Monday, May 7, 2012

18 Ways to Fail in Social Media Marketing

Many businesses dabble in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks, then give up and proclaim "It didn't work for us."

Since I've seen fantastic SEO, sales, and customer relations results tied to social media campaigns, I suspect these businesses didn't do social media marketing correctly.

Here are some common errors:

(1) Incomplete profiles, no photos of CEO or staff, poor descriptions of the company.

(2) Relying on relentless inspirational quotes, instead of speaking in their own, authentic voice.

(3) No compelling differentiation from their competitors, which causes them to seem generic, like any random business in their field.

(4) Not understanding the core values of social media: sharing and caring.

(5) Only posting one message per day.

(6) Never interacting in a warm, human, non-commercial manner with online community members.

(7) Using we-oriented corporate fluff, instead of customer-centric communications.

(8) Forgetting to provide store address, phone number, business hours, directions, etc. in their About / Info page.

(9) Not encouraging company staff to speak on behalf of the company on social media, with specific guidelines and goals.

(10) Ignoring questions, complaints, and suggestions from customers.

(11) Never posting discount coupons, contests, or other interactive content.

(12) Never joking around, but seeming stiff, aloof, and impersonal.

(13) Not posting anything provocative, astonishing, hilarious, or innovative, but playing it safe and boring.

(14) Never clicking Like, Share, or Comment on anyone else's posts.

(15) Never posting any photos or videos.

(16) Grinding out sales hype, but never sharing expertise, how to tips, advice, product selection guidance, or industry news.

(17) Not really liking social media, but doing it reluctantly because it seems mandatory to give the impression of recognizing its importance.

(18) Giving up on social media before attracting a large following by using it to provide value to the community and generate positive buzz for your business.

There are many other ways to do social media ineffectively, but these are some of the main ones. If you keep these pitfalls in mind, and avoid them, you'll run circles around your competitors.

Social media is a powerful tool for building good online reputation, customer loyalty, and sales for your company.

If you need more help, contact me today.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

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