social media maven

Five MORE Social Media Tips To IGNORE

Social-Media-Marketing

“There is no such thing as a social media ‘guru’, nor a ‘maven’ nor a ‘ninja’ nor any of the other silly terms people are using. There are those who understand social media as a tool for marketing, those who *think* they understand and those who do not.” – Transition Marketing

In our previous post on March 14, 2013 (HERE) we took a slightly different tact on the traditional social media propaganda by REFUTING several of the dominant social media “tips” presently in circulation. In today’s post we will continue with a thorough examination of FIVE MORE TERRIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS.

Employee-Social-Media-Gagging1) Avoid Allowing Your Employees on Social Media.

This is a ridiculous and asinine request. For one, attempting to police this is a tremendous waste of time. Even if you block Social Media on their work computers, they have smart phones. The resources, time and ill-will that this breeds isn’t worth it. Try to block or regulate their cell phone usage at work, they will still visit those sites on their breaks and at home. Forbid any use of your brand or business name by your employees and they will simply create fake profiles.

All you do by creating an iron-fisted regime is breed sore feelings, hurt office morale and damage work relationships. You send a clear message that you don’t trust them, create a hostile office environment and what is worse, you turn your back on an incredible asset.

Your employees are your company. They ARE your brand. This is not just a cliché corporate catch-phrase. It is a solid truth about the world we now live in. Social Media has changed the face of branding. Every consumer, every employee, every individual now has the option and the power to share their experiences with thousands and even millions. Businesses cannot muzzle the voice of the general public and there has been a significant shift in the way that businesses now market themselves (More on that HERE)

Your employees (just like your customers) have a voice and a reach that can further spread your brand and marketing message, for good or for ill. One way or the other your employees will talk about your business. To fight the lost battle of “policing” their voices, instead so rather than trying to encourage them is folly. Instead give them guidelines for good use and encourage them to share positive stories and experiences.

Allow them to be “Brand Advocates” and put their voices to use.

2) Ignore Negative Feedback On Social Media.

Oops, someone has gone and said something bad about your brand. There is no going back now, it exists and it is plastered on the internet. Whether it reaches dozens or thousands there is no going back once it has been posted.

Many brands are encouraged to ignore negative comments, to not risk entering a hostile conversation to avoid it. However by not responding to angry comments online you are allowing it to simply sit and fester and worst-case scenario it could quickly take on a life of its own.

Mistakes happen so when you make them, admit to them. People are far more gracious when one owns up, apologizes and tried to make things better. Attempting to ignore, avoid or argue them will tarnish your brand. Admit mistakes when necessary and then detail how you will address them.

Our go-to method when negativity strikes, is to address the comment immediately and take that conversation offline.

For example, if someone tweets negatively about you, ask them to DM, email or call you with the specifics. Then work with them to resolve the issue outside of the public’s eye. Once a resolution has been reached, take it back to the mainstream and tweet the resolution back to them as an affirmation.

The public doesn’t need to know every detail, just that is was addressed and made right.

3) Address EVERY Negative Comment.Dont-Avoid-Comments

This may seem like we are suddenly contradicting ourselves, however there are certain negative comments that exist for no other reason then to get a rise out of you. Known as “trolling“, the concept of provoking reaction through negative or even shocking content has unfortunately become quite a popular online. This is more specific to big business and well established brands, however it pertains to all of us.

Beware of those who are simply trying to further their own agenda’s and gain visibility by pushing you for responses to their comments. On social media, as in life, there is a time to talk and a time to walk away. Learn to discern the trolls from those consumers with real concerns.

4) Delete Negative Comments or Disable Comments Entirely.

Social Media is about conversations, about sharing and discussing. Disabling comments runs contrary to this entire premise.

People are going to share experiences with or without your Facebook page. They have their own page, their own profile and their own audience. By ALLOWING them to post their thoughts and feedback on YOUR page you can monitor and address the feedback. If you’re smart you may even learn a few things to change your business for the better.

Responding to customers, involving them and discussing with them is in fact what social media is all about. Simply posting content over and over, without ever establishing customer relationships is a dated practice meant for television, billboards and radio. Online “Marketing 2.0” is all about creating consumer advocates through online discussions via social media.

As for deleting comments, do so and you will have created a consumer enemy for life. Nothing will infuriate a consumer-with-a-voice more, than attempting (poorly) to silence them. They will simply find other avenues and lambaste you even worse!

Delete-Posts

5) When Making A Mistake, Deleting The Post Will Fix It.

