“Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
This is the description from Wikipedia, I thought it might be pertinent to start this blog post, that will detail how to avoid common mistakes when marketing through Social Media, with a definition. I tried this in the office before I wrote this and although everyone obviously knew what it was and what it did it was quickly evident it wasn’t easy to describe. When you apply this commercially, “how do we make money from Social Media,” it’s the ‘what’ and ‘how’ that become critical and harder to define.
This part of Social Media Marketing will undoubtedly be individual to each business and industry but there are common mistakes that you can avoid whilst you define your own individual approach, we’ll look at some of the issues over the next 2 posts.
Social Media Mistakes.
It’s a subtle Sales tool – look back at the definition at the start of the post and you’ll notice the word ‘sell’ isn’t present, nor is ‘marketing’ or anything that could be defined as ‘commercial’. That’s not to say that you can’t generate leads or enquiries and ultimately revenue from it, you just have to adopt a more subtle approach.
Instead of having pictures of what you sell with ‘buy me’ signs, highlight the benefits, vision or the lifestyle behind the product or service.
Eg, if you sold contact lenses you would look at the lifestyle choice it allows you as a way of marketing. Camping and festivals at this time of the year, swimming whilst on holiday – all these are selling points of the product but are presented in a subtle way. The message is all about what it allows you to do and through Social Media you can encourage posts and pictures from users who are all living that lifestyle / vision which is a powerful endorsement in today’s digital world.
Cheating – don’t do it! A program this week highlighted the fact that you can buy ‘likes’, ‘views’ etc but it’s just not worth it. You want people that are going to share, talk about and want to know what it is you are saying – that’s the whole point of Social Media Marketing, it’s about creating content that is thoughtful and interesting enough that people are engaged by it.
You won’t get that from a clicker in Dhaka, furthermore if the content isn’t engaging enough to keep visitors it may look slightly suspicious that you have 45,000 followers! The old adage, “Quality over quantity,” has never been more relevant to this approach.
Comments – you’re going to get them, hopefully! The other aspect is that not all of them, in fact you can count on the fact that some of them will be negative or less than complimentary.
Ignoring these, deleting them or pretending they are not there is simply not an option.
Act on them, take them on board and more importantly respond and let the complainant know what it is you have done to change / resolve the issue. They aren’t the only ones watching!
All companies make mistakes. It’s how they deal with them subsequently that is important, both to the business so that they don’t repeat the error but more importantly for the customer, it shows they’re valued and listened to – which is what every customer wants………don’t you?
Tomorrow we’ll finish off this post by looking at different messages for different platforms and how to create and find content.