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Three Crucial Social Media Mistakes

The world is currently experiencing a revolution of titanic proportions.  Governments are toppling.  Wall Street is in an uncomfortable spotlight.  Politicians, athletes, and other celebrities are imploding due to their social presence.  Web 2.0 has evolved from incorporating social media into anything with an online footprint.  Blunders are happening daily, and these mistakes are taking decades of accepted wisdom and rendering it useless.

Governments, politicians, celebrities, and companies need to drastically rethink their approach to social media.  Operating using the same paradigm that worked since World War I will cause epic failure today.   This is especially true for companies who have to answer to stockholders.  A simple mistake cannot be erased, it will go viral.  It can only be contained and explained.  It can cause your company irreparable damage if you do not act properly.

What is the best defense?  A good offense.  That is how you need to treat your social media presence.  Social media is not simply another medium by which you pump out impressions, coupons, and mindless advertising.  For the first time in the marketing realm, it is an avenue by which you can measure your efforts.  You can directly engage with your customers.  You can provide truly useful content that will forge the future of your company’s reputation and success.

3 Areas You Need To Dedicate Resources

1.  Measure

How do you know when you need to fill up your car’s gas tank?  How do you know how much money you need to divert to your 401(k), IRA, and savings account?  How do you know what amount you ask for when selling your house?  You use numbers to guide you.  More specifically you are using discrete statistics that provide you necessary information on how to best apply your resources for the desired outcome.

So, why aren’t you using the same tactics with your social media campaign?  You cannot accurately attribute impressions, conversions, ROI, or any other data point if you are not measuring.  The days of putting an ad in a magazine and hoping for a conversion is over.  Today, you can measure everything.  You can determine the source of traffic, what functions the user performed while on your site(s), what  interests they have, and what their demographic and geographic location is as well.

2.  Provide Content

When you want to stay informed of what is going on in the news, what sites do you visit?  How often do you visit them?  How relevant are the articles to what you desire to learn?  Think about what attributes make these sites desirable to you.  The reason is content, a ton of it, and it’s being constantly updated.  A newspaper is outdated by the moment it is printed, just as a new car is worth less the moment it leaves the dealership.  Don’t let your social media presence become a newspaper or car – irrelevant and less valuable.

No matter the platform you choose to dedicate your resources, you must provide fresh, relevant content that people want to consume.  It is your job to create content that they want to share.  Most marketers will probably never reach the ultimate goal, which is to create something that goes viral.  But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.  Profess your knowledge using your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, whitepapers, etc. – crosslink them all.  If you don’t already know what your customers want, find out, and give it to them!

3.  Engage

Think how you like to interact with brands you enjoy.  The brand may be an international conglomerate or a local business owner.  Who among us doesn’t feel appreciated when we walk into a store and are immediately addressed by name, are seated at our favorite table without asking, or have our favorite product being readied upon our arrival?  It feels good to be noticed, appreciated, and not treated like a metric to increase profitability.

Take this knowledge and apply it to your social media efforts.  You need to actively attend to your various social media platforms.  You need to interact with your customers as a human being, not as a robot.  Be helpful, not with the intent of securing a conversion on that interaction, but creating a long-term relationship.  You have unique knowledge visitors to your site(s) desire; remember they dedicated their valuable time to you.  Don’t become the used car salesman using the bait-and-switch tactic.  Don’t think about the fraction you’ll earn on a quick conversion, think about the value of gaining a lifelong friend.

If you aren’t measuring your social media efforts, you are simply driving down the road without any headlights on, hoping you are aren’t going to fall off a cliff.  If you aren’t writing desirable content consistently, you aren’t reaching you customer base when your competitors may be.  If you aren’t treating your customer’s time with respect and engaging in meaningful interactions, you are simply alienating another potential source for success.

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