Social Media Mistake – Not starting with a plan

The most common social mSocial Media Mistakesedia mistake I see my clients making is starting their social media without a plan. Their are several scenarios that happen.

  1. You hear someone talking about how much success they've had with social media so you jump in and set up a Facebook profile. 
  2. Your boss comes in and says, "We need to get on that FaceTube or YouBook thing, and you need to take care of it."
  3. You realize that your old advertising methods aren't working and you need something new so you give it a shot.

In most of the scenarios above you end up failing. Why do you fail? Primarily you fail because you don't start with the right questions:

  1. What are my goals for social media?
  2. Who is my customer?
  3. Where is my customer active in social media?
  4. What information does my customer want to know?

The thing to remember about social media marketing is that it cuts both ways. It's better to not be involved than to do it poorly.

Let's dig into these questions

What are my goals for social media?

There are several metrics that you can track:

Engagement:

  1. # of new people on your email list
  2. # of fans/followers
  3. # of comments / likes / share of your content

Revenue

  1. # of online sales if you have an online store
  2. # of new customers coming into your store

Who is my customer?

Who is my customer?

I'm always surprised when I ask prospective clients who their customer is and they say everyone. It's not everyone, you might take everyone's money, but that doesn't mean you should be working with everyone or that everyone will buy your product or service. Build a profile of your best customer: age, sex, likes, occupation etc.

Where is my customer active on social media?

There are several ways to find this out:

  1. Ask them – this is the one that most of my online peers miss. Ask them in your store, ask them when you're meeting with them, email them if you have a list, but ask them.
  2. On Facebook –
    • Go to advertising
    • Start an ad
    • Adjust the demographics to fit your demographics
    • Ask yourself if that's enough people

What does my customer want to know?

This will depend on your business. Bars need to let people know what specials, events and music they have coming up. Clothing stores should share sales, dressing tips, Real Estate agents can share tips for lowering your mortgage rate etc… You can also do some of the following to find out what they are interested in.

  1. Ask them…
  2. Search.Twitter.com – search based on your business type and keyword phrases
  3. Do a Google search with the keyword phrases for your business – look for social media sites that could be a good fit
    • "Keyword phrase" blog
    • "Keyword phrase" forum
    • "keyword phrase" in video
    • "keyword phrase" in News

Feel free to ask any questions about planning in the comments below.

Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?

 

Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

My Top Ten Social Media Marketing Mistakes

My Top ten social media marketing mistakes

Mistakes I made following other Guru’s advice BEFORE I found Social Traffic

Facebook Mistakes

1.    Friend everyone that they find on their favorite gurus friends list or group without so much as explaining why they are friending them. I actually said where I saw them on most of the friend requests.

2.    Accept friend requests from people like the ones above –if someone isn’t interested enough in you to tell you where they met you then the odds are you will never have a real conversation. Most of my real interactions on Facebook are with people I’ve at least talked to on Skype.

3.    Slap up a group and start inviting everyone in my friends list. – worked a little, but I didn’t get any get real traction because I didn’t give people a good reason to be engaged in my group.

4.    Send out info about affiliate products without first asking my audience what they were interested in.

5.    I didn’t engage my audience enough – with my group of 500+ would get  one or two comments if I was lucky when I posted something on the wall

Twitter Mistakes

6.    Went down the wall of my favorite Guru and added everyone following them.

7.    Set up a DM that was something like the following – “Thanks for following me, I have tons of free information at Online4Offline.com” – I received a couple of hundred newsletter sign ups from a thousand or so friend requests.  Before someone reads that and thinks it’s a good idea that was a year ago before everyone and their dog was doing spammy DMs.

8.    Signed up for a friendadder service that FLOODED my DM box with spam. I left that quickly and stopped auto-following everyone back.

Digg and other social bookmarking site mistakes

9.    Bookmarked my own sites across multiple accounts. Occasionally I would slip in another link or two.

10.    Digg banned three of my accounts including my main which I wasn’t using for the spammy stuff. This happened when using strategies and software recommended by a well known Digg guru.
Since finding Simon Ford and Social Traffic I’ve learned to focus on creating and sharing good content that other people will read, share and comment on. Tell me some of the things you were told to do when you got started with social media: