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3 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Your Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is often seen as the quick fix for marketing your struggling business.3 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Your Social Media Marketing

Obtain some Facebook likes, even buy some fake Twitter followers, tell customers you are the best company in the world in your blog articles and start blasting away. The cavalry will then show up on white horses and save the day.

The truth.

It takes time, effort and persistence.

The real premise of social media is adding value with content that engages your customers which inspires, educates, informs and maybe even entertains. This means forgetting about “you” and thinking about “them”

This means adding value to your audience by solving their problems with content that includes “How To” articles,white papers and ebooks on your blog and website.

Small businesses see the potential of tapping into Social Media. They come with different expectations that are built on the foundations of traditional marketing which include one way conversations, email blasts with only sales messages and  not willing to listen to negative comments.

Here are three common mistakes you should avoid with your social media marketing.

Mistake #1.  Delete unwanted comments

Some businesses think of social media as a free platform to broadcast commercial messages which will somehow go viral very quickly. Yet they have been slow to embrace this media due to one major concern.

The dreaded “negative” comment.

They are aware that this same channel can be used by the public to spread less desirable comments about the brand.

So instead of planning strategies that engage with the community, businesses have social media police on standby who are ever ready to delete unwanted comments or queries.

This is not necessary nor desirable.

Getting social is about making connections that would lead to further actions. That includes getting to know and listening to the views of your guests. It is in observing what your market likes, shares and comments that you get a better sense of what’s on their minds.  And these insights help you adapt your products and services to cater to their needs.

A business that only wants to receive positive comments is not ready to go into a deeper business relationship with your audience. Your brand will be perceived to be defensive or narrow minded and conversion cannot take place. This fear-base mentality does not attract raving or loyal clients.

I recommend instead that clients be engaging and respond to comments in a positive and timely manner, and turn every conversation into an opportunity that builds trust. 

Mistake #2.  Auto-Post the same message on all social networks.

Many small businesses do not have the time to tend to their social media accounts. They want  a magic button that would post their messages across different social media channels and give them unlimited coverage.

I tell them this magic button does not exist.

I suggest instead that businesses focus on one or two platforms and take time to show up authentically to connect with their market. People hang around Social Media networks looking to chill or have a conversation. They do not respond well to robots that auto post messages from other Social Media channels.

If you would not say the same thing in a board meeting as you would in a social party, why then would you auto post the same message across different social media platforms?

By the way, hash tags look really ugly on Facebook.

Mistake #3. Blast first, control damage later

This is one of the most popular mistakes that businesses make. They want to broadcast emails with commercial messages to contacts without first getting their consent such as via an optin on their blog. Some would happily buy or exchange email lists so they can reach more people in a shorter time.

While businesses are aware that response rate in these cases will be low,  some are still willing to go ahead. Why? They see this as a quick and cheap way to get their messages into the mail boxes of thousands of people.

I tell them these mails may not never reach any inboxes let alone be read.

Businesses need to be reminded that their reputation is at stake and that relationships can be easily damaged with unsolicited emails. I spend a lot of time explaining the importance of permission-based marketing to potential clients.

Some would argue that since they are receiving this sort of mails they should be able to do the same.

But common practice does not necessarily represent best practice. I  recommend that clients ask for specific consent from prospects before sending any commercial newsletters. After all I don’t want my clients to be flagged as spamming.

Forcing messages onto others, even if you provide them with the unsubscribe link, does not show respect and will not give you the happy loyal clients you are looking for.

So how do you use social media for marketing?

Social Media Marketing is not about putting up a Facebook page or blasting email messages. It is an additional tool in your total marketing plan. To better understand what Social Media is and how it can help your business you’ll need to invest time in learning this or hire someone who knows how this thing works.

Work with the specialist so you don’t end up losing more in the long term

About the Author: Louisa Chan helps training and wellness professionals worldwide set up and grow their businesses using online marketing. She is an online educator and consultant who has worked with multi-national corporations as well as solo-preneurs. Visit Louisa’s website at http://www.SynergyMarketingPro.com for more information.

 

 

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My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

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Comments

  • RGBSocial

    Hey Louisa –

    Thanks for the post. I’ve found these to be incredibly common mistakes that organizations of varying size seem to make.

    Receipt of unwanted comments in particular is something I’ve
    seen cause incredible strain and even cause some businesses to consider pulling
    their official social media presence altogether. Deleting these unwanted comments is no solution either, as problems are just being ignored. Nobody would see a fire burning in their house and just turn away hoping for it to go away, they’d deal with it head on… put that fire out.

    Also, the receipt and dealing with negative comments, rather
    than deleting them, can actually be a positive for many businesses. Negative
    comments can provide opportunity for continuous improvement, can mitigate consumer skepticism about businesses that seem ‘too good’ by not showcasing the occasional negative comment or review, and can demonstrate transparency and help to build trust among your consumers, to list a few.

    Anyway, thanks again for spreading the good word about these
    common mistakes.

    Matthew.

    • Thanks for your comment Matthew. I agree with you that this is one area that causes a lot of concern to businesses.

      I don’t think it is every possible to please everyone but we certainly can respond to these comments. The fact that people take time to write show that they care enough to want changes.

      Business providers can acknowledge, investigate and reflect on these comments for continuous improvement. Who knows, you may win over your most difficult clients…

    • Yes indeed. A particularly difficult thing for government agencies to embrace as people love to hate government and view apolitical agencies in the same light as policy makers and political parties

      • Hi Daniel, Unfortunately there will always be those who may not agree with us all the time. We can’t control how others will respond, but we can offer valuable solutions!

  • Jennifer Agrazada-Schreiner

    Hash tags are about to be deemed important on Facebook from what I have been reading about social media. It is just a question on when. Any inputs?

    • It has been rumoured that the hashtags will be coming to Facebook and with Google+ using them I think it is a just a matter of time

    • Rumor has it hashtags will be integrated into Graph Search.

  • Amy Birch

    Great post, thank you Louisa. It is a slow process (something I’m learning everyday!), but I think the key to building a decent following, on any social site, is the content you share. Sharing informative or helpful articles, and talking to others in your industry seems to be helping us at the moment. Slow and steady wins the race as they say 😉

    • Cant’ agree with you more there Amy! There has to be a reason for people to come join your fold.

  • Daron Henson

    Thank you for this article. It is filled with good advice.

  • Thanks for sharing the information. This will help to eliminate unwanted data and will make the site or information qualitative.

    • Hi Nickie, You are most welcomed! It is my hope that more meaningful and helpful content be shared for the benefit of all!

  • Hi Sandra,

    Glad you find the article helpful.

    The basic difference between a social network site and a news aggregator to me is this: on an aggretator site you either collect and publish a series of your own material or you source and pass on/share an aggregate of others content. This serves as a “central” place for interesting and valuable content.

    On social networking sites, you post, tweet or pin content at individual sites one at a time. These message could be similar but worded differently for each platform to suit the audience and nuance of that platform.There can be your own content or content of others that you share and pass on.

    So you can aggregate a series of related content (maybe based on topic) on top of being active on the social networking sites of your choice.

    Hope this helps

  • Social media marketing is now an important part of online marketing. It is all about getting a huge amount of traffic to website. Therefore, it is important to avoid mistakes while using it for your business.

  • This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic

  • Hi this one is great and is really a good post

  • Great, glad you found it helpul!

  • You are most welcome Jim!