Traditionally, marketing is all about communicating the value of a product or a service to its customers, who will then buy the product. We as marketers achieve this task by analyzing and segmenting the market, choosing our target audience, positioning the brand and finally by communicating its unique selling proposition to the target audience. This entire process is a one sided communication that we have mastered over the period of time. However, the real challenges come when we embrace social media for our marketing strategy using the same traditional approach. We forget that if social media being a powerful tool can help drive visitors to our website, recruit and build relationships with our prospects and customers, Social media can also bring forth negative criticism to the website and spoil the existing relationships.
Not everyone is a social media expert, but realizing the same can help us avoid common pitfalls associated with social media. Following are the most common pitfalls:
- Social media as a means than an end: Marketers in the race of conquering every social platform, forget that social media is a means to achieve a broader business/marketing objective than an end in itself. Any campaign without a goal is nothing but waste of efforts. Thus, we should ask ourselves what we want to achieve and if social media will help achieving it. If yes, then how.
- Omni platform presence with integrated communication: Today’s customers no longer depend on only one source of information. They visit various other websites to find out all the details about the product, service, pricing, promotion etc. Thus, we should ensure that our main website is the primary repository of information and all the social media platforms are in sync with this website. This will help us leverage social media to promote our content.
- Laggard in the field: Social media community is an active community that never sleeps. We cannot afford to play Cool in the field as this delay consciously or subconsciously creates a company’s image of being irresponsible and not committed in potential customer’s minds.
- Dealing with negative criticism: As humans, nobody likes negative feedback and especially on the social platform. In addition, we might feel that a negative feedback may spoil the brand’s image and thus, are tempted to delete those comments. However, this is the opportunity for us to show the true transparency and credibility of the brand as well as the zeal to improve the product.
- Pull vs. Push strategy: Traditionally, we are tempted to push the messages about our product to the customers; however, adopting this strategy could be fatal to the whole campaign. Social media is all about engagement and thus, we should seed the discussion during our communication. The communication should revolve around the interest area of our target audience so that the content goes viral.
- Automating too much: Though the robotics and algorithms have become so advanced that we don’t need humans to carry out mundane tasks, we should not neglect the human component of the social media and not forget that people want to interact with humans and not machines.