SOCIAL MEDIA CATASTROPHES
To avoid social media CATastrophes, it really helps to understand the social media platforms you will be using to promote your business! Enter our PURRfected explanation of Social Meowdia.
CATASTROPHE #1: CHASING YOUR TAIL Have a goal beyond being liked.
When engaging in any social media strategy, it is essential to have a company goal that goes beyond getting fans, followers, or retweets. The ultimate goal of any social media presence should be a company goal. David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, explains that using social marketing to achieve your company's goals of profitability—rather than simply increasing Social Media statistics—is essential. Scott explains, “When marketers focus on the same goals as the rest of the organization, we develop marketing programs that really deliver action and begin to contribute to the bottom line.” Setting concrete, manageable goals for your business' social media strategy will help keep your efforts focused and on task. Examples of specific goals: • • • • •
Sell a speciﬁc product on your website Encourage attendance at an event Inﬂuence customers to stop by your business Increase traﬃc to your website or landing page Monitor and improve customer satisfaction
Example: Call to Action
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CATASTROPHE #2: REFUSING TO BE PLAYFUL Social Media is meant to be social.
Remember people are on social media in order to engage, connect, unwind, get ideas, and be amused. Their purpose in being on social media should be your purpose. Social media is “a fun place where you give more than you get...What you get in return for your valuable interactions are lasting friendships, many of which lead to business opportunities,” explains Scott. Developing a reputation for being useful, funny, or engaging will build a lasting relationship with your followers. Here are some examples of engaging behaviors: • • • • • • •
Interesting infographics Contests Amusing observations (avoid personal attacks) How-to’s and Do-It-Yourself tutorials Eye-catching photos Humorous graphics Funny or instructive videos
Remember, Social Media posts don't need to be humorous to be effective. Eye-CATching graphics and useful information is key to becoming a valuable source. Example:
CATASTROPHE #3: NOT CONNECTING
As a business, it is a major faux paw to treat people like a number rather than a person. People are on social media. Not statistics. People have their own opinions, likes, and dislikes. They will not hesitate to tell others if your business or online demeanor or service is awful. Shama Kabani, social media expert, urges businesses to interact with customerseven to the point of setting up a personal telephone call with one customer each week. Here are some other ideas for connecting with your customers through social media. • • •
Share pictures of people in your oﬃce. It adds the personal touch and puts a face behind a business name. Share original content: articles, videos, how-to’s, recipes, and yes, photos of your cat. Post questions that require a response. Give responses back. Doing so creates a dialogue and fosters a relationship.
Example: Let's hear your favorite activity while your human pet is away...
CATASTROPHE #4: FAILING TO POUNCE Only 44% of customer questions on Twitter are answered within 24 hours, according to AllTwitter.
Social media platforms oﬀer businesses a unique perspective into what people think about a product or service. As you monitor social media, be ready to offer products or services or dispel poor images of your business. Remember, you are writing not only to the negative commenter but also to the entire online community. You will gain respect as you carefully and respectfully address their concerns. If the negative comment is obviously biased and wacky, other online people will see you as the voice of reason. You may choose to compensate them with coupons, free products, etc. but do so privately. The last thing you want to go viral is for people to get free stuff for complaints. When responding to a negative comment: • Example:
• • • •
• • • •
Don't take the comment as personal insult (even if it is) Thank the person for the comment Apologize for their experience Pause to reﬂect on how to respond to comments in both a professional and friendly manner If your business did something that was potentially harmful, first seek legal counsel, but then respond quickly (within hours) to comments and complaints Oﬀer a brief explanation if there is one, otherwise, Promise to do better in the future or oﬀer an alternative Show the person you value their opinions End on a positive note (new product announcement, event, etc.)
Don't ignore the rave reviews! Failing to acknowledge the compliments is almost as bad as ignoring the complaints. Try to respond personally to each positive comment: Example: We so happy you liked the Catnip Cake! The cats in our office serve it when we celebrate office birthdays every month!
