There are few marketing strategies as exciting, powerful and cost effective as social media marketing. It has it all: it uses new media, it gives you access to millions of potential customers, and it’s done at little to no cost. The siren call for social media marketing is obviously high; it is so high, in fact, that many new marketers fall into pitfalls that can be detrimental to your brand. If you are just starting out in social media marketing, take a look at these potential pitfalls below and steer clear of them.
Watch out for giving no oversight into how your employees are positioning your brand in social media. In many established companies, they’ve heard how impactful social media can be, but they feel social media is a young person’s game. So, they give the keys to posting to young adminstrative support and offer limited guidance on brand standards. This can be a costly error. Many of these younger employees post similarly to how they post personally, and that can be in direct conflict with the image you are looking to create. As well, these younger employees may not be well versed in your products or services, so misinformation can easily flow through your social media channels. If you need to hand over posting to employees, do the right thing. Train them properly, give them a set of standards, and provide touch points.
Beware simply creating a social media profile and never updating it. This may seem harmless, but a profile page that is never updated can actually have a major negative effect on your company’s reputation. It says, “I heard I should be here, but I really don’t want to be.” People who take social media seriously find these dead profile pages to be a sign that you simply don’t get it. If you are going to make the effort to be on social media, go for it fully. Invest in building a dialogue and becoming a trusted expert in the community. Then, you’ll see the power that social media can really wield.
Keep away from frivolous, irrelevant posts. Even if you have well trained employees posting, it’s still a daily challenge to develop quality content to publish. There may be days when the muse simply never appears and the temptation to post anything is strong. Watch out for these days, and don’t fall into the trap. Silly posts, especially those with no relevance to your business overall, can hurt your brand. This isn’t to say your brand can’t have fun in what is published. It can. This is more about the off-the-cuff posts that are made out of desparation to hit a post quota. In these moments, it’s better to not post anything.
These pitfalls can all be very damaging to your company’s reputation in social media, but they are all avoidable as long as you watch out for them early on. Make your preparations now to avoid them, and your social media tactics will be stronger than ever.