This is absolutely horse-feathers and rubbish. Let us reiterate, once a comment has been made and posted, it will not cease to exist. Whether you posted it or a consumer did it is there.

“Love and life may pass, but Facebook posts are forever”.

There is no way to completely erase a post and no way to stop viewers from screen-shotting it and sharing it with the world. Think about what you say before you say it. And admit to any mistakes you make (apologize when necessary).

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.

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10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

Image Source: Allisterfrost.com

Image Source: Allisterfrost.com

Social Media & Marketing.

Social Media as exploded. It has generated an entirely new way of viewing marketing and has opened up a multitude of new avenues for broadcasting a brand message.

Yet with the onset of a new and ever-changing marketing tool, there has arisen a rather nefarious term.

The “Social Media Guru”.

The Social Media Guru can most often be found in its natural habitat – Starbucks – and is often seen sporting a skinny-boy decaf light while blogging basic Facebook propaganda over their Macbook pro.

Ok, that is not entirely true, these so-called gurus can take many different forms, but all are equally dangerous. Knowing how to operate social media is one thing, any teenager can do that. Knowing how to properly MARKET on social media is an entirely different animal. These gurus and gurus in name only, a name that is quickly becoming a tiresome cliché.

Unfortunately much of their advice is limited or incorrect and can quickly steer unknowing businesses, the wrong direction. There is a lot of bad direction being handed out by these self-titled miscreants, so how does one accurately asses what to believe?

10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

Image Source: Kozinets.net

Image Source: Kozinets.net

1) Social Media Guru’s Do Not Exist.

They are a fabrication. The term Social Media “Guru” (or Maven, or Ninja) is simply a misleading term used to disguise the fact that these so-called experts have no formal education or experience in marketing. They dub themselves with these lofty titles in an effort to stand out as “marketing renegades” and to disguise the fact that they have no credibility within the industry and therefore no actual credible title.

When one sees the term “guru” or “maven” or “ninja” or “evangelist” or whatever the next pop-slang cliché may be, let that be the first warning that these “experts” may not be what they seem.

They are responsible for a high level of the spammish content that Social Media user’s are forced to wade through each day. They are also the instigators of a great deal of bad advice.

The next nine tips will attempt to undo some of the nonsense surrounding Social Media as a marketing tool.

2) Always Use Facebook.

Or always use Twitter or always use (Insert Platform Name). The fact of the matter is that no one social media platform holds all of the answers for everyone. Business or Brand “A” is different from business or Brand “B”.  One does not market athletic shoes in the exact same way and to the exact same people, as one does a fast food joint. EVERY business and brand is different, their audience is different and their needs are different.

One needs to seek out their audience and go to them. Discern where the consumers that are most likely to purchase the products and services are and then go hang out with them. Be intentional, be relational and seek them out.

Many of the larger platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter have massive audiences that span a variety of demographics.

3) Be Everywhere & Do Everything.

Image Source: Socialimplications.com

Image Source: Socialimplications.com

A horrible lie that will exhaust both time and resources. Small business owners do not have the time necessary to populate every social media platform available. Social media success is dictated by presenting a strong presence through content, conversation and consistency. This requires commitment and dedication to maintaining an active presence online.

Spreading oneself over multiple platforms is the quickest route to failure. Instead one should choose one or two platforms, that they KNOW their audience hangs out on, and  then focus on solid social marketing to them.

One makes a far larger impact by maintaining active, consistent, engaging and relevant content on one platform, as opposed to watered down, weak, boring content on multiple platforms. Remember this is about marketing, about lead generation, about SALES, one does not need to be everywhere, they need to be where the audience is and they need to be focused on engaging them.

Social Media Marketing is not about carpet bombing the internet, it is about intentional and relational brand awareness. About find consumers, connecting with them online and creating a “social” experience between them and the brand.

4) It’s New! Quick Get On Board!

New platforms appear almost every six months, some make it, some fail and some supplant existing ones. At the end of the day Social Media Marketing requires a level of adaptability, but do not be too quick to jump on the next new thing.

More often than not, the shiny new “thing” won’t go anywhere, certainly not immediately. Take Pinterest for instance, in the last year it has grown exponentially and has begun to take on powerhouses the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Yet it existed for years before its recent popularity.

Certain platforms, like Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and more recently, Pinterest, have rooted themselves deeply and it may be awhile before they are knocked out of the game. Don’t make the mistake of jumping on the band wagon. Concentrate on what works and monitor the new arrivals.

