Social media – Common Mistakes

June 29, 2010

A lot of new people coming into the social media space make errors that are preventable and avoidable.  If you want to avoid these errors, you need to think about a few things before you move into this space.

  1. Why are you doing this in the first place? Is it for a logical reason? It doesn’t matter whether you want to learn about the tools that are around or whether you want to increase your customer/client base but just understand why you are here, and what your plan is, because different end goals will require different strategies.
  2. If you are a company, create social media policies to protect your brand. You need to know that staff understand what you expect of them if they reference you in an online forum. This is not to say that they can’t refer to the company, but they need to adhere to certain guidelines and not make commerically sensitive announcements, reveal client confidentialities and so on.
  3. Ensure that any people acting on your behalf (or the company’s behalf), understand the importance of acting in a transparent manner. Ethical online behaviour is critical.
  4. Don’t defer your social media campaigns to young staff members just because they are young. Social media is a media and communications related function, and should not be handed to either the IT guys (because they know what some of these toosl are), or to the young 20 year old who just started (because she is young she must know about Facebook). No. Don’t do it. Keep it in comms.
  5. Don’t use tools if they are inappropriate to your brand. LinkedIn may work for you – Facebook may not.
  6. Answer and respond. Remember it is not just about gathering 10,000 twitter followers. This means nothing when you have a tickertape parade of tweets cascading throughyour Tweetdeck. What you are looking for is a relationship, a dialogue. To correct errors, provide info and create a channel of communication that may be of value. Its not just about lip-service.
  7. Don’t tweet marketing speak corporate messages – I don’t care and I won’t follow. Help me, engage with me. Provide me with something of value.
  8. 140 characters can backfire on you if you are a jerk. See point 4 above – remember you are in a public space and act accordingly.
  9. It’s not just about the money – although that may follow. Its about the people – your customers – and what they need or want from you. If you push sales drivel, I will unfollow, unlike or disconnect.
  10. If you aren’t in this space, you WILL become a dinosaur.  New tools are constantly coming down the line and you need to know how to use them. If you don’t learn web 2.0, how will you cope with web 3.0?
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One Response to “Social media – Common Mistakes”

  1. Der Splog! Says:

    Photos and Copyright…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


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