I came across an interesting article on Clinkz.com that related back to Chapter 3 of Brian Solis’s book, “Engage.” The article highlighted the five biggest mistakes businesses make when using social media in marketing. I wasn’t surprised to find that every one of the mistake identified had been brought up in my social media class and Solis’s book.
The first thing that caught my attention was that the author brought up the major difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing that companies seem to forget.
“It involves speaking with people instead of at people.”
This is the biggest issue with some companies who try social media; they don’t understand the ‘social’ aspect. All they see is another easy way to bombard a large audience with more of their ads and specials. Solis mentions in his book that social media backfires on so many companies because they don’t take the time to recognize the difference between mail advertisements and Twitter. Until companies realize understand that difference they won’t see the true benefits of a powerful tool like social media.
While some companies are having difficulties understanding social media, there are plenty of companies who have done the research and are doing well. Let’s take a look at the top mistakes of companies who don’t do their homework and what the article suggests to fix it:
5. Talking at People and Broadcasting Versus Engaging – Don’t just follow the conversations, initiate them.
4. The “If You Build It They Will Come” Mentality – Just because you join, doesn’t mean they’ll come running. “Create a plan to attract and retain them.”
3. Obsessing Over How Many Fans/Friends/Followers You Have – I think this is very common with companies and people in general. “A PageLever study showed that only 3 percent to 7.5 percent of Facebook fans actually see your posts. Rather than focusing on how many likes your page has, focus on quality relevant content and moving the engagement up.”
2. Not Being Prepared for Questions or Issues – Most companies wait to be surprised by consumers who actually ask them question or have complaints regarding their products. Don’t be that business. “Make a list of the top 10 questions you’re asked on the phone. Also make a list of the top 10 PR crises that you have had in the past five years. Be prepared to handle these on social networks.”
1. Not Having a Clear Plan – Once again, just having a Facebook page as another place to post ads and things is not going to bring much success. Know who your audience is and target their wants and needs.
Of course there are more mistakes being made, but I think the mistakes discussed in this article are a great starting point.