Stories of failure are more common than success stories when it comes to social media. But since this is a new platform, you can expect a lot of mistakes while people are "getting it". I've listed 6 common mistakes companies make when they enter social media.
1. Not listening
Social media is a conversational platform. You do not enter an ongoing conversation with out listening to it first. Hear what people are saying, what they are thinking, what they are looking for before you start to express youself.
2. Adding value for the wrong part
While adding value is all you should be doing, think about who it’s valuable for. It’s not about you, you see, it’s about your customer, online friend, follower, conversation. What you add to the conversation should increase the value for those you are talking to in direct context to what they’re saying, not only your self.
You can ask yourself, if this was my best friend, is this what I would be saying now?
3. Faking it
People don’t like to be tricked or manipulated. So don’t trick them or manipulate them. Don’t create fake characters online. Don’t pretend to be a happy client, an enthusiast, a fanatic fan. Be who you are, be honest, be personal but yet professional and others will become the happy client, the enthusiast, the fanatic fan.
4. Using traditional media tactics in social media
Who do you choose as your beta testers? How do you phrase your press releases? In social media you’re having a conversation, so ask for a response. Engage the users. Expect it to be a dialog with your actual users and clients instead of using journalists as your beta testers or sending out statements with no room for response.
5. Building the network too late
Social media relies on network and respect. To gain any power within social media you need to build your network before you need to use it. Trying to exploit your network immediately will make you loose your connections and respect very quickly, because you'll be just another spammer.
6. Not investing
You can’t harvest without planting seeds. Social media marketing may be cheap – money wise. But it does not deliver any fruitful results without some serious investment. You need to invest time in building your network and earning your respect. Share your advice, even though it does not benefit you directly. It will come in handy later on. What you can get out of social media is in direct relation to what you put into it. So start investing today.
I hope this helps you avoid some of the most common pitfalls of social media. If you do it right, you can benefit greatly. If you've got more common mistakes people should avoid, add them in the comments below.
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