We all make mistakes when we're learning something new. That philosophy stands true for business people and school children alike. So what separates those who learn and succeed from those who learn and fail? Why, it's the correction of one's mistakes and seeking improvement, of course!
Marketers and business owners are integrating social media as a new component in their marketing strategy every day. Are you making any of the following social media strategy faux pas? No worries if you are. Just don't do it again. ;-)
How to Screw Up Your Social Media Strategy
1. Set up your profile, and ignore it forever. I won't call anyone out specifically, but unfortunately, I see this a lot. (And I mean, a lot.) I applaud businesses that take the first big leap in creating a Facebook Page or LinkedIn group, giving their customers and fans a new home to communicate with their business. But frankly, if you don't listen, check in, and say hello every once in a while -- it's not very valuable!
2. Ignore customers and followers in need. Now that's just mean! However, I'm sure your business wouldn't outright ignore a person. (Right?) More likely, you simply didn't see that person's request. That's why it is so important to develop solid social media monitoring habits so you always catch notice of these calls for support. Because even if you simply didn't notice a tweet or Facebook post, that person might just assume you don't care to help.
3. Discourage non-marketing employees from representing your company. Only marketing people can successfully represent your company, right? Wrong! By allowing all employees to tweet company content, discuss what they're working on, or announce special news, your business' reach just tripled... quadrupled. (You count your employees and do the math.) That's very valuable, especially when you're all-hands-on-deck regarding a specific announcement.
4. Have management review all social media posts and responses before publishing. At HubSpot, our social media policy is pretty simple: "Use Common Sense." And we encourage others to adopt that same attitude. When you're interacting through social media channels, the name of the game is fast and nimble. Unless you have a person dedicated to reviewing social media content who also has the response time of a tennis player, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Create a list of the type of content you want published, and trust your employees from there. You'll be glad you did.
5. Never encourage discussion. No way you'd ever want to hear others' opinions, would you? There are two valuable benefits that come from posting content that encourages a response: 1) healthy debate or discussion, and 2) the natural 'viral effect' that develops from heavily commented and shared content on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, it's much easier to post a link, and leave it at that. But the value of that post increases significantly if you say, "Here's a resource. What do you think?"
6. Give up after three weeks. "I'm not getting social media results right now, so clearly it's useless." Whoa, there! Did you even give it a solid chance? When you go to a networking event, do you expect to develop strong business relationships with all 50 attendees that very evening? I imagine you understand it will take multiple weeks, perhaps months of meetups before you develop solid relationships with every person. Similarly, it takes lots of commitment and nurturing to develop a successful community through any social network, too.
So what do you think? Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? How have you improved? What other social media mistakes should businesses avoid?