiate between business and personal social media. Assuming what you’re going to say is something you’d think twice about telling a boss, co-worker or client in person, then think twice about saying it on a company social media venue.
- Not measuring social media analytics – What is the sense of having a social media campaign if you are not going to follow up on it? Once your goals are in place, how will you track your results? There are different tools available for companies to track their social media footprints, including Klout, Social Mention, Twazzup, Scoutlabs and EvoApp to name just a few.
- Traveling the unknown road – You have a social media strategy but it is drawn up on a roadmap with no final destination. As noted earlier, what are your goals with social media? Are you in it just because the competition is too or are you in it to achieve something? By forming a strategic plan for your social media ventures, you stand a better chance of accomplishing something. Branding and marketing via social engagement can be a boon to your business if you know how to use it in the first place.
While these are but a few of the mistakes businesses can make with social media, there are endless possibilities too.
As more businesses reach out to consumers, are you a follower or a leader in the world of social media?