We found an article on Forbes this morning listing 10 social media mistakes businesses commonly make. They range from not addressing negative feedback, to skimping on social media time, to not measuring your return on investment. Forbes tells you what to do, and at RoryMartin.com, we tell you how to do it:
Mistake No. 1: Not Having a Plan
Sit down with your marketing guru and map out where you want to be with your social media campaign and what you want it to do for you. Be realistic about what you can achieve in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years. Figure out how you’re going to do it and who’s going to administrate your accounts. Map out your monthly social media calendar and estimate how much time you need to spend on each piece of the puzzle. Great planning produces great results.
At RoryMartin, we create customized social media calendars for each of our clients, making sure we match our marketing recommendations with your marketing plan.
Mistake No. 2: Too Much Too Soon
You don’t have to do everything all at once. Your plan (above) should work in waves. That way, you have ample time to put into each step of your plan and nothing is missed. If you follow your social media calendar you should avoid that overwhelmed feeling of trying to do it all. Keep it simple, and only build when you’re ready to take on a new challenge.
If you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media accounts, consider hiring a company like RoryMartin.com, a search engine optimization, web design and web development, social networking, and social media marketing firm.
Mistake No. 3: Not Measuring Your Success and Return on Investment
You need to know if what you’re doing is producing results, right? Get Google Analytics and become familiar with that tool. Check out Google Webmaster tools (and yes, the two are very different). Create Google alerts, email alerts and Twitter alerts to find out when, where and how your company is being talked about. Analyze which avenues work the best and build on them, which will help you cut out the unnecessary steps in your social media plan.
RoryMartin.com specializes in helping businesses create social media strategies with the analytics and reports that help you see the effects of a good social media strategy.
Mistake No. 4: Underutilizing Social Platforms for Branding
Make sure you fill out every available field you can on those social media accounts. It’s like talking about your company or touting your elevator pitch. The more complete your profiles are, the more accessible your business becomes and the more transparency and brand value those sites have. Won an award? Manta asks for those kind of stats, and that can be the reference your brand needs to pick up that high profile account. Got a blog that offers industry insights? Put that into your LinkedIn profile, to make sure other professionals in your industry know about your blog and have the chance to stay up to date. Make sure your Twitter account is linked to that blog, and to your LinkedIn, and to your Facebook. Leave no stone unturned.
Mistake No. 5: Promoting Without Listening or Engaging
We’ve talked about social media engagement, here on the RoryMartin blog. Social media is a communicative tool. As with any form of communication the best thing you can do is listen. Listen to your audience, your competitors, and people you want to work with. Listen, or look for conversations that you want to be a part of. Listen to, and watch social media influencers and keep track of ways that you can contribute to become an authority.
Be a part of the conversation – the HUMAN conversation. Creating relationships in the social media world is important to creating trust between your brand and the world. Develop a deeply human relationship with your audience, and your audience will reward that relationship.
Figure out why your customers would want to befriend you in their social media networks. They want to know “what’s in it for me?” And you need to be able to answer that question. At RoryMartin.com, we can help you answer these questions and show you how to engage your social media customers.
Mistake No. 6: Not Addressing Negative Comments or Feedback
Instead of responding with ire, or just ignoring this conversation completely, ask those negative commenters what you can do to “make better”. Customer service is all about finding better ways to communicate and better serve your customers. Look at those avenues of social media as creative ways to give better customer service. Start a dialogue with your unhappy customers, and they’ll be a lot less unhappy.
Mistake No. 7: Not Claiming Existing Profiles
Your business is most likely listed in several places you didn’t know about. And the info on those sites may be old, outdated, incorrect or incomplete. The strategy here is to search for your company, across the web, to find out where you are listed and what needs to be updated. After you’ve made a list, go through and systematically update your profiles to reflect your website, your address, your contact info and interlink your profiles – adding things like your Twitter account and Facebook page.
Mistake No. 8: Skimping on Time
Let’s face it: Social media is a time investment. It can take months for your social media efforts to pay off, and patience is key. That’s why tip #2 is so important. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and know that you’re going to have to block out chunks of time to monitor and engage in your social media efforts. If you don’t have the time, hire a professional who knows the ins and outs of social media engagement, or look for a Social Media Marketing company like RoryMartin.com who can help you build and implement your social media strategy – so that you have more time to run your business.
Mistake No. 9: Lacking Passion
If there’s one thing we have here at RoryMartin.com, it’s passion for social media. Without the passion, your social media efforts may fall flat – you know your brand and as a business owner, you more than likely love what you’re doing. Try to channel that into your social media efforts, since social media is an extension of the way you promote what you love. If you just can’t get jazzed about interacting on the social web, consider hiring social media professionals who have the passion and knowledge to be the voice of your brand.
Mistake No. 10: Not Knowing When Social Media Isn’t Right for Your Business
81% of entrepreneurs still don’t take advantage of social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and 40% small and medium-businesses don’t even have a Web site. That said, internet users spend approximately 22% of their Internet time in social media, making social media a priority for any company that wants to be visible. Think about your target market and your audience. Who are they and where do they spend their time. Maybe social media isn’t right for your business, but how will you know unless you try it?
At RoryMartin.com, we’re focused on finding the right social networking and social marketing options that are right for you. We do the work so you don’t have to, bringing social tools to every business, and making social media simple.