10 Social Media Marketing Sins

 

How to Fix Your Social Media Marketing

For the social media marketing sins that we’ve committed either knowingly or through ignorance, we marketers must atone by acknowledging them and making changes or amends. Here are ten social media marketing mistakes and how to fix them.

  1. Talking when we should be listening. To become an active social media participant, you must spend time observing the conversation to understand what’s important to the people on a specific social media network. FIX: Before you start actively posting on a new social media platform, listen to the conversation, the topics and the language people use. You must understand that social media isn’t about you.
  2. Presenting our corporate façade, but not speaking with a human voice. Social media platforms require participants to be real people. While this doesn’t mean that you have to tell all, you need to show your human side. FIX: Decide how your company, products and brand(s) will be presented on social media. How will you give them a human side. Understand that this doesn’t translate to telling everything.
  3. Focusing on building social media numbers, not considering the real people receiving our social media messages. It’s critical to remember that social media platforms are comprised of people with real lives and real emotions who may interpret your interactions differently than you intend. FIX: Determine how you will engage on social media and communicate with individuals. To this end, understand social media’s social responsibility.
  4. Shouting buy, buy, buy, not sharing fresh, useful information, both yours and other people’s. Bear in mind that social media isn’t a free platform for distributing more marketing messages. Social media is most effective when it shares content that participants find useful and supports the purchase process. FIX: Create social media content that’s targeted to specific user needs on a consistent basis. To this end, an editorial calendar is useful.
  5. Expecting participant’s comments on our social media executions, not responding or engaging on other platforms. Marketers single-mindedly focus on driving users to their special implementations. Yet, they overlook the power of being active on other areas of these platforms. FIX: Engage with other social media participants and companies on their social media implementations and blogs. This helps broaden your exposure and shows that you’re an active participant.
  6. Building a social media tribe for a major campaign, but ignoring it when it’s over. Social media is an on-going dialog that requires continual engagement. FIX: Keep interacting with your social media connections on a regular basis. This means putting out useful information and participating in chats and meetups.
  7. Hiring a kid who knows Facebook, not employing an experienced marketer who understands your products, brands and company. Social media is not a new flash-in-the-pan technology. It requires that businesses integrate their social media marketing into their regular activities. FIX: Build an internal team who understands your brand and company to engage on social media. If they need outside help, provide the training and support to coach them through. Remember that your brand must be integrated into everything you do on social media platforms.
  8. Asking employees to participate but not giving them the training, tools or guidelines they need. To protect your firm and your brand, you must give employees guidelines for using social media and how you want them to identify themselves. FIX: Create a set of social media guidelines to let employees know what they can do as employees and how to identify themselves when they’re participating on social media platforms their personal lives.
  9. Believing social media marketing grows by itself, but not actively marketing your social media efforts to build connections. While social media can support spreading information and content, like any other marketing campaign, social media requires promotion to get the word out. The most cost-effective options are using social media itself and your own internal communications.
  10. Assuming social media marketing can work but failing to provide sufficient budget and resources to support it. Contrary to what marketers want to believe, social media isn’t free, Some of the platforms are free or low cost but you still need staff to participate, content to distribute, and a budget to execute these strategies. FIX:  Incorporate your social media efforts into your overall plans to ensure that you’re able to get your implementations to the next level. (Here’s what to do if you need to hide your social media budget.)

As a marketer, it’s important to assess how you’ve implemented social media marketing strategies and determine whether they’re aligned with the needs of the social media communities you’re participating in. If your executions only take a traditional push marketing approach, there’s a good chance you need to make amends.

What other social media sins would you add to this list and why are they important? How can you avoid these sins going forward?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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