Social Media Marketing - Avoiding mistakes

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1765 , Published on 01 April 2013
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What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is one of the new trends in marketing and can be a potential opportunity in the present scenario. But, if it is ad-hog or unmanaged, it won’t be effective instead it might cause damage.

Is Social media means Face book, LinkedIn and Twitter?? Well Yes, but social media marketing is not restricted to those cult social networking sites. It is creating your own customer communities for your products, services and brand development and tapping into many independent blogs, forums and publishers etc.,

 

Treating social media as another broadcast-only channel is a mistake! The challenge is how the employees of a company interact and encourage interaction.

Social media are digital media which encourage audience participation, interaction and sharing.

It is monitoring and facilitating customer-customer interaction, participation and sharing through digital media to encourage positive engagement with a company and its brands leading to commercial value. Interactions may occur on a company site, social networks and other third-party sites.

image:freedigitalphotos.net

Mistake to avoid 1: Lack of strategy for social media marketing

Yes, one can just use social media to post status updates on the preferred social networks, but a strategy is needed to get the most from social media marketing.

You should make sure your social media marketing objectives are:

  • Well defined with core social media activities to be managed
  • Aligned to meeting business objectives
  • SMART, i.e. specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-related
  • Related to goals that can be assigned to individuals
  • Structured in a framework so that there are groups of objectives for managing activities
  • Assigned to individuals

Mistake to avoid 2: Not creating a measurement approach for social media marketing

A measurement framework has to be there in order to enable you to separate business level commercial objectives from tactical and operational objectives and create a dashboard to track success.

  • Collect insights for setting realistic objectives for social media marketing
  • Review consumer demand and engagement for social media marketing
  • It’s also important to understand what proportion of active social media participators you have in your type of audience for your type of market

Mistake to avoid 3: Not aligning social media marketing activities to commercial success

Social media runs across so many different activities it will help direction if you define the different areas, ideally aligned to activities that are drivers of commercial success.

Define listening and reputation strategy:

You need to understand social media usage for each of your audience – who they are, how they participate, what they’re saying and sharing

Transform the brand through social media:

Make no mistake, to really exploit social media is not business-as-usual. It will require big changes for most companies to their brand, company structure and how everyone in the company   communicates.

Acquire new customers:

For many marketers, the biggest potential of social media, this needs a content and communications strategy.

Increase sales to existing customers:

The content and communications strategy will also make sure this goal is achieved.

Deliver customer service:

Customers will look for service via social media, so it’s important this is managed efficiently.

Harness insights to develop the brand using social media optimization (SMO):

How social media can help inform new product development.

Mistake to avoid 4: Not having a clear content marketing strategy

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is at the heart of how you reach, convert and engage audiences through social media, so ensure it is managed coherently.

If you need a social media strategy, you must already have a customer engagement to content strategy which controls the way you manage customer communications. You need to answer how you plan to engage customers with content as a core part of your social strategy. Using this approach, gives a broader perspective looking at how you engage customers across channels.

How a brand creates, delivers and governs original or curated content to attract and retain customers, positioning the brand as a credible expert and, ultimately, motivating a change in behaviour” (Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute)

Today content is an integral part of many brands, so identifying the sweet spot for content to engage your audience and add value to them is crucial.

Answer the following questions in implementing the strategy.

  • Do we have a purpose for our content to deliver commercial goals through delivering relevance for the audience?
  • How do we differentiate from the bland pack by having a perspective, a position, or if appropriate, a real attitude?
  • Are we using personas to ensure customer-focused content and communications?
  • Does our content is relevant for the expectations of the customers?

Mistake to avoid 5: Not having a digital communications strategy to manage sustained content sharing and dialogue

Once your content marketing needs or rather those of your audience are clarified, then you can turn to how these are communicated. Some form of communications strategy is needed to use this content within social networks. To maintain a strong voice online requires commitment to continuous creation and distribution of content. But there is also a need to encourage conversation and dialogue to maintain interest and sharing.

To gain extra control on your social media strategy RACE framework helps. Tackling it this way will help you keep your focus on the activities that matter:

Plan: Management of social media marketing including reputation management and defining a content strategy.

Reach: How to increase the reach of your content as it is shared.

Act: Encouraging interaction and participation within your own blogs and sites and within social outposts.

Convert: The key question - how to transition from customer brand engagement with social media to generating more leads and sales.

