Some businesses, like Starbucks, really GET social media marketing, but most firms seem forever bound in the paradigm of traditional media marketing. I’m constantly reminded of how different social media marketing is by how inept some companies are in employing it.
And, a recent study of 1000s of users in 60 countries shows they don’t want companies in their social networks. As reported in Marketing Week, a study by TNS shows a distinct disinterest in connecting with brands in social networks or buying their products.
Does this mean social media marketing is a sham, unable to fulfill the promise offered by billions of connected consumers?
Should businesses close their Facebook pages and return to the security of traditional media?
Of course not. Businesses just need to wake up and realize they’re doing social media marketing WRONG!
Here are some recent examples of failure to understand social media marketing:
You should only talk about yourself
How boring. Unless you’re a celebrity, no one really cares about you beyond a few family and friends. And, as a company, I really don’t want you clogging up my newsfeed with inducements to buy your crap. So, unless you’ve cured cancer or ended world hunger, I REALLY don’t want to hear about your accomplishments.
Tell me something I want to hear. I may listen to you if you’re going to save me money on the things I need, so offer me coupons or discounts. And, I’ll listen if you want to show me how to get more from the stuff I already own.
I’m really interested to hear about your support for causes I care about, so tell me about the fundraiser you’re doing to help feed hungry kids at Thanksgiving or how your company is donating Aids drugs to patients who can’t afford to pay for them.
I also like hearing about how I can be more successful. Teach me how to roast the perfect turkey like in a Normal Rockwell Thanksgiving painting. Show me how to get stains out of the new blouse I bought from you. Give me information I can use in my classroom.
Social Media Marketing should be serious
Many companies fail to create a voice instead aiming for bland, de-personalized corporate-speak in an effort to not offend anyone. Even my students, firmly grounded in social media and strongly tied to their millenial background, are scared by the notion of using their voice when blogging or Tweeting from the corporate account.
Sure, avoiding profanity and off-color or racial jokes is a good idea, but let your hair down and be yourself in social media. Tell us a little about YOU. Not what you had for lunch or the funny thing your cat did. Tell me something that allows me to connect with you as an INDIVIDUAL. I want to be your friend, not your customer.
Of course, being friends, you should truly CARE about me. When I have a problem, fix it. When I ask a question, answer it. Get to know ME — talk with me not at me.
I can just post every month or so
I hear this a lot and it’s what I call the “Field of Dream” marketing strategy — build it and they will come. Businesses think they can post every once in a while and expect to get engagement. Yet, they never go back to respond to comments or questions posted on their wall.
Effective social media marketing strategy should involve DAILY efforts — Tweeting, Facebook updating, blogging. And that means weekends and evenings, since most folks use social networks when not AT work. Yet, businesses still engage in social networks during work hours because that’s when THEY’RE working.
I don’t need to know anything about marketing
Sure, I can hire some kid who really knows how to use Twitter, Facebook, and puts up cute YouTube videos and my social media marketing efforts will allow my business to soar. WRONG. Social media marketing may use social networks, but the WAY you use them is entirely different when you’re hoping to spread the message about your company, not share drunken photos of your friends.
The kid who’s on Twitter understands the mechanics, but they don’t know anything about marketing and social media marketing IS marketing.
You still need to understand about target marketing, influence and persuasion, consumer decision-making, social marketing ….