Social Media Marketing Missteps
So you’ve been told that your small business needs to get on the social media bandwagon or risk going the way of the dinosaur. While that’s all well and good and true, doing so without being aware of the potential and all too frequent errors and mistakes can kill you. Ineptitude will not only deny you the potential marketing benefits, but may also do serious damage to your brand and business. Fire keeps you warm, but in unskilled and inattentive hands it burns more often than it heats.
Bearing these few simple guidelines in mind as you make your foray into the social media-marketing arena will help you maximize your efforts while avoiding the pitfalls that routinely hamstring marketing campaigns of both the smaller outfits and big businesses alike.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Over Post
Remember that Adele song that you couldn’t get enough of when it first hit the airwaves? Remember how it made you want to jam ice picks into your ears after hearing it for the thirtieth time on your commute to work? Maintaining a social media presence is all about generating content. That being said, there’s a fine line between reminding your target audience you’re still out there and beating them over the head with your over-the-top posting.
Your posts should be as fresh as they are regular. Finding different angles of attack to advertise your product will help you avoid becoming the monotonous dial tone people tend to tune out. If your rapid fire posts start to dominate potential customers’ feeds and homepages, you risk becoming the fly they want to swat out of the way as opposed to the engaging reminder or sneak peak about a new offer or product. Aim to become a fluid part of their social media diet, not the junk food they plan on swearing off in the New Year.
Fresh Produce or Stale Leftovers?
Another crucial point about posting is keeping your content as original and fresh as can be. Hijacking the latest meme-of-the-moment and simply inserting your brand or product may seem like a simple way to generate posts, but when your target audience is told for the umpteenth time to “Keep Calm and Buy This Service,” the thumbs will scroll or click away faster than you can copy and paste whatever has already become the blasé cookie cutter graphic of yesterday.
Beware of the power of the brain to unconsciously discount and filter out what it assumes it has seen before.
Mudslinging Leaves Everyone Dirty
In the age of page views and click bait, a growing part of social media presence is simply about causing a stir rather than making a statement. Internet trolls are no longer a dime-a-dozen; they’re all you can eat and then some. Avoid responding angrily or hastily to negative ads or comments. What you’re feeling in the heat of the moment is exactly what people are hoping you’ll post and they are ready to seize on it. Everyone wants to go viral, but when your defensive and ill thought out rant that makes front pages around the web is the only thing people associate with your brand, you’ve done yourself in.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media to magnify even the most mundane negativity and back biting. Always let a cool head prevail and you’ll avoid being the burning car wreck everyone secretly loves to watch smolder in the breakdown lane.
Ignorance is Rarely Bliss
It can’t be said enough. Double-check that tagline or hashtag. Better yet, quadruple-check it. Once your post makes it into cyberspace there is no taking it back. All it takes is using a hashtag in your post that has been affiliated with a certain movement, following or awareness campaign to sink your social media ship. Didn’t know that the ‘Pepe the Frog’ likeness you posted is closely aligned with the alt-right white supremacy movement, Wendy’s? All of a sudden that junior bacon cheeseburger smacks of anti-Semitism. That catchy slogan you thought up in the shower may have connotations far beyond what you’ve considered. The web is a big place inhabited by a bunch of people. Know what’s out there before you step in.
In that vein, think twice before tying your next post to the latest headlines. What you may consider to be a funny and innocent quip on the story of the day, others may find tasteless and see as a shameless money grab from an attention starved company.
Develop a Plan and Stick to It
It all boils down to a little simple foresight. Before you launch yourself into the dizzying and constantly shifting world of social media marketing, create your plan of attack and follow through with it. As basic as it sounds, the most successful strategies are the ones that have been clearly reasoned and thought out. Keep your profile complete and up to date. Know what direction you want to go and design a posting strategy that highlights your strengths rather than scattering your efforts and exposing your weaknesses. Be ready to adapt, but don’t let yourself be pushed around by the ebb and flow of the social media tides. It will exhaust you. Keep your strategy specific to the different platforms you are using. One size won’t necessarily fit all this day and age.
Go forth and post.
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