Social media is a good thing and has become one of today’s most effective media platforms. It makes it possible for businesses to immediately reach their target audience, 24/7. Social media has helped small business brands grow larger and faster than any of us thought possible before. That said, social media has also resulted in the downfall of a number of businesses that misused it, destroying their reputations and wasting, not only their time, but a ton of money, largely due to a lack of a social media strategy.
Following are the top 10 dangers of using social media without a plan in place.
1. Misjudging Your Social Persona
Creating a social persona that isn’t likeable. On social media, your brand needs to be welcoming, entertaining and informative, showing that you’re not just in it for potential sales. To build a likeable social persona you need to keep your target market in mind. If you are offering a serious, business related tool, sharing cute videos of baby’s on your social channels isn’t going to make you likeable, at least not to them. Also, you don’t want to tout your personal beliefs either, unless you don’t care about offending a potential client.
2. Underestimating Reach & Longevity
One of the most important things to remember is that there’s no containing social media. With social media, nothing you say will ever die. Once a conversation or thread starts, in most cases it’ll be out there and can resurface any time. One slip up, even decades old, can suddenly reappear for the whole world to see.
3. Jumping The “Sales” Gun
Without a social media strategy in place you might make the mistake of not following the “social karma” rules, meaning providing value before you push sales. In order to get value from your fans and potential customers, you need to provide value first. Most people that use social media are looking for a few uncomplicated and satisfying things like information, entertainment, and content that’s worth sharing and makes them look intriguing to their own followers. If you provide them with these things, you’ll earn the good vibes that will later lead to clicks, potential leads, and eventual conversions. If you don’t, you’ll risk working within an empty void and possibly cause harm to your brand as well.
4. Taking On Too Many Platforms
If you don’t have a well thought out social media strategy, you won’t be able to manage multiple social media accounts, at least not well. Without the right kind of help and the larger your social presence, the more complications you’ll run into trying to keep all of your accounts up to date and human friendly.
5. Lack of Editing or “Creative” Copywriting
Everyone makes grammatical mistakes, but there appears to be an excessive number of critics on social media that are more than happy to pick these mistakes out. Over use of abbreviations is also a big mistake and making it difficult for your followers to grasp what you’re trying to say will affect your credibility.
6. Failure To Implement a Measurement Plan
A lot of businesses have learned the hard way that social media is crucial for marketing success. What typically happens however is that they designate a significant percentage of their budget to social media without having a social media strategy in place, one that includes Google analytics (the social site statistics aren’t enough), to measure and create a return on their investment If you use Google Analytics, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of what your visitors are doing and quickly see how social media plays in the sales cycle.
7. Using The Wrong Metrics To Define Success
If you don’t have a social media strategy, you more than likely don’t know how to measure what matters. There are several metrics that are tied to social media and while they can be useful to the individuals that you have managing your marketing efforts, they don’t usually directly relate to the bottom line. Social analytics aren’t a way to track the success of your social media efforts in regards to your business. They’re only a way to track the success of your social media efforts. Does this make sense? In other words, you need to learn how to identify key performance indicators, specific to your business and measure that on a regular basis.
8. Treating Social Media The Same As Traditional Media
Marketer’s that don’t quite “get” social media are in for an unpleasant surprise once they get started, especially if they rush in without a plan. Most seasoned business owners are accustomed to conventional advertising methods, and many jump into social media, blindly using social sites to blast out their carnival barking messages at their target audience. The concept of inbound marketing for many of these business owners is still new to them and they’ll learn the hard way that what they’re doing is considered spam which makes them look bad. Ultimately, successfully using social media as an advertising tool and channel hinges on building rapport and trust via interactions with your target audience. If you do this, the sales will eventually follow.
9. Not Addressing The Customer Service Angle
One of the most devastating risks of not having a social strategy in place is not having the constant reminder to be ready to answer the questions, or address the concerns posted by customers and potential customers. Also, always, always make sure that you’re helping – not attacking someone making comments, and that you respond in a timely manner. Consumers are likely to overlook a mess up once in a while, but with so much competition online, it’s easier than ever for followers to turn to other brands that offer better customer service.
10. Sacrificing Experience For Cost Savings
If you think you can hire a novice (cousin, teenage son, etc.) to manage your social media efforts successfully, think again. Oddly enough, even when faced with recurring disasters, business owners continue to trust unqualified people with their social media. Bottom line, inexperience can result in disaster as well as not having a social media strategy.
In the end, social media can be a major component of your overall marketing plan. Just be careful to avoid the urge to be casual, simply because that’s mainly how social media is used. As with any business decision that involves hard-earned resources, you need to think strategically. Hopefully, this post helps someone avoid the missteps others have made.
Original Posting: How To Avoid 10 Social Media Strategy MisstepsDigital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community