Social Media Mistakes Your Company Must Avoid1. Leaving your profile incompleteSigning up for an account is easy; completing it requires a little more thought. Leavingyour profile only partly filled out not only looks unprofessional, but it also forgoes thechance to communicate a little more about who you are as a company.Make sure yours is complete, and take advantage of options like your picture andadded links to give viewers a better feel for your companys personality.2. Not having enough fresh contentYou cant engage your followers if you let your account sit idle -- theyll probablywonder why they bothered to follow you in the first place and soon delete you offtheir lists.On the flip side, how much updating can you get away with? In an article for OPENForum, social media expert Guy Kawasaki responds with, "It depends on severalfactors: How much do your followers love the company? How good are the deals thatyou offer? How much real content and interaction do the company’s tweetscontain? For sure, the answer is not None."3. Dont spamOn the other hand, bombarding your followers with automated or unwantedmessages will only serve to irritate them and can get you a reputation as a spammer.Tools like Twitterfeed allow you to automatically send certain updates to youraccount. Convenient, yes, but beware: if those are the only posts you have, youraccount is going to feel impersonal, and it will completely negate the interactiveelement of social media marketing, according to Rescue Marketing.Similarly, never employ tactics such as hashtag spamming, which Jennifer Van Groveof OPEN Forum defines as an instance "when a Twitterer appends a trending topic onTwitter to their tweets simply to gain extra attention." Not cool, and a surefire way tolose credibility.4. Not separating your business and personal accountsThe last thing your clients need to hear about is your kids soccer game or what youredoing on a Saturday night.You are allowed to have multiple accounts on each social media platform, so use thatprivilege -- separate your personal account from your business account.5. Letting politics and other personal opinions leak into your business accounts
Your businesss Twitter stream is not an appropriate place for you to vent about yourstance on anything related to politics or other similarly personal subjects that havethe potential to offend.If you wouldnt bring those topics up in a client meeting, the same standards apply forsocial media sites.6. Fake friendingYes, youre excited about suddenly having free access to millions of potentialcustomers. But friending them all at once comes across as spammy and in-genuine --descriptors that you do not want associated with your business.Small Business Trends recommends going for quality over quantity: "Seek out thepeople who will be most vocal about you. Then, go out of your way for them. Helpthem. Connect with them. Build real relationships. That is how social media becomespowerful. Fake friends aren’t going to click your links, they won’t visit your site, andthey won’t buy your products."7. Being pushyYou should treat each new follower online as you would every potential client youmeet in person -- which means not pushing your product on them the instant youreintroduced."Direct marketing can work in social media, but you need to create the relationshipsbefore you try and call on them," according to Small Business Trends.Avoid the temptation to direct message someone and ask them to buy your productthe second they friend or follow you, and instead focus on building a relationship withthem first.8. Not maintaining a consistent image across the boardYour social media accounts are now part of your larger brand identity, which meansthey should reflect your brand consistently within the contexts of each social mediasite.The Small Business Advocate writes, "When all of your social media sites, as well asyour primary web site, have a similar look and feel, you put out a consistent brandthat prospects and clients remember."Make sure the style of such elements as your background images, photos, andlanguage are consistent with your overall web strategy across the board.9. Using the same strategy on every siteEvery social media site is different, and each requires a different approach.
Small Business Trends advises, "Trying to run a one-size-fits-all approach will limityour ability to be successful anywhere." Become familiar with the nuances of eachplatform and take the time to employ the right strategy for each.10. "Tweeting and deleting"If you post something and regret it later, avoid the urge to delete it.Since search engines maintain a record of your post the instant you put it up in theonline world, you cant ever really erase it. Attempting to do so may only call moreattention to your gaffe.Instead, Van Grove advises to leave it, but follow it up with a comment clarifying whatyou meant to say or correcting your mistake. In her article for OPEN Forum, she adds,"Of course, the best defense is a good offense, so remember to take your emotion outof the equation, and avoid tweeting about sensitive company information."11. Failing to measure your impactAfter spending all that time and effort on your social media marketing strategy, thebiggest mistake you could make would be to not measure its impact.First, you need to decide exactly what you want to get out of your social mediaefforts: "Increased buzz over a product? Better brand awareness? Blog subscribers?Traffic?" suggests Small Business Trends.Then, figure out how you plan to monitor it. Mashable has an excellent guide fordoing just that, including a selection of tools that measure different elements of socialmedia, from web traffic trackers to sentiment analysis applications.12. "Too much time spent on self-promotion""One big mistake small business leaders make in social media is to spend a lot of timetrying to promote themselves. They also forget to keep an eye on their brand. [Socialmedia changes quickly] and small businesses need to watch their brands [all the time]."We found during research for a client that there were a number of upset customersposting on forums and social networks. None of these [complaints] had been lookedinto. Something like that can be actioned very quickly and you can quickly change anegative view into a positive one. Just think, "It can take 20 years to build a businessand watch it be destroyed in 20 minutes!"13. "Having unrealistic expectations""Expecting social media to be the only way to get results and trying to do everythingthemselves. This goes for other tools as well.
