Well, what do we know? Certainly social business is a different way of doing business that is for sure. It doesn’t play by the same rules as say advertising and it has the potential to affect the entire organization, from stakeholder to customer. But that isn’t a reason to run to the hills. In fact it might the reason to raise to the challenge and develop a Social Marketing campaign.
Potentially all those stakeholders now have easy access to platforms that can amplify their voices. It’s important to empower stakeholders so their voices will contribute to the success of your business and make them / utilise them as Brand Advocates . However, if you fail to understand and act accordingl you can make serious mistakes.
Facts & Figures:51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow. (Source: Social Media Examiner) Consequences of this magnitude ought to be enough motivation to be serious about avoiding the common pitfalls
So how can you make sure that you are utilising social media properly and don’t make those huge mistakes.
1. Lack of a Strategy or Plan
Most of the time social is introduced into marketing as a tactic. Usually an executive will either ask a question “Why aren’t we on Twiiter Or “We need to be on ?,“ when most likely the underlying motive is really “we need to be on this platform because our competition is or everyone else is”. This reminds me of the mid 90’s and the phase where a lot of small / medium sized businesses ploughed head first into website and e-commence without one moment of thought or planning. Ask yourself; WHY – WHOM – WHEN – WHERE.
Not having a plan / strategy is going to cost you in a variety of ways: Tactical approach suggests that social is simply another channel to be exploited; it’s often viewed as free marketing and handed over to the office junior. In fact only recently one of my most respected marketing colleges said the same… or updates and posts are added as a can not most do. Instead of well-planned and coordinated messages, customers are assaulted with a barrage of disjointed messages that don’t dovetail into the sales pipeline and the businesses over-arching strategy.
So apply some old fashion logic and “think before you speak,” jumping on the bandwagon “because everyone’s doing it,” can get you into trouble if you’re not intentional about having a plan first. & Importantly Two ears, one mouth.
What I mean is read and take note of the conversations taking place about your business both good and bad and react properly, timely and thoughtfully.
2. Broadcasting – Too much talking not enough listening
The traditional advertising model, sending messages to create brand awareness, hasn’t worked in the social marketing arena. You need to engage and interest your audience in this arena; Recent statics reveal the 3 most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:
- Connecting with customers
It’s important that businesses focus on connecting with customers, make them feel special and wanted by you. Because if you can connect with prospects / customers by offering helpful solutions / advice / insights you will be able to WIN SHARE OF MIND and that leads to SHARE OF WALLET.
3. No one’s home
No posts, no responses, no activity whatsoever. An obvious risk is consumers will dismiss your brand as irrelevant and seek a competitor; equally concerning, this kind of presence leaves a company vulnerable to negative comments or customer’s expecting answers and being frustrated.
Take why the social marketing strategy has to be thought out and implemented properly. Don’t leave it to the junior in the office to post on her way home! Make integral to your sales and marketing plan and see where each post / blog fits along the sales pipeline.
Almost 60% of people worldwide say they expect brands to respond to social media comments regarding service at least most of the time, according to a new report. (Source: Mashable)
All it all it might seem too much, too difficult but with a little understanding and patience, Social Media marketing can make a massive difference to your bottom Line.