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Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing

TMCnet Feature

October 10, 2013

Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor

While few companies today would deny the importance of social media marketing campaigns, when it comes to the execution of these campaigns, there is a lot of room for improvement. Many companies are simply operating blind when it comes to social media: they’re neither really understanding what their customers want, nor are they understanding how to take advantage of the opportunities that social media presents to them.

For some companies, simply designing a workable plan around social media is a big step toward progress. Many campaigns seem to be run in a slap-dash way, more by trial and error than according to a real, workable plan. According to social media monetization specialists, building a plan is the first step, and doing so requires studying where other companies go wrong with social media. Essentially, it boils down to sending the right message to the right people via the right vehicle at the right time.

Common errors that run counter to this conventional wisdom include:

Not getting the content right. According to Sqeeqee, it’s a good start to segment your social media marketing audience to provide specialized content to each group.

“Handle each of your social media platforms separately,” advises the company. “Don't simply post the same content on any social media sites you use. Different platforms have different types of users, so keep this in mind when publishing and marketing content.”

This, of course, may require you to begin by doing an in-depth study on your customers and surveying them regarding their social media usage and their preferences. That said, while the messages or offers may be different for each social media channel, ensure that you keep your underlying branding consistent.

Neglecting the channels. Social media isn’t like a static Web page or a display ad. Customers today expect variety, and they expect it only a daily or even hourly basis. If you’re broadcasting the same messages this week as you did last week, customers will get bored and tune out. Keep the content fresh, eye-catching and regular.

Timing. You may be crafting the greatest social media outreach program…but disseminating it at the wrong time, which takes away from its effectiveness.

“What constitutes good timing depends on a number of factors, including the particular social networking service and the demographic that you are targeting,” says the company. “As a general rule, the best time to post on Facebook or Twitter is around midday while many people are on their lunch breaks and getting up-to-date with their social media. With LinkedIn (News - Alert), the best times to post are in the morning before the average working day begins, or in the evening between five and six.”

While trial-and-error – the method most companies use today in social media marketing – may allow you to get it right eventually, chances are, you’ll waste a lot of time and money in the process. Instead, study case studies of best practices based on companies in an industry similar to yours who got it right.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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