In the stampede to create brand presences in the ether sub-world of social networking, the most damage to a business isn’t the size of the hoof or whose hoof stepped first but in not placing the hoof correctly. A mis-step left uncorrected for more than almost moments in social network marketing can derail an entire campaign. Whether you market goods or services for an international giant or a single-person operation, avoid the common death-toll mistakes.
Mistake Number 1: Arrogance
Don’t presume that you are going to succeed or that anything you put in your social network campaign will automatically be accepted because you are “you.” Convince your customers that you as a business are there to make their lives easier, fuller, better, more productive or more relaxed.
Push your Unique Selling Position but don’t “shove it down their throats.” Before the irritated viewer even starts to cough, your campaign is coughed away, and he’s moved on to someone else’s social network page. And odds are, he’ll never return to yours for months unless by accident.
Mistake Number 2: Interchanging “Personable” with “Personal”
Keep your social network content friendly but professional. Your business entity is not “bosom buddies” with any or every fan, follower or like-clicker. Present a human side to the business, certainly: That electronic representation is your sales rep there. But don’t let the person who is responsible for coordinating the “SocNet” campaign to slide into personal mode—unless the post series is specifically designed to introduce the human employee involved in a business-related activity. Even then, carefully monitor exactly what that person is posting: Keep it personable but not personal.
Mistake Number 3: Irrelevancy
Especially with the fast-paced Twitter, an employee or marketer who monitors and tweets on behalf of your business can, when tired, swamped or otherwise distracted start veering off your business course and send personal opinions or professional-person’s-opinions while under a business account.
The second facet to this mistake is not keeping on business track—not keeping every keystroke aimed in either a direct or an indirect method to promoting your business and its goods and services.
The third facet is one that causes many businesses to block social networking sites from employee access: Using company assets, including Internet access on work computers, for personal reasons.
Mistake Number 4: Lack of Focus
Very few website owners have the time and the energy to fully outline, social network by network, how one sale or one product will be promoted on every relevant social network on the Internet. Whether the business is Goliath or David, the business owner usually just doesn’t have time to properly focus on production, finance, operations and marketing. If the small business owner takes the time to thoroughly learn even the basics of social network marketing, he or she often uses a shotgun approach and blasts everything the business offers onto the SocNet world.
When results are poor, where is correction, adjustment or focus needed?
Instead, approach network marketing the same way as you expand a business—one step at a time. Present the big picture—your business name, what you do, and the like. Then introduce into SocNet A a few products. Evaluate, adjust and reintroduce. Repeat as necessary then add a few more.
Baby-step expansion is identical on the Internet and the terrestrial world.