Image Source: Soshable.com

Image Source: Soshable.com

5) Social Media Replaces SEO.

Let’s get a few things clear. Yes Social Media does impact a website’s visibility and does increase the search engine ranking. However it is not the definite means unto itself. Rather SEO and Social Media should work hand in hand. Social media is an additional avenue for generating traffic and ranking, however standard SEO practices (key phrases, meta-tags etc.) are still influential and still play a significant role.

6) Automate Updates.

This is a tempting tool and one that plays a role in social media, to be sure. However one cannot rely on automating all of their posts. We always point out to clients that social media is “SOCIAL” media and automating ones presence is anything but social.

Social media is all about developing conversation with customers. It is about talking with other users and creating a brand presence that is honest, transparent, trusted and relate-able.

All of the things that an automaton is not….

Social Media Marketing is a game changer, as Seth Godin said “Marketing that interrupts people is no longer effective“. If ones interest is in plastering messages across media and not conversing, than they do not belong on social media.

An entirely automated profile sends a message that is in stark contrast to the entire zeitgeist of social media. If one intends on using social media to market to consumers, than they need to be prepared to chat.

That said, automating certain posts is a useful tool in the small business marketing tool kit, but like any tool it has a limit on its uses.

SocialMediaMarketing7) Use Direct Messages & Automate Them To All Your New Followers.

Don’t. Seriously. The most obnoxious part of Twitter is the automatic DM (Direct Message) that drops into my inbox when I follow someone. It makes me instantly want to UNFOLLOW.

It does not matter what the message is. A thank you, a call to action, a website link or your mothers recipes for borsch – DM’s are spam. They are cold, un-calculated, impersonal and they reek of SPAM. We are continually shocked by the “Social Media Guru’s” that continue to insist on this invasive and borderline useless tactic. One of the best words to describe DM’s that we have come across is “inconsiderate”.

Don’t DM. It is a social media faux pas.

8) Publish ALL THE CONTENT!

Are you familiar with “Zuckerbergs Law”? It essentially states that the sheer amount of content on social media will continue to grow exponentially without limit. What that means is that for the target consumers using social media, trying to weed through the mass amount of posts will become exceedingly difficult.

It is and will continue to become more difficult to grab the consumers attention via Social Media channels.

There is a cliché term that has made its way around various marketing circles – “Content is King”.

As with all clichés, this one too, is rooted in truth. Content is indeed the king  and it is means with which to garner an audience. Simply put, one must give the social media masses a REASON to view their posts, like them and follow them. It is not enough to be on Social Media posting non-stop – even a chimpanzee can do that with a little training and a few ripe bananas.

No, care, thought, creativity and dedication must be taken in the content of each and EVERY post. Only the highest quality content will be noticed. Being unwilling to provide the best posts possible simply states that the brand does not care enough about the consumer to put in the effort.

There are countless brands on Social Media, if there is no reason to follow one, the consumer will simply follow another.

Dwigh-Schrute-False9) Social Media Means You Can Skip On Email.

In the immortal words of Dwight Kurtis Schrute; “FALSE!”

Social Media has existed for over a decade now and yet we all continue to use and rely on email. There is no indication that this is going to change. Email is the go to tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Similar to its relationship with SEO, Social Media works WITH email marketing, it is a tool to be integrated and not a stand-alone resource.

  • The first step for signing on with just about any Social Media site, is to provide an email address. That alone should speak levels.
  • Consider the similarities between email communications and most social media communication. In most cases they are nearly identical.
  • For many, email is still viewed in a different light than social media posts and this can be leveraged.
  • Email can give access to content types that are not always readily available via all social media channels.

10) Setup Your Profile To Autopublish Content to ALL Other Profiles.

Many profiles, especially blogs, will allow an automatic integration and publishing to most, if not all, social media profiles. For instance the minute we publish a blog here on WordPress, we COULD set it up to automatically feed to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. What a great time saver!

Don’t do this. Why?

  1. For one thing, posting the EXACT SAME MESSAGE to every profile looks shoddy, lazy, cold and impersonal.
  2. For another, every social media platform is different. The way posts appear on one site is entirely different from how they will appear an another. Posts should be built for each specific profile in order to be effective.
  3. Lastly, the TYPE of content and the FREQUENCY with which you post needs to be different for each specific site. How one posts successfully to Twitter is different from how one posts successfully to Facebook, which is different from how one posts to Pinterest and so on…

Autopublishing becomes painfully obvious very quickly and it a great way to ensure ones social media efforts go no where.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

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.