As every innovation has its devil side, so does social media. Marketers today have taken up to social media as a primary channel for marketing. It is not only about marketing but also about brand awareness, customer feedback, cross-selling, up-selling and much more and it’s all possible through social media channels. The medium offers superb results with minimum spend. Reach and ease of access are some of the key factors that tempt marketers to utilize this channel. But there is a flip side to it, because every good thing has some disadvantage associated with it. I think the following are the major pitfalls that marketers should watch out for in embracing social media for marketing.
Marketers watch out for 1. Defining social media success. When social media took flight and gained momentum, users thought number of likes is a very good measure to define social media success. But slowly, people kind of lost faith in this because likes can now be bought or you can just ask your friends to like something, without them actually having much knowledge about it. Questions like What are you going to measure? Are you happy with gathering more followers or are you aiming at engagement? Maybe you want more leads? need to be answered by marketers before starting with a social media marketing campaign. Once these are answered, the marketers would be in a better position to embrace social media for marketing.
Marketers watch out for 2. The diverse( and sometimes nonsense )audience pool. It is sometimes very difficult to know, whom we should target on social media. The platform is open for everyone and the right things should reach right people and how to do that? It’s a major pain for marketers. Marketers should clearly identify and define their audience and start with engagements that cater to specific people. Also, it is necessary to understand various demographics, what kind of content the audience prefers – text, audio, video, images, etc. Marketers sometimes do fail at this and hence it generates negative publicity for the brand.
Marketers watch out for 3. Competition can kill you. It’s an open forum, isn’t it. As India is a democratic country, social media is a channel wherein no one can stop anyone from posting what they think(unless it is complies to social media standards). Marketers need to be on their toes and need to watch out what competition is doing, are they somewhere downgrading their brand or creating negativity for other brands, are they wooing customers in ways that you never thought of. It’s a channel where you can be witness to something that never happened just next moment. Hence, marketers need to be careful about this and should remain updated at all times.
Other pitfalls are hackers, security concerns, customer are free to post anything and the list can go on.
Social is powerful and businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeing great results from it. Simply setting up shop on social media and waiting for the customers to come isn’t enough. Instead, marketers should think about customers as people and focus on building an engaging community on social media and your brand will thrive. Tangible results will be seen if going social is done the right way.