Our very own @patstrader showing off his home-brewed Russian imperial coffee stout. Or as we call it, "Strader Water" #craftbeer #homebrew
August 27, 2012
The social media landscape is changing everyday. You know that. Yes, it’s difficult to keep up with all of the outlets and networks. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming.
You might just decide to avoid it alltogether, or to push it to the backburner behind all of your other to-do items.
But here’s the thing: the way you act in social media shouldn’t be very different from how you act in more traditional business avenues. Social media is just another way for people to interact with your brand or business. And if your customers are active in social, you should be too.
1.Not participating at all
If you think that you don’t need to be participating in social media, think again. Heed the age-old adage: “Fish where the fish are”. Your customers are using social media. Are you?
Not participating because you don’t understand, or (our favorite), “I’m not a techie”, doesn’t fly. There are plenty of resources available today to educate yourself.
2. Not responding
What could be worse than not participating? Participating, yet not responding. You’ve got to make the commitment to monitoring and respond to customers. And don’t ignore negative comments. You must address these.
3. Not treating social media outlets like the customer service avenues they are
Yes, participation in social media means that you now need to respond to customers in another forum. Being unresponsive will not be accepted by your brand’s social media savvy customers. Have a plan for responding to customer service issues in a timely manner.
4. Only blasting your sales messages
Social media is not intended to be your megaphone to loudly announce your next big sale or special. Seriously. Stop it. You must find a good balance between social interaction and engagement and subtly ‘selling’ your product.
5. Lack of photo and video content
Today it is easier than ever to capture quick, on-the-fly, photo and video. Any good smartphone will allow you to snap a picture and upload it immediately to a number of social media outlets. It’s been shown that Facebook updates that include photos receive more engagement. So make an effort to share visual media in addition to text updates.
6. No mobile website
Chances are good your customers are interacting with you via their mobile devices. Make sure that you have a mobile version of your website. For example, if you’re a restaurant and post a link to your menu on Facebook, people who click that link expect to be able to view the menu on their phone. And they don’t want to be forced to get out their magnifying glass to do so. A mobile version of your website should be user-friendly and easy to read.
7. Ignoring measurements
The fact is, once you start paying attention to social media, you’re going to have to measure your participation as well. You need to pay attention to the measurements and analytics associated with your social media efforts to see what’s working and what’s not. Figure out goals for your participation and measure based on those goals.
8. Inconsistent participation
Along with participating and responding consistently, you’ve also got to share consistently. Once you begin to build your presence, fans and customers will expect consistent sharing from you. This will build trust, credibility, and an affinity for your brand.
9. Not building social media into your ‘traditional’ outlets
Social media doesn’t live in a vacuum. There’s a place for social media within all of your other more ‘traditional’ marketing elements. Include the Facebook icon on a print ad. Place a Twitter hashtag in your commercial. Always be thinking about social media can be integrated into all of your marketing efforts.
Are you making any of these social media mistakes? Now’s the time to make a change.