Engage: Ongoing communications with consumers

Great content solves problems for your audience, largely so they can make a decision about something. This should be self-evident from a visit to your hub or reading your content, but to drive people to the hub from elsewhere on the web or offline it helps if you have well explained how the content will help solve problems.

Mistake to avoid 6: Not having a sound editorial calendar and a person to manage with sufficient authority

Editorial calendar defined?

An editorial calendar helps both develop the right types of content and schedules content production. Without an effective editorial calendar and a person to control it, content quality will definitely suffer.

So, an editorial calendar is essential to an effective social media strategy to plan for future quality resources from a range of writers. The person managing the challenge to deliver against publication deadlines will need sufficient resource and power within the organisation to deliver it.

Content hub platform in place to manage publication and syndication of content selected

What do we mean by a hub? Essentially it’s a place around which you can grow a network of interested individuals, a place where interaction or engagement with your content and your brand can take place. This interaction will happen because of the quality of your content marketing. Ideally this is a central branded location where your audience can access your content marketing and interact with it. It should integrate with your other content.

Remember you need to be careful not just to push or SHOUT – the beauty of social media is that it’s a two-way street enabling conversations and dialogue.

Mistake to avoid 7: Make sure you practice SMO (Social Media Optimization)

If you follow an SMO approach you’ll get the best from your content marketing, but this requires commitment and the right approach to test, learn and refine.

What is it? Social media optimization (SMO)

A systematic approach to improving content effectiveness in attracting visitors and leads and engaging existing audiences through testing techniques to increase the visibility, participation and shareability of content.

Since SMO centres on the distribution of social objects and their ability to rise to the top of any related search query, it’s closely related to content marketing and SEO.

Brian Solis believes that:

SEO + SMO = Amplified findability in the traditional and social web

Review the key social media optimisation activities

At the centre of a SMO programme are social objects. Social objects represent the content we market via social media - images, videos, blog posts, comments, status updates, wall posts, and all related activity that creates the potential for online conversations. It follows then, that the goal of SMO is to measure, monitor and improve the visibility of social objects as a means to connecting with individuals who are proactively seeking additional information and direction.

Social objects are contextualized through keywords, titles, descriptions, and/or tags.

Hence through minimizing the mistakes and ultimately exploiting the social media to enhance your marketing can lead your company to optimize the promotion budgets with high returns

This article has been authored by Avinash Ambati from IIM Indore.

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What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is one of the new trends in marketing and can be a potential opportunity in the present scenario. But, if it is ad-hog or unmanaged, it won’t be effective instead it might cause damage.

Is Social media means Face book, LinkedIn and Twitter?? Well Yes, but social media marketing is not restricted to those cult social networking sites. It is creating your own customer communities for your products, services and brand development and tapping into many independent blogs, forums and publishers etc.,

Treating social media as another broadcast-only channel is a mistake! The challenge is how the employees of a company interact and encourage interaction.

Social media are digital media which encourage audience participation, interaction and sharing.

It is monitoring and facilitating customer-customer interaction, participation and sharing through digital media to encourage positive engagement with a company and its brands leading to commercial value. Interactions may occur on a company site, social networks and other third-party sites.

Mistake to avoid 1: Lack of strategy for social media marketing

Yes, one can just use social media to post status updates on the preferred social networks, but a strategy is needed to get the most from social media marketing.

You should make sure your social media marketing objectives are:

· Well defined with core social media activities to be managed

· Aligned to meeting business objectives

· SMART, i.e. specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-related

· Related to goals that can be assigned to individuals

· Structured in a framework so that there are groups of objectives for managing activities

· Assigned to individuals

Mistake to avoid 2: Not creating a measurement approach for social media marketing

A measurement framework has to be there in order to enable you to separate business level commercial objectives from tactical and operational objectives and create a dashboard to track success.

· Collect insights for setting realistic objectives for social media marketing

· Review consumer demand and engagement for social media marketing

· It’s also important to understand what proportion of active social media participators you have in your type of audience for your type of market

Mistake to avoid 3: Not aligning social media marketing activities to commercial success

Social media runs across so many different activities it will help direction if you define the different areas, ideally aligned to activities that are drivers of commercial success.

Define listening and reputation strategy:

You need to understand social media usage for each of your audience – who they are, how they participate, what they’re saying and sharing

Transform the brand through social media:

Make no mistake, to really exploit social media is not business-as-usual. It will require big changes for most companies to their brand, company structure and how everyone in the company communicates.

