Salesmen marketing have always come across as treating people like people. When you talk shop with clients and customers, you ask them how their day is and you remember their name next time they come in. When they share their story with you, you listen to what they have to say even if it is not about your products or services. And you build a relationship with your clients and customers for long term business.
For some reason, the idea of best using social media as a person simply does not translate to best social media practices. The fact of the matter is that too many businesses are using social media wrong and hurting their brand, sales, and customers. To help with this problem, we have a few ideas for you.
How have businesses failed to use social media effectively?
While I could write up a top 25 social media mistakes businesses are making, the reality is that it comes down to these five issues. Everything is just “good practices,” we want to focus on the best practices. Here are five mistakes businesses have made.
1. Marketing Your Product Before Engaging Relationally
Maybe the biggest mistake is that because someone follows you, they want to hear everything you have to say about your company or brand. That is not necessarily the case. I like the idea that this non-profit wants to help people in their community, which is why I followed their Twitter account. Yet, I’m not sold on financially supporting them until I have some more personally investment. Before the brand starts to sell their product, get to know me, answer some of my questions, and engage with what I think about the topic too.
2. Advocating For Yourself Instead of Letting Others Do It
When someone promotes something that they have created, it is such a fine line between sharing something great and coming off as bragging or spamming people. If I have added you to my Google+ circle and you tell me that you have the best social media secrets out there, I don’t care. Of course you are going to say that because you want me to go see your blog and get pageviews. But if someone I am friends with says you have the best social media secrets, I am INSTANTLY interested and will go check it out. Build up a list of people that are advocates for you and your business and allow them to do the majority of praising your company or brand.
3. Not Using Metrics, Ever
People are busy, I get that. So to take the time to post a social media post about your latest blog post or respond to comments is probably asking a lot of a company. Yet, simply posting to post is only part of the game. Knowing what content is working well with your brand (images versus video) or when to post and who your demographics are that see and respond to your content is essential to going from good to great. The only way to do that is to invest in researching your metrics. If that means hiring someone to do it for you, then do so because you can exponentially grow your online presence.
4. Only Do “Tried And True” Methods
If all you want to do is play it safe and invest in markets that you have seen others be successful in, then the results that you will be getting are marginal. If you have to wait until your competition or similar services or companies find success, then you lose out on being the innovative competitor. Every current forefront, non-celebrity Vine user that was an early adopter and now they have huge followings, all because they led the charge in innovation.
5. Automation And Relational Are Mutually Exclusive
Within social media circles, there is this fear that automation is evil and all social media posts should be done intentionally and directly. Anything else will make you a fake and ruin any ability for authenticity. While it is possible to be inauthentic by only using these automated tools, not doing so can hurt your influence and reach too. A hybrid of automating posts for the day and spur-of-the-moment thoughts is suggested along with frequently responding to people that leaves comments to your social media posts.
This is a lot to unpack in just a few points, how do you see your social media strategy changing to avoid making these mistakes with your business? What struggles have you had in continuing to strive for efficiency and authenticity in a busy social media environment?