Anyone who tells you that social media marketing is ineffective and not to be considered a reliable part of an overall marketing plan, probably owns a TRS80, plays video games on his/her Commodore 64 and believes Mr. Rogers is "edgy." Social media has dominated in the last few years and will continue its growth as an every day part of life in America.
But before we jump on the bandwagon too quickly, there are plenty of mistakes being made in marketing via social media. We had the opportunity to speak to a luncheon group hosted by the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce and we discussed the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media, and we present them to you here.
Social media is not and end of itself and cannot be considered to be a silver bullet, fending off the werewolves that are competitors. It is, however, a critical part of your outreach, your branding and familiarizing prospective customers and existing customers with your products and services.
Lack of consistency is intensely problematic for businesses or entrepreneurs trying to grow. Once a social media campaign is begun, it must be committed to or it results in a massive waste of time. You build followers, readers and friends through communication. Be consistent in message, timing and development.
Remember what social media is all about - it's about social community. Taking moments to laugh at yourself and with your customers makes you approachable and shows that while you take your business seriously, you don't take yourself too seriously. The reality is that people like to interact with people they perceive to have the same sense of humor they do. Humor helps. Use it.
Grammar and spelling matter, period. Whether the business is located in downtown Boston or rural Washington, the Internet is a global community and what you put out there will be seen. The question you have to ask is whether or not it is even worthy of being seen. While it's true that each of your postings on Facebook, for example, need not be a Pulitzer Prize winning anecdote, knowing the difference between, "your" and "you're" is rather important.
People retain about 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read and hear, so don't be fearful of visual appeal. Photographs of employees, product, services in action can greatly assist in promoting your brand.
Again, social media is, by nature, a social environment. Many companies, organization and salespeople forget that the forum is designed to be interactive. Never be afraid to communicate with customers and prospective customers. Answer your emails, answer your messages on social media and allow for human interaction.
Facebook has over 1 billion members. Over 500 million are on Twitter. LinkedIn has over 200 million. Some YouTube videos have already had over 50 million views. If you say you don't believe in the power of social media, you're in big trouble because you can rest assured that your competition understands it and is taking advantage of this growing source.
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