Most companies understand the value of having a social media presence. Not that many really understand how to do it right.
When it comes to having a presence on the social networking sites, there are some definite do’s and don’ts.
Failure to plan …
Topping the list is a simple failure to plan. Not starting with a plan is simply setting yourself up for failure when it comes to social media marketing for your business. When it comes to planning, ask yourself “What do we want to get out of having a social media presence? More sales, leads, branding, traffic?” This will co
me in handy come time to review the analytics of your social media efforts to see how closely they help you achieve that ever-elluive ROI.
Planning also should include understanding your target. Where are your current customers and prospects hanging out? What social network are they on? Doing a little homework on the front-end will go a long way towards not randomly running through the halls of social media with no clue where you are going.
Your planning should also include a messaging allocation. What time of day is your audience most apt to be on the social networking sites you are posting on? How often do they want to hear from you? How much collateral do you have in your arsenal?
Not understanding the ROI …
Everyone who looks at spending money on marketing asks the same old question … What’s the ROI? When you break it down, ROI is simply a calculation (R=return
or what do I get) on (I=investment or what do I spend – dollars or time). To better understand ROI, it’s important to establish the expectations of what you want to get in return (sales, leads, branding, traffic, etc.). If you are looking to drive traffic to your website then having a large and engaging audience on your social networking sites isn’t necessarily as important than if you are looking to your social media efforts to guide your customers up through being an endorser or ultimately an evangelist for your product, service or brand.
Not engaging …
This is pretty simple. Social media is all about conversation – people coming together to share their thoughts and experiences about your products or services. If you are not be engaged in those conversations, it’s best to not be there at all.
Single threaded …
Have you handed the responsibility of creating and running a social media marketing effort to a single employee in your office? Bad mistake. Generally speaking with no strategy in place, these employees will create your professional presence with their personal credentials and should they leave your company, they take their personal credentials with them, often times leaving you stuck with no way to access your page(s) online. Some of the networks are more friendly to granting access to you in these cases and some simply don’t care. Don’t ever leave your presence in the hands of a single employee in your company or outside organization.
Ever fill the ice cube trays, put them in the freezer, check after 15-20 minutes and wonder why there is no ice? Social media marketing isn’t any different. Think of it this way: Social media is about conversation people are having in online networks. Social media allows for your business to enter into those conversations to show off their personality, show their audience they are connected to them and that they truly care. It is important to remember however, people connecting to other people is based on a high degree of trust. Just because they may like a product or service you offer, how much do they trust you? By jumping into the conversations, people may simply be put off thinking that the only reason you are there is to “sell” them something. You have to establish that level of trust and establishing any degree of trust doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient. Social media marketing is time consuming and if done with a strategy, planning, and not making these simple mistakes, can pay off for your business.
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