How Marketers Miss the Boat With Social Media Relationships

Is Your Marketing Team On Board With Social Media?

Social media engagement can be a goldmine for marketers. The problem is that many marketers view social media platforms as just another channel to push their messages out. When they do this, they miss the boat in terms of social media engagement where participants expect to interact with real life human beings, not a company shill.

7 Deadly approaches to building social media customer relationships

Is your business following any of these seven social media tactics without realizing that you could be hurting your customer acquisition and retention efforts?

  1. Enough about me, what do you think about me? Nothing is further from participant’s minds than knowing everything there is to know about your latest product. They’re on social media platforms to socialize. FIX: For organizations to succeed in this type of environment, you need to be sociable. Polish up your old fashioned manners. This means really listen to participants on social media and ask them questions about their needs and interests. As a by-product, you’ll learn what they’re looking for and how you can adapt your offering to meet their needs.
  2. Only use marketing-speak to talk about your firm. Consumers have radar that blocks advertising messages whether they’re on their television, in print, on their computers or anywhere else. FIX: On social media platforms, it’s important to talk like a human being with your common, everyday language. Skip the sanitized marketing speak  that doesn’t sound anything like a real person.
  3. Coerce customers to change their opinions to reflect your company’s views. Like the fable about the wind and sun’s bet over who could get a man to take off his coat first, companies loose if they try to force customers to their point of view. FIX: Listen to what prospects and customers are saying through brand monitoring. Then respond to those interactions that require your firm’s engagement.
  4. Believe customer trust can be engineered or bought. In today’s transparent social media world, where marketers are concerned, the trust is gone. Marketers who undervalue how much consumer trust other consumers do so at their own peril. FIX: Encourage consumer feedback and reviews. Pay attention to what consumers are saying about your product and fix things where necessary.
  5. Spread fear, loathing and doubt regarding competitors. Social media platforms are about being transparent. Being negative about your competitors can backfire on you, especially since it just enhances consumers’ perception that marketers aren’t to be trusted. FIX: Focus your social media content and interactions on how your offering can help consumers. Regardless of where they purchase, most consumers do their own pre-purchase research online.
  6. Think that a social media relationship equals purchase. Social media participants engage with companies as well as with other people. This doesn’t always translate into sales. Often this conversation either comes before prospects start thinking about a specific purchase or after they have already bought an item. As a result, they’re looking for information, help and/or entertainment, not an immediate transaction. FIX: Provide the social media content that your prospects and consumers are looking for and incorporate these interactions into softer persuasion metrics.
  7. Assume social media relationships are limited to social media networks. As a marketer, appreciate that social media participants build real life relationships that go beyond social media networks and extend offline. FIX: Take this into consideration and leverage opportunities to create events and provide meeting places for consumers.

The bottom line is that marketers need to get their management team on board when it comes to social media.  It can be a deadly marketing mistake to approach social media as just another push medium.

Are there any other deadly marketing approaches to social media you’ve seen? If so, what are they and how would you fix them?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Sporkist via Flickr

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