Acquire new customers:

For many marketers, the biggest potential of social media, this needs a content and communications strategy.

Increase sales to existing customers:

The content and communications strategy will also make sure this goal is achieved.

Deliver customer service:

Customers will look for service via social media, so it’s important this is managed efficiently.

Harness insights to develop the brand using social media optimisation (SMO):

How social media can help inform new product development.

Mistake to avoid 4: Not having a clear content marketing strategy

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is at the heart of how you reach, convert and engage audiences through social media, so ensure it is managed coherently.

If you need a social media strategy, you must already have a customer engagement to content strategy which controls the way you manage customer communications. You need to answer how you plan to engage customers with content as a core part of your social strategy. Using this approach, gives a broader perspective looking at how you engage customers across channels.

How a brand creates, delivers and governs original or curated content to attract and retain customers, positioning the brand as a credible expert and, ultimately, motivating a change in behaviour” (Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute)

Today content is an integral part of many brands, so identifying the sweet spot for content to engage your audience and add value to them is crucial.

Answer the following questions in implementing the strategy.

· Do we have a purpose for our content to deliver commercial goals through delivering relevance for the audience?

· How do we differentiate from the bland pack by having a perspective, a position, or if appropriate, a real attitude?

· Are we using personas to ensure customer-focused content and communications?

· Does our content is relevant for the expectations of the customers?

Mistake to avoid 5: Not having a digital communications strategy to manage sustained content sharing and dialogue

Once your content marketing needs or rather those of your audience are clarified, then you can turn to how these are communicated. Some form of communications strategy is needed to use this content within social networks. To maintain a strong voice online requires commitment to continuous creation and distribution of content. But there is also a need to encourage conversation and dialogue to maintain interest and sharing.

To gain extra control on your social media strategy RACE framework helps. Tackling it this way will help you keep your focus on the activities that matter:

Plan: Management of social media marketing including reputation management and defining a content strategy.

Reach: How to increase the reach of your content as it is shared.

Act: Encouraging interaction and participation within your own blogs and sites and within social outposts.

Convert: The key question - how to transition from customer brand engagement with social media to generating more leads and sales.

Engage: Ongoing communications with consumers.

Great content solves problems for your audience, largely so they can make a decision about something. This should be self-evident from a visit to your hub or reading your content, but to drive people to the hub from elsewhere on the web or offline it helps if you have well explained how the content will help solve problems.

Mistake to avoid 6: Not having a sound editorial calendar and a person to manage with sufficient authority

Editorial calendar defined?

An editorial calendar helps both develop the right types of content and schedules content production. Without an effective editorial calendar and a person to control it, content quality will definitely suffer.

So, an editorial calendar is essential to an effective social media strategy to plan for future quality resources from a range of writers. The person managing the challenge to deliver against publication deadlines will need sufficient resource and power within the organisation to deliver it.

Content hub platform in place to manage publication and syndication of content selected

What do we mean by a hub? Essentially it’s a place around which you can grow a network of interested individuals, a place where interaction or engagement with your content and your brand can take place. This interaction will happen because of the quality of your content marketing. Ideally this is a central branded location where your audience can access your content marketing and interact with it. It should integrate with your other content.

Remember you need to be careful not just to push or SHOUT – the beauty of social media is that it’s a two-way street enabling conversations and dialogue.

Mistake to avoid 7: Make sure you practice SMO (Social Media Optimization)

If you follow an SMO approach you’ll get the best from your content marketing, but this requires commitment and the right approach to test, learn and refine.

What is it? Social media optimisation (SMO)

A systematic approach to improving content effectiveness in attracting visitors and leads and engaging existing audiences through testing techniques to increase the visibility, participation and shareability of content.

Since SMO centres on the distribution of social objects and their ability to rise to the top of any related search query, it’s closely related to content marketing and SEO.

Brian Solis believes that:

SEO + SMO = Amplified findability in the traditional and social web

Review the key social media optimisation activities

At the centre of a SMO programme are social objects. Social objects represent the content we market via social media - images, videos, blog posts, comments, status updates, wall posts, and all related activity that creates the potential for online conversations. It follows then, that the goal of SMO is to measure, monitor and improve the visibility of social objects as a means to connecting with individuals who are proactively seeking additional information and direction.

Social objects are contextualised through keywords, titles, descriptions, and/or tags.

Hence through minimizing the mistakes and ultimately exploiting the social media to enhance your marketing can lead your company to optimize the promotion budgets with high returns


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