Avoiding Social Media Pitfalls
There are quite a few reasons why companies engaged in online marketing would turn to social media. After all – as far as cost-effective tools go, it is relatively easy to use with respect to the number of consumers it allows organizations to contact. However, when small business marketers don’t practice certain techniques and take some important lessons to heart, a social media campaign can easily go awry.
Fortunately, the basis for these mistakes can easily be cleared up. The most important thing for social networking professionals to remember is that everything about an organization’s appearance has to be carefully managed on these platforms. While people who intend to socialize with their friends do this to some extent, the perceptions of private companies are even more distorted – and with good reason. Here are some common pitfalls that companies new to the social media game are often guilty of.
It can be frightening to head out into the world of the internet for no other reason than the fact that it’s a wide open world. On Facebook and other sites, nearly anyone can comment if a moderator isn’t careful. That’s why companies need to get their feet in the door early and set up private profiles or pages. A distinction must be made between whether or not an organization will embrace public views or private control. The former means that there may be some random mudslinging or insults, an the latter gives less exposure. Be sure not to respond too vociferously to negative comments since they’re often unfounded. However, many people will be able to see them.
When a business embraces social media, it’s more apt to say that it wraps it up in a bear hug. Constant vigilance is required so that consumers will become confident that their messages, questions and suggestions are all met with rapid and detailed responses. If even a day goes by when a tweet goes untweeted or a check-in isn’t registered, customers who are prime targets of online marketing campaigns will quickly lose interest. Be as responsive as possible to any and all contact with people on the internet so that a relationship in real life can be established as quickly as possible.
Failure to partner
The fastest way to expand a potential pool of customers is by sharing with other companies. While competitors shouldn’t necessarily be a company’s best friends, other regional or related organizations can be friends or followers of a business on the internet. This is a subtle form of market research and synergy, as it allows marketers to target the customer bases of organizations that seem as if they’d be a good fit. However, remember that the reverse is the same.
Overt influence on dialogue
The internet appeals to customers so much because it gives them an opportunity to freely share and discuss whatever they like. In the realm of commercial affairs, this means that they’re unbridled from the yoke of corporate influence. In layman’s terms, no one is looking over their shoulders. This means that both positive and negative reactions, unfounded or not, will be linked with a company. The cost of suppressing unflattering commentary is not worth the risk of alienating these 21st century arbiters of quality. Don’t create fake reviews or artificial users simply to boost one’s appeal, someone will notice.
Making platforms into islands
The users of different social media websites aren’t always contiguous, but neither are they islands completely separate from one another. As a result, no tweet should ever really be devoid of information that could also be expanded into a Facebook status. The challenge is to customize each one for the particular service on which it’s being transmitted.