Given the social media craze, many companies are jumping on board setting up a Facebook and Twitter profile which is great however they might not be aware of how the medium works and how it can help or hurt their brand.
Here is a checklist of a few mistakes that companies can make in the realm of social media:
1.) Focus on quantity vs. quality – If you’ve just setup a profile on Facebook or Twitter and the numbers are meager, don’t panic and don’t get concerned with how many “likers” or “followers” you have. If you put all your focus on the numbers, you lose sight of your purpose, what you’re marketing, and why you signed up for social media. Numbers are important but you want the right number of people following you i.e. the ones who will gain relevance from your content, share it, and engage with you.
2.) Just say no to spam – Spam was meant to stay canned. Don’t market indirectly to your audience. Remember that social media is “social.” People often confuse the term and think they can blindly broadcast their links, sales ads, etc at their audience and expect a return. You are offending your fans and followers. Give them something to talk about and ask permission to market.
3.) Not being committed or filling out your profile – If you’ve signed up, take some time to fill out your profile. Facebook fan pages and your Twitter timelines are indexed by Google. You can’t just set it up and leave it. Once it’s out in cyberspace, people can search for you and if they notice you’ve got a blank canvas it can hurt your brand. As mentioned above, social media is social. Your audience expects you to be there. Set clear expectations, create a solid social media campaign, and stick to it.
4.) Not being social – this is probably the biggest mistake and it happens all too often. The beauty of social media is the social aspect of it. It can make or break your brand online. If you constantly post content, don’t respond back, or solicit feedback you will lose your following. Set a time to check your profiles, reach out to your market, watch for what your audience is saying, and engage them.
5.) Personal vs. Business – We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t mix business with pleasure.” It applies to social media too. Keep your personal views out of your business.
6.) Not enough time – You don’t have enough time to market your business? I’m sure that’s not true. Like it or not, you need to be online and a website isn’t enough. Social media is the driving factor. It takes time to develop a following but time invested well early on will help you reap the benefits later.
7.) Giving up – You can’t start and give up. Chances are your old profiles will be indexed or cached somewhere. It’s the web and that’s how it works. Whatever fans/followers you collect will notice that you suddenly disappeared and they’ll begin to wonder about your marketing efforts or worse, start a page for you and it might not be in your best favor.
8.) Spelling/Grammar errors – It’s your brand. Don’t get caught with a misspelled word, a run on sentence, etc. Take the time to proofread your updates.
9.) Display negativity – Not everyone will like what you have to say, what you serve at your restaurant, or your product so don’t let it affect you and don’t start an Internet war. Take each compliant as an opportunity to learn about your business, acknowledge it, and move on. A display of negativity is extremely damaging and will turn people off of your brand.
I’m sure I’ve missed a few other mistakes that companies might make. What have you seen and what would you recommend they do?