Social Media Advice You Should Ignore.
The following are five REAL pieces of social media advice from supposed “Social Media Guru’s”. We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with and then IGNORING these suggestions.
1) Your Target Market Isn’t On Social Media, So Don’t Bother.
This is one of the tallest tales and longest lies out there. YES YOUR PROSPECTS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA.
In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, an estimated 69% of the adult population was found to be using social media. That 69% includes your targets. If statistics don’t do it for you then we challenge you step onto ANY SOCIAL NETWORK and test drive their targeted advertising programs (trying out is free). You will quickly see just how large an audience exists for your business.
Setting aside the obvious sales benefits and lead prospects, there are a number of other reasons to get on board.
- Communicating with other members of your industry.
- Monitoring competitors actions and communications.
- Researching new developments within your business sector.
- Discovering advertising, Public relations, press release or other marketing opportunities.
- Connecting with influencers & industry leaders.
Social Media presents an unprecedented opportunity for businesses of all sizes. A responsible business owner owes it to themselves and to their employees, to research it properly before choosing to accept or reject it.
2) Utilize Trending Hashtags To Gain Exposure (Twitter).
Hashtags were at one time the means to organize tweets. They are still a common tool used to organize specific campaigns or events. Hashtags can be promoted to gain exposure, and they are designed in such a way as to enable tracking, sharing and monitoring content related to specific events.
Pro Tip Note: The key for organizing around hashtags is to understand which hashtags work. Generic hashtags (IE #marketing #advertising #tuna etc) are seldom monitored and therefore seldom reaches anyone new. Attempting to use these can result in being labelled a rookie.
You can view top trending hashtags in the “Discover” section, these are tweets that are being promoted, being used to organize, or are otherwise hitting the “viral hotspot” on twitter. Attempting to become involved in these hashtags to gain exposure is a dicey proposition and often fails miserably.
Consider this example from last year. Kenneth Cole, a brand that should have known better, attempted to hijack the trending #Cairo hashtag. The hashtag was trending during the massive tumult that was occurring in the middle east. Perhaps you remember, when an Egyptian citizen enacted self-immolation and lit himself on fire in protest against the government. This sparked an upheaval throughout the entire middle east and quickly became a trend on Twitter.
Kenneth Cole coldly and ignorantly attempted to jump on board with this little tweet:
People were not pleased and it quickly became a PR nightmare. All because of a haphazard attempt to gain a little quick exposure off of a trend. Source
This doesn’t necessarily mean that taking part in a trending hashtag is bad, it just means do so with caution.
3) Outsource Your Social Media.
This CAN BE quite a ridiculous suggestion once you understand the purpose of social media. Social media is the means for you to communicate with your audience (aka customers). How can this be accurately done if someone else is doing the speaking for you?
- The “voice” of your social media efforts needs to be your own.
- The conversation’s content has to be based on you and your knowledge and experience.
- The answers, comments and reactions to interactions have to come from you.
- This pertains especially to small businesses or niche markets.
You are the one best suited to represent your business, whether in person, on the phone or online. If not you, then someone within your business that is qualified to accurately respond and with the customer care necessary. That doesn’t mean hiring out is entirely out of the question, but it must be done with great caution and with an understanding of what is at stake.
There are MANY “professional social media guru’s” that will fight to represent your business online. If you are going to hire someone outside of your organization, we recommend reading either (or both) of these articles:
4) Hire An Intern or Otherwise Temporary & Inexpensive Employee To Rep Your Social Media.
This really just echoes what was said above. At least a social media specialist might know what they are doing. Why anyone would trust their brands image and communications to someone so unqualified is beyond us. At best you get someone who cares about their job, but lacks experience. At worst you get someone who could care less about their job, about your brand and about your customers.
This actually only acts to magnify the root of the problem, which is the idea that social media is just a throw-away marketing strategy with little value.
Social media is in fact a highly intense and in-depth field on which to market ones brand. To trust this marketing to non-qualified individuals is on par with hiring a middle-school media class to produce your commercial. Don’t do it.
Rule of thumb, would you let this individual represent you in a television interview? No? Then don’t put them on the social media channels.
5) Don’t Get All Personal, This Is Business.
Yes it is business, however one cannot forget the “SOCIAL” in social media. That means talking, sharing, conversing and otherwise relating to your audience. Social media marketing is different in that respect from many other marketing avenues. Social media requires the brand to talk directly TO their audience as opposed talking AT them.
“People don’t fall in love with hex colors and logos — they fall in love with people,” – Erika Napoletano (@RedHeadWriting)
Social media give one the unique opportunity to share some of their “colour” or personality. One gets to share a little bit of what makes their brand unique, the people. When you take to the social media air waves, don’t shy away from being personal, embrace it. Engage and converse as a business owner and not a corporate automaton.
Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.