Is Your Social Media Marketing Myopic?

5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

While social media remains hot and marketers continue to move their budgets into social media, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing it right. Many marketers shortsightedly approach social media like it’s another push medium where they can blast their promotional messages. Instead of yielding results, this underscores the marketers’ myopic approach.

How to tell your social media marketing is shortsighted

Does your firm practice any of these five myopic social media marketing tactics?  If so, you’re practicing spaghetti social media and your marketing needs adjustment.

  1. Don’t consider your audience’s needs or interests. One of social media’s unstated rules is the focus on the community and the greater good. If you’re only thinking about how to promote the next product or sale, you’ve missed the point of social media.
  2. Use social media as promotional channel. Do you continually place ads and promotional messages on social media platforms? Do you wonder why prospects stop following your organization? On social media platforms, you should share information that supports your community. Send ten messages about the community for every one about your company.
  3. Have automated DMs. Like other promotional content, these messages focus on your company, not the recipient. They’re the social media equivalent of spam. If in doubt, don’t use them. Be aware that some social media participants consider automated DMs as an early indicator that there’s a problem.
  4. Neglect to link to others in your social media content including blogs. Links are a service to your readers and social media participants. They show you’re engaged and think about what others are saying.
  5. Use other people’s content without regard for IP rights. While creating and distributing original content is critical to supporting your social media efforts, it’s not only wrong to take other people’s content and present it as your own, it’s illegal. Just because content is available online, doesn’t mean it can be used without permission, attribution or fee. (Don’t think people won’t know. Remember, the collective public is smarter than you are.)

How to get your social media on the right track

The one element these shortsighted tactics all have in common is that they’re inwardly focused on your firm and your needs, not those of your audience or the community as a whole. Change your firm’s approach to social media by stripping away your preconceived notions. Start doing things differently by engaging with your community and the public. Here are five suggestions, each of which can act as a starting point to help you see where your business should be headed.

  1. Acknowledge your community. Show that you care about your customers and the public. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Use community boards, comment on prospect and customer pages and/or blogs, or  provide a forum where customers can show off their creativity.
  2. Help prospects and customers. Use social media platforms to give prospects and customers another entryway to your firm. Many companies use Twitter as another customer service option. This requires customer service representatives who can communicate effectively in short written format.
  3. Provide useful content. Contribute to an informational blog, create useful infographics, or give away a free e-book. The key is to tailor your content to meet your community’s needs. If you’re not sure what they want, ask them.
  4. Support your community. Curate a Twitter chat, provide a webinar or host a meetup. For example, Hubspot provides valuable information in its webinars.
  5. Ask your community how you can better satisfy their needs. Starbucks has a community board to collect suggestions where the community votes on them.

Accept that social media’s here to stay. It’s not a short-term trend that’s going to be replaced by next year’s hot new thing. Rather it’s a fundamental change in how we interact via connected devices. Therefore, myopic marketing methods won’t make anymore, even if you don’t see what you’re missing.

Do you have seen any other tactics or examples of this type of behavior? If so, please include it in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Choconancy1 via Flickr (Note: Read the photograph!)

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