• • •
Thank the commenter Restate their praise Add more to the conversation. An interesting tidbit or fact advances the conversation and builds your relationship
CATASTROPHE #5: FAILING TO LINK Not linking your Social Media directly to your Website is a big mistake often overlooked.
Remember your business’ social media strategy should be just that: a planned strategy. If your goal is to increase your web traﬃc, be certain to place a link with your posts. Example: Edit the description box in Pinterest and add your business’ URL. Get this frisky sweater and other feline friendly outerwear at www.catsweatersgalore.com....
CATASTROPHE #6: PLAYING CAT & MOUSE I CAN HAZ CAT TOY?
Social media advertising takes time. Don’t be afraid to analyze your time and concentrate on what works for you. Shama Kabani suggests selecting two social media networks to focus on and construct your online strategy. Likewise, consider paying for advertising. A well-placed ad may be ultimately more effective in gaining new leads and customers.
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CATASTROPHE #7: NOT BEING YOURSELF
A key role in social media involvement is being you. David Lee King puts it this way, “You need to develop conversational, authentic ways to communicate with customers and constituents”. King stresses it is important to create an authentic voice through words and also through videos to make your business sound more human. Your business can create a genuine voice through a variety of strategies: • • • • •
Write like you talk. If a shorter word works, don’t use a longer word! Of course, use standard English—nothing decreases your cred ibility like unintended mispronounced words or improper gram mar Share details. It's the little things that matter. However, recognize there is a ﬁne line between nice tidbits, and TMI. Listen to what your customers are saying. Respond!
CATASTROPHE #8: FAILING TO ADD ORIGINAL CONTENT
Statistics say that up to 80% of Pinterest content is re-pinned from other Pinterest users. That means that clever, interesting, eye-catching, original content is an invaluable asset to businesses. Being the original source for content, whatever the social media platform, increases your business’ credibility.
Should you hire help?
According to a recent study of marketing, nine in ten bisinesses that consider their social media programs successful used outside consultants. Companies like ours (shameful plug) exist to make fun, original, and useful content (like this ebook!). Need some help? Don’t be shy, we’d love to CATch up on your business objectives and come up with the PURRfect content for building your brand through social media!
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Call us at 877.873.9298 or visit us online http://avalaunchmedia.com/services
About the Authors In addition to freelance writing and consulting, Stacie Draper Weatbrook teaches college writing and rhetoric. Her passions are her family, snowboarding, and helping small businesses connect with their customers through strategically crafted content. She holds a B.A. in Social Work and an M.A. in English Theory and Practice of Writing. She has two dogs and no cats.
David Mink is a licensed attorney and the CEO of Avalaunch Media. David is a frequent conference speaker at PubCon, Search Marketing Expo (SMX), universities, and other professional organizations. David has also founded a number of ecommerce websites, developed Internet marketing training curriculum for business learning companies, and recently produced one of the first social media compliance guides. When David is not working, you might find him on a basketball court, snowboarding, or hiking mountainous trails with his beautiful wife and three sons.
Sources: Dungan, Lauren. “Only 44% of Customer Questions on Twitter Are Answered within 24 Hours (Study).” MediaBistro.com/AllTwitter. 31 May 2012. Hayden, Beth. “The State of Pinterest: What Content Marketers Need to Know Now.” Copyblogger.com. 16 Apr. 2013. Jorgensen, Kevin. “Facebook Marketing Statistics You Need to Know.” Business2Community.com. 24 Sept. 2012. Kabani, Shama. The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue. Dallas: BanBella Books, Inc, 2013. King, David Lee. Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections. Medford, New Jersey:Information Today, Inc. 2012. Kanally, Craig. “How to Use LinkedIn Eﬀectively: Josh Turner Shares Tips in Q&A.” Huﬃngton Post. 02 Feb. 2013. Scott, David Meerman. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011. "Study Oﬀers Tips On Eﬀective Social Media." Credit Union Journal 16.12 (2012): 47. Business Source Premier. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.
NO CATS WERE HARMED DURING THE MAKING OF THIS E-BOOK.
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