Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It’s Not What You Think: Social Media Blunders

When companies think about mistakes in the realm of social media, they immediately think about reputational risk.  But Forbes contributor Neil Patel believes the number one screw-up in social media is not having an actual strategy.  Most companies realize they need to be on social media and know of the top platforms at a high level.  They then just hire a consultant to deploy it for them.  And as new trends and vehicles arrive, this becomes a vicious cycle. 

What’s really necessary is to begin with some marketing fundamentals, understanding target customers, developing goals (typically related to driving revenue), and then creating a strategy resulting from this.  Patel comments that without a social media strategy, that’s when the business opens itself up to potential missteps and lacks a chance to truly deliver an ROI from social media.  It becomes a case of wasted resources, both time and money.

A social media strategy shouldn’t be a process of throwing spaghetti at the wall.  And purely tracking metrics from social media does not constitute a ‘strategy.’  Many companies think likes, comments and shares alone define success without linking this back to core business KPIs.

Patel instead offers these tips:
·         Understand your users
·         Identify what you want your users to do
·         Choose the right platforms
·         Develop valuable content

In summary, the idea with a social media strategy is to be thoughtful and planful; it shouldn’t be speculative.  The biggest takeaway here is that if core marketing fundamentals aren’t in place, there shouldn’t be social media happening.  Many startups make this mistake and think their first step is to create a profile on Facebook before actually thinking through their brand and value proposition.

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