"In addition, having unrealistic expectations of what it can do."- Yok SooHoo, Business Development at JRS Recovery14. "Not making it relevant to me""I dont want to get ten tweets a day hearing about YOU. I want to hear things thatare valuable for me and my life ... and they need to be fast."And not too frequent: I dont want to incessantly hear about your business. It wontmake me think of you more, itll just make me annoyed with you."So: short, sweet, pertinent, and valuable to me."15. "Not responding to customers.""Biggest mistakes:1. Not listening to customers.2. Not responding to customers, especially if there is a legitimate problem.3. Stopped updating.4. Using social profiles only for promotional purposes.5. Poor branding / design"- Aanarav Sareen, Executive Producer - Digital Media16. "Not being consistent and not having a strategy""The biggest mistakes I see are consistency, failure to build relationships, design, lackof strategy and not listening."Consistency - Many companies create profiles on social media networks and abandonit. They either dont look to see if their audience is communicating on the network(s)or they hop on the social media bandwagon and just dont get it."Failure to build relationships - So many companies hear of other companies makingmoney through social media and quickly try to sell, sell, sell. Social media doesntwork like that. Sure, the majority of people that like your Facebook page and followyou on Twitter are looking for a discount, but there are others who like to read whatyou post and will respond in one way or another. The relationship you can build withthe connection or follower can be critical to your campaigns success."Design - There are so many generic Twitter profiles and Facebook pages. Brand yourTwitter profile and spice up your Facebook page with some FBML."Lack of Strategy - Businesses want to see what the social media hype is all about,and, without knowing much about it, they launch big social media experiments. No
strategy is outlined, no plan of action takes place, they just do it. When theres nostrategy or thought put into it, failing is inevitable."Not listening - Its amazing how many people are unaware that others are talkingabout their brand, product, or company online. Not listening or communicating withthe online community can open a company to a pretty sharp blow they never sawcoming."- Geoff Taylor, Social Media Strategist l Social Media Marketing l Online Marketing17. "Blurring the lines between personal and professional.""They blur the line between personal and professional. IE - if you are using Facebook,use it only for personal or business not both. Same applies to Twitter. I think LinkedInis ideal in that it is all business/professional."- George F Franks III, Global Technology Executive, Management Consultant, ExecutiveCareer Marketing Professional18. "They talk too much and dont listen enough""They need to talk less and listen more. Social media is all about making connectionsand, just like in the real (rather than virtual) world, people will be more drawn to youif you actually listen to what theyre saying than if you try to force your message uponthem."- Jessica Routier, Head of social media and community relations at IAC-EZ19. "Making assumptions""There is one word that sticks out in my head: ASSUMPTIONS."False assumptions most of the time are responsible for failure in social media andmarketing as they are in many other cases. A few assumptions you should highlightand instruct your class to stay away from are: 1. Research and monitoring isnt necessary. (It is extremely important to understandhow your market is using the web, if at all.) 2. Social networks are the preferred way of initiating customer engagement. (Socialnetworks are a good way engaging your customer but may not be necessary for yourbusiness, depending on your customers behavior.) 3. Measuring ROI isnt possible (Measuring social media ROI is possible. Here is areally cool slide on measuring ROI in social media: http://bit.ly/x8YYc)"There are many other assumptions, but hopefully these three help you get the pointacross."
