Feb 25

Social Media Pitfalls To Avoid.

Social Media Pitfalls To Avoid

LISTA Guest Blogger

Luis Cuneo, Marketing Manager
IBM Corporation
LISTA Member

I recently attended the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention in Denver, CO. Prior to the conference, I took note of how the USHCC was taking advantage of social media to promote their event and encourage individuals to network prior to the conference. The communication I received came through the LinkedIn social media site.

Social media marketing is a relatively new marketing discipline. I credit the USHCC for using this cost effective tool to drive awareness of their conference.  However, there are pitfalls that can dilute the effectiveness of  this marketing tool.. Based on my observation and analysis of the recent conference, I have identified five pitfalls that business professionals need to avoid when using social media.
1. Using social media without a strategic plan is ineffective
2. Social media marketing is a program, not a onetime campaign
3. Allocate sufficient resources to support your plan
4. Word of mouth is a powerful endorsement
5. Not everyone is using social media

The challenge marketing professionals are running into is there is limited information on the lessons learned about social media marketing. Before you start developing your strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of “Why,” “Where” and, “How” you  plan to reach your customer. Also, your plan needs to include measurable metrics  so that you can  make sure your strategy is meeting your business objectives. These data points will provide you insights to where you need to make adjustments to your plan.

Your social media initiative should not be a single campaign execution; rather, you need to integrate social media marketing into your overall corporate marketing strategy. Inform your customer where they can find you on the social media map. Share your plans and how they can use these sites to interact with your company. Informed customers can make better choices with regard to where and how they want to interact with your firm.

Large companies benefit from having the resources to monitor their social media pages on a regular basis. For example, an unsatisfactory remark from a customer that goes unanswered will generate negative online chatter from your audience. This is a major pitfall for a small firm with limited resources. Do not get blindsided; inform your audience that you are monitoring the site on a weekly basis. You can avoid negative chatter by clearly stating the following; “If you are not satisfied with our product or service, please call our #800 immediately, and ask for Customer Service.” Also, do not forget to post a resolution update on your social page.

This past year, I have seen a flurry of emails from peers endorsing social sites and social pages of individuals and companies. These emails share a common theme, the endorser believes you can also benefit from accessing these social pages. This grassroots promotion of your social site can spread quickly. You need to monitor the online activity, and leverage the momentum to build your brand and presence on the web before it fades out. Also consider the following, on your social site add a “Thank you section,” to recognize those individuals who are promoting your site. Everyone likes to receive kudos and acknowledgment for their efforts.

Finally, keep in mind that not everyone is using social media to connect with you and your company. Therefore, do not forget there is a market segment that you need to keep in touch with. Marketing principles have not changed, just the tools we use to connect with our customers.

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