6 Mistakes Made by Companies When Doing Social Media Marketing

Observing the way how some companies use social media in their marketing mix, I identified six common mistakes done by most companies.
1. Trying to control the conversation

Admit the hard truth, that social media is different from TV or print advertising, or from any type of conventional marketing channels. You cannot dictate terms to people on social media. Rather than taking a “company – customer” approach, you have to look at it more like a peer-to-peer conversation. You must give enough room for your customer to speak, in the conversation.

2.Expecting people to come to them
No! Just setting up a fan page on Facebook, or creating a Twitter account will not do wonders with your brand on social media. It is not a magnet that attracts your customers. In social media marketing, you have to initiate the conversation and you have to go to where the customer is. Before you expecting your potential customers to follow you on Twitter, you have to follow some of them, monitor their discussions on social media and to see how often they talk about you and your industry. These are the starting points for you to engage your customers with your brand. I know a successful social media marketer, who answers most of the questions on Yahoo answers, which are related to their industry. They are not directly promoting their brand to the Yahoo answers users, but they genuinely help those people to solve their problems. By doing so; they are getting closer to their potential customers, and give those customers a reason to follow the brand closely.

3.Speaking in institutional voice
Institutional voices are boring! But yet, we as marketers are quite used to it now. Even on Facebook, we sometimes try to sound more “professional” by using language such as “it is with great delight that we at XYZ Co Ltd announce our customers that...” Remember that Facebook is not a bulletin board to publish your press releases. In their own words, Facebook is a “social utility”. So, speak as they use to do in social gatherings! Be more authentic, and add a bit of individual personality to your social media messages. Rather than having a Twitter account for your brand, why not asking your CEO to tweet himself on behalf of your brand? Here is a CEO who does this well! Odel CEO Otara Gunawardene’s Facebook profile is becoming much more engaging than the official fan page of Odel . I’m not 100% sure if Otara personally manage this Facebook page, but her FB page blends really well with Odel’s marketing objectives.

4.Believing it’s the “duty” of your customers to follow you on social networks
You figured out 20% of your customers are on Facebook, and yet wondering why aren’t they becoming a fan of you? Stop worrying, and ask the question “did we gave them a real good reason to be a fan?”. A good reason may not be enough for some people, and you might need to give them “damn good reasons”. Remember that they have decided to buy from you for a reason, and that reason might not be compelling enough to become a fan of your brand on Facebook. Never expect that customers will “automatically” follow you on social media, and by doing so spread the word of mouth about your brand.

5.Deal blasting
This is most probably the most common mistake made by companies using social media as a marketing tool. Most of them believe that, Twitter and Facebook is there to broadcast their latest “hot deal” or promotion to the followers. If you are blasting your followers with deals, special promotions, coupons etc every few hours; you do not have caught the idea of “social media marketing” pretty clearly. Social media is not about deal blasting. It is about conversations. Conversations, which doesn’t necessarily be related to your bottom-line.

6. Overdoing it
You have requested your customers to follow you on Twitter, become a fan of you on Facebook brand page, and now what? Are you going to create FB pages for each product type that you have, and send fan requests to your customers? Do you think it is always necessary to post something into your Facebook fan page every 6 hours?

Just think about it. Your customers have a life outside your brand. They log into Facebook, to stay in touch with their friends; not only with your brand. So, expecting them to follow you in ten different Facebook pages is little too much. Overloading them with links, photos, status updates every few hours will eventually prompt them to “unlike” you or to hide you from their home feed.

Originally posted on www.amisampath.com Like this blog? Get email updates when I post next time, or subscribe to the feed on a reader. Follow me on Twitter @Amisampath Please help improve the quality of this blog. Report any spelling or grammar mistake here

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