- Omar Ead, Digitus Marketing20. "They create a business profile first and a personable profile later.""They make their profiles appear as their company portals, trimmed with lot ofinformation sans value addition. It results in increasing bounce rates. Professionalvisits the profile, but flip to another profile without scrolling down the entire profile.You should create an interesting profile first, engage people, and then propagate yourmessage."- Gerry Brown, Editor @Architectural Evangelist, BIM Consultant and IPD Consultant21. "A serious underestimation of the amount of resources it takes""The number one mistake Ive seen is a serious underestimation of the amount ofresources required to engage and maintain a social program."- Marc Aniballi, Technology Literate Strategic Consultant22. "Expecting social media to do all the work for them""Expecting Social Media to do all the work for them."You cant just blast the world with your ideas, products, and services, then sit backand expect everyone to think youre so wonderful. That is unrealistic."- Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO Blueberry Baboon, Author, Small Business Consulting,Motivational Speaker23. "Not engaging with their audience." 1. "Not engaging with their audience. You need to ask questions, share some humor,provide motivational quotes and ask for their opinions about products or services inyour industry. I do a random, "fun question of the day" to get them involved. 2. Shamelessly posting only about their products or services. In social media and inlife its "give to get". A great book to recommend for developing good Social Mediaskills is "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie. 3. Not providing helpful content. They need to provide content that truly "helps"their audience. Satisfy the WIIFM by always being the place they can go to getanswers to their questions and find ways to solve their problems - become the expertand gain their trust. 4. Not offering a free product or service. For fun I provide a free Social Media Scoreso I can learn more about my potential customers skill level, build a relationship,demonstrate my knowledge, while providing free valuable feedback to help theirbusiness. Its a win-win as this builds trust, helps me learn more about my customersneeds, creates good word of mouth and offers me the potential to up-sell myservices."
- Michelle Hummel, CEO of WebMediaExpert.com, Social Media and InternetMarketing Mentor24. "Getting on social media just because everyone else is""Very simple: the biggest mistake is Lack of a Plan. The biggest "what NOT to do" is togo in bull-in-china-shop mode without knowing what youre there to do, what yourgoal is, why youve selected the channel, etc."I see many businesses getting on social media because "everyone else is" or "we justhave to" but without clear purpose or a plan."One wouldnt open a new store, address a new market, or open a new sales regionwithout extensive planning, goals, organization and thought. And yet, many smallbusinesses (especially sole proprietors) just up and register for Twitter, etc. one nightand wade right in."Give it the same planning, investigation, research and forethought you give any othernew endeavor for your business, and youll reap the commensurate rewards. Treat itcasually and youll get "casual" results (or worse, reputational/brand damage)."- Kristian Chronister, President at Jewelry.com25. "Not understanding that its all about relationship building and that it takes time""What I see so often is that a business decides to jump into social media becausetheyre afraid they might be left behind, but then they fail to put a well thought outstrategy in place. They end up throwing a bunch of profiles on the internet, trying tomarket and sell to everyone, and basically failing."If a business would just understand that it is all in the relationship building and that ittakes time..."You wouldnt suddenly decide that door-to-door sales was the latest approach andgo around knocking on peoples doors...(at least I hope not)"- Spencer Tyler, Co-Founder / Head of Production at CPofA26. "Airing bad feelings""I think the biggest mistake is airing bad feelings / arguments over sites like Twitter.Last month I watched a CEO debate rather childishly with a PR guy - going so far as touse derogatory and inappropriate language."- Pamela Hazelton, Ecommerce Shopability Consultant / Designer
Think you know what you’re doing every time you engage in social media? Neither doI, and neither do the social media gurus I spoke to about their biggest socialnetworking blunders. In an effort to learn from others’ mistakes, here’s a list of someall star errors in judgment from some social media all stars. I’ll lead off the order byadmitting an error of my own.Respond to all negative comments – When I, David Spark,started being seen publically in print, TV, radio, and online I read everyone’scomments, but focused more intently on the negative ones. I wasted a lot of timeputting far too much effort into defending myself to these anonymous naysayers thanthey put into attacking me. I soon understood that some geeks simply can’t helpthemselves being negative. They’ve got an obnoxious strand of DNA and mustconstantly try to prove themselves smarter than you.Participate in flame wars to increase traffic – Similarly, Dana Gardner, blogger forZDNet, admits he would engage in online arguments just to watch his Web trafficshoot up. But over time