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What are the Worst Social Media Practices

Some say failure with social media is a sort of “rite of passage”…. but why not get it right the first time? Here’s a list of not-to-dos:

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Some say failure with social media is a sort of “rite of passage”…. but why not get it right the first time?

Here’s a list of not-to-dos:

1. Be fake

The social web isn’t meant to be the easy way to deceive people’s trust.
Example: Originally, companies like Walmart and Sony foolishly saw an easy opportunity in creating artificial relationships and tried to bluff their way into making consumers believe sites like Sony PSP or the Walmarting Across America blogs were written by the brand leaders themselves – when that wasn’t the case at all. However since then, both Sony and Walmart have learned from their early mistakes and now have social media sites that follow more honest (and effective) practices. If only they got it right the first time!

2. Fail to listen to your customers

Information must flow two ways. Social media and non traditional marketing succeed on customer interaction that personalizes the experiences. Listening is really the most important step in learning about social communities on the web. It’s important to monitor conversations on an ongoing basis about brands and analyzing what can be done differently. Luckily, there’s a great deal of social media monitoring tools to choose from.

3. Not understand formal & unwritten social rules

One of the few (only?) times it’s okay to be a stalker is in the participation with social communities, especially with commercial intentions in mind. You should try to know what you’re talking about in an effort to improve your brand’s online presence and encourage relationships. Not only do the web sites have their own Terms of Service guidelines, but the communities also have an unwritten code for behavior that can only be understood by observing and participating. Ignoring these guidelines will most likely result in alienation by the community.

4. Be pushy

One of the worst things a marketer can do is be overly pushy. I think we all speak from experience when we say these methods turn customers away from the brand. Being pushy in social media and expecting traditional marketing outcomes are common among companies that see social media as content distribution channels for existing marketing programs. Straight forward sales pitches are frowned upon in social communities. A social (media) environment is meant for interaction amongst “friends” and likeminded individuals not sales message interruption sales messaging. Provide information in interactive ways facilitating choices that lead to sales, and you’ll get better results.

5. Approach social media channels as silos

Many companies make the prevalent mistake of approaching social media via individual web sites rather than as a collective execution.
Example: having one division do a blog, another Facebook page, and yet another a LinkedIn group does not create a consistent image. Not working together is inefficient and can create mixed messages for consumers that participate in more than one social media outlets for the brand.

6. Not know how to assess ROI

Let’s face it, marketers are concerned with the same bottom line – ROI. This is why it’s essential that a social media strategy includes a goal and ways of assessing business value by focusing on increased product awareness, sales or cost savings. Regardless of how value is determined, social media should be validated as a profitable marketing channel.

It’s no longer only about the “4 Ps” (product, promotion, price, placement) of the marketing mix. If anything, social media has helped us evolve past the initial mix into a more consumer friendly mix of “8 Cs” – Conversation, Connections, Community, Consumer, Control, Creative, Collaboration and Content.

Source: Online Marketing Blog