Succeeding with social media is simple, right? Anyone can create a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page and make instant strides in sales and marketing. (Cue laugh track…laugh track, go!) Yes, people actually believe this, and while it would be great if it was true, success with social media just isn’t that simple. It takes a lot more strategy, creativity and old-fashioned marketing smarts to make it work. Use it incorrectly, and you can do more damage than good. Save yourself from creating your own social nightmare by avoiding these business-busting blunders. You’ll be glad you did.
What is a brand voice? Simply put, it’s your brand’s online personality, and it should be genuine to you and your organization. Whether you are fun or serious, direct or low key, educational or inspirational…pick a voice and stick to it. This is the first step to creating a standout persona on the web. ACTION: Figure out your voice (an important part of your messaging) before you even bother uploading a logo or photo album. Click here to order “The New Brand…YOU” audio CD and workbook.
Blunder #2. Assuming each platform serves the same audience.
The small talk you make at a business cocktail party would be different than chatting with your friends on a night out, right? We hope you answer “yes.” Well, each social media platform, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, has different audiences who have unique expectations. Posting the same messages across all platforms can make you look socially inept. ACTION: Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. Tailor your message to your audience just like you would in the real world and even in traditional media. It’ll save you hours of time and lots of frustration.
Blunder #3. Spreading yourself too thin.
Are you a member of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster and Meetup? Does your home page, with all its social icons, look like a catalogue of social media outlets? Are you letting your sites sit inactive with just your company name, one photo of your co-worker at the holiday party and a single post from 3 months ago? If so, you just wrote the book on how to lose brand respect. Stop the madness! ACTION: Find the top platforms that are attracting the people you are serving or want to serve, and post quality content. Get rid of the platforms that miss the mark. Then actively post a few times per day. You aren’t jelly. Stop spreading yourself so thin.
Blunder #4. Becoming a “used car salesman.”
Do people really look at a used car salesman and think, “I wish I could sell like that”? If so, sorry but…YIKES! Social media marketing is not a place to use your “hard-sell method.” Social marketing is about building communities, engaging in conversation, monitoring feedback, sharing information and in the process creating brand loyalty. ACTION: Ask the people you serve what they really want and need from you, and build content from there. Empathize with them. When you do, you can really stand out.
Blunder #5. Missing the benefits of blogging.
We live in the world of the expert, and carving out your own niche is what gets you in the game. Blogging is how you showcase and share your knowledge while you create interesting content for the people you serve. A good blog keeps people coming back to your website time and time again. (That’s the goal.) Place a blog on your website and it not only declares your own and your company’s opinion, but also boosts your search engine rankings. Two big advantages! ACTION: Get blogging. We get it. You’re busy and don’t have time to write a blog. Well, be creative. It doesn’t have to be a time-intensive project. Post an image or a link along with your comment. It’s an easy way to provide content to your site. Post daily, weekly and schedule posts in advance. Or hire a writer to do it all for you. You can’t afford to miss this, and now that you know, you have no excuse.
If any of these hit home, don’t worry, it’s not too late to adjust. Remember, making your business “social” is all about building relationships, not selling. So for those of you are already taking advantage of social media, this list will help refine what you’re doing. It helps you analyze and adapt. For those of you who have not yet gotten social, avoid these blunders and get started…it’s really that simple.
What is branding? Heart & Mind® Branding.