Gardner realized that flame wars don’t attract the right kindof audience. “Going to the lowest emotional common denominator to me is anineffective way of reaching that audience. I’d rather come up with valuable insightfulfresh innovative content than appeal to angry white men sitting around computersthat don’t have anything else to do,” Gardner said.Hire a voice talent for $2,000 to read a podcast for you – Paul Dunay, Global Directorof Integrated Marketing at BearingPoint and prominent blogger, made a massiveblunder when he decided to get into podcasting. His first show was actually awhitepaper read by a voice talent for $2,000. The resulting podcast sounded like abook on tape and he and his colleagues were horrified. That episode was neverpublished, but the voice talent did get paid.Send a specially selected mass mailing to your friends – Susan Bratton, co-founder andCEO of Personal Life Media, is still having a problem trying to scale individualrelationships with social media. Even when she pares down her mailing list of 8,000 toa personally selected mailing of 250, she still gets nasty messages telling her to “takeme off this list.”Assume that social media doesn’t exist until you arrive – Social media strategist ChrisBrogan and founder of PodCamp reached out to the New England podcasters’ bulletinboard and said he was going to invite all the social media rock stars to come to Bostonfor Podcamp. Nobody responded to what he thought was a generous offer until hesaw a response on the board that said, “There are a lot of rock stars in Boston and it’skind of offensive you got to import them from other places.” Brogan learned from hismistake. Wherever you go on the Web realize there’s been a history. Don’t assumeyou know everything and discredit what’s been done before you arrived, Brogan said.
Post a comment on your own Facebook profile wall – David Meerman Scott, authorof The New Rules of Marketing and PR and the upcoming book World Wide Rave,needed his teenage daughter to point out his massive social networking faux pas.After setting up his Facebook profile, he showed it to his daughter to which sheresponded, “You’re not supposed to write on your own wall. You’re such a dork, dad.”Don’t engage with people who only want to push their own initiative – Ego andpersonal agendas often take over many online communications, and Ross Mayfield,founder of SocialText, used to ignore these self promoters. He doesn’t anymorerealizing that these self promoters are looking to create an association with you andyour business. “You really want to engage with every conversation that relates withyour brand,” Mayfield advised, “Even if you don’t want to necessarily draw attentionto the existence of a competitor.”Over-architect a site with features and content without talking to your customers – Deb Schultz, social media strategist for P&G, fell into the trap of making too manyassumptions about what an audience wanted and just started developing a siteloaded with features and functionality. It’s what happens when you work at a bigcompany and you don’t see outside of the four walls of the organization. Schultzadmitted she should have spent more time talking with customers instead of addingmore content to the site.Be overly careful about everything you say online – Futurist Thornton May claims hestill falls into the trap of self-editorializing when writing online. Even though Mayunderstands that what makes social media valuable is that it’s authentic, real, andunfinished, he still is extremely careful about what he says and that takes the edge offhis online persona. He blames his age and says people of his generation are notfamiliar nor necessarily comfortable engaging in online discussions.Don’t come to your own defense when people bad mouth you online – It’s often agood idea to have others defend you in a public debate. But Peter Hirshberg chairmanof Technorati and co-founder of The Conversation Group got into a situation where hissilence in a debate about a product release was just seen as rather peculiar and itbackfired on him.Accept friend requests from people you barely know – Robin Wolaner, founder of the40+ social networking site TBD.com, made the mistake of accepting friend requestsfrom people she barely knew. These non-friends on her network happened to be veryprolific posters and she couldn’t turn down their noise. Many social networks don’toffer a setting that allows you to only get information from your close friends and notfrom people you barely know. The only thing she could do was de-friend them, and asa result some were insulted.
Stalk women on Facebook – Stewart Alsop, partner of Alsop Louie Partners, claims thisis not a mistake and he’s extremely proud of it. Of his 1200+ friends on Facebook,Alsop claims he has about 400 attractive women as Facebook friends. In his mid-50s,Alsop reaches out to young attractive women and asks if he can be their friend. Manysay yes. Alsop says he’s an old guy and it makes him feel as if he’s got something goingon. There’s no downside for Alsop. Some may think it’s weird, but it doesn’t changeanything for him.Source:http://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-mistakes-2010-2#learn-how-to-use-social-media-for-other-things-too-12http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-most-detrimental-social-media-mistakes-business-leaders-make-2011-3#want-more-twitter-advice-16http://mashable.com/2008/10/21/social-media-guru-mistakes/