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:


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


  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 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.

Racing to the bottom is not a marketing strategy

It happened again this morning. I received an email from someone I consider to be a smart marketer and who has a depth of knowledge that I respect. She was offering new pricing for her services that are a deep discount on her past prices. Why is this pertinent to the post title? It's because I've seen her drop her prices several times in the last year and it appears that she has made a rookie marketing strategy mistake of discounting her services.

Why isn't discounting a good strategy?

discounting is not a marketing strategy

History is littered with corpses of once great companies that tried to race to the lowest price.  When is the last time you shopped at a Kmart? Do you even remember Woolworth's or Kreskes. Walmart, as big as it is is even beginning to show some kinks in it's armor.

It also sounds like shes desperate. Do you want to do business with someone who's desperate? I know I don't for a number of reasons. First how did they become desperate? Do they suck? If you're going to offer a discount you need to tell me why you're desperate for the cash. Second desperate people tend to get themselves in over their heads and end up never delivering. I've seen it many times.

You don't want discount customers

The other problem with discounting is the type of customers it attracts. Spend an hour on a Saturday at WalMart, is that who you want as your customer? Discount customers are discount customers because they can't afford better or they don't value you and your services enough to pay what they are worth. Not only will you be stuck with these customers, but you will find that they tend to be the most difficult and demanding customers as well. 

What about the customers that paid full price?

Have you ever bought something and then saw it in another store for less or an ad where it was discounted? How did you feel? Do you want your customers feeling like that? Dropping your prices can cause a negative backlash from your current customers.

But sales are good aren't they?

Occasional sales are great, but they need to have a reason and a limit on them. If she had said I just had a big project reschedule and I have time to take on 5 more clients this week at a discounted rate. That would have been fine, it still maintains her value, gives a good reason why and gets her the cash infusion she needs.

The key in any business, but even more so as a consultant is that we need to value our time first before we can expect anyone else to value it. I'll do a follow up post explaining some of the things that I have done to maintain my value.