Business owners worldwide are utilizing various social media platforms to promote products and reach out to consumers. Many companies thrive, thanks to strong web presence. However, some struggle as a result of costly mistakes made during the online marketing process. Thus, before you began marketing your business it is advisable to brush up on your social media skills. To avoid a public relations disaster and keep your followers and fans happy, make sure you aren’t committing any of these social media sins.
Starting without a plan:
If you are tempted to skip creating a social media strategic plan for your business that outlines your goals and the resources you’ll need to accomplish them, don’t do it. By developing a plan, you create a critical foundation for which the rest of your social media efforts are based on. Your first step to creating a strategic plan for your social media operation is to answer the following questions:
a. Do you know who your target audience is?
b. How do you plan to talk to them?
c. Do you know how your social media campaign ties into your traditional marketing plan?
d. Do you know who is going to staff your social media efforts?
e. Do you know your social media business objectives?
f. How will you measure your success?
Poorly timing social media posts:
Often posts on social media channels go unnoticed because they are badly timed, whether posted at a time when your key connections are offline or when there is such heavy activity on the channel that your posts are pretty much lost. Like your social media efforts, an email newsletter delivered at the wrong time is more likely to end up lost amongst a number of spam messages. Identify the best time for your online marketing activities.
Ignoring your competitors:
Understand your competitive environment. Ignoring your competitors is a dangerous approach. A key step in defining your strategy is to look beyond your own company to the competitors in your industry, as well as to the wider economic environment in your local area, nationally and globally. Do not ignore your competitors under any circumstances. Knowing your competitors is like knowing your own business. You have to be ahead of the curve at all times or at least most of the time to be successful in the marketing arena.
Not responding to fans/followers in a timely fashion:
When you have thousands or even millions of fans, it can be difficult if not impossible to respond to each individual inquiry. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your community completely. For example, if you notice that several people are asking the same question (e.g. “Is your site down?”), take a proactive approach and address the manner in a status update or tweet. That way, you answer that question without having to write out 500 different replies. Also, if you have a particularly frustrated fan, it may be best to message them individually instead of resolving the issue in a public forum. In short, stop the problem before it blows up.