Pitfalls of Social Media Marketing – Beware!!!

After the success of the election campaign of Mr. Narendra Modi, social media marketing has become the new buzz word for businesses and entrepreneurs. Today established businesses and start-ups are trying to increase their social media presence and optimize engagement with the customers. Getting social media strategies right can help a company engage with its target audience in an interactive way which is cheaper than conventional marketing. But a bad social media campaign can drive existing and potential customers away from the company.

The most common error that a marketer makes is by being overly promotional. Social media marking allows a company to engage with customers in a meaningful way rather than being another channel for marketers to sell their products or promote their brand. Creating a buzz around ones product or brand subtly enhances the perception and value of one’s brand or product.

To avoid a social media marketing pitfall one should respond to all comments of ones customers/potential customers on social media forums like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. This applies to both the positive and the negative comments about one’s company. One of the big mistakes that a company does is to delete the negative comments about the company or product. In fact the company should address the issue and swing the odds in ones favors in the same lines as IKEA won over its customers by providing a line by line justification about its products and services.

The other mistake that companies do is to post negative messages and videos about one’s competition. This has two fold effect, one people think it to be unethical and second by posting negative messages about one’s competition one acknowledges in public that its feeling threatened by its competition. One way to neutralize ones competition on social media is to follow thought leaders and news makers of one’s industry and comment on their blog. This ensures that one’s company is always trending in a subtle way.

Another common mistake that marketers make especially for the startups or new launches is that they buy followers or fans to create the initial buzz. The problem with this strategy is that there are chances that the social media campaign can fall flat after the initial buzz as the paid followers or fans are not loyal to the brand or product nor do they spread the word around. The second outcome of the paid followers or fans is that the company doesn’t get the correct feedback or reviews about the product/company/ service.

One of the most trivial things which can explode into a catastrophe for the company is posting or commenting something on the social media without thinking about its consequences. There are N no. of instances where a casual post has caused promising campaigns to fails or have resulting in the marketer losing his job. One should proofread everything before posting on social media networks. Some of the companies have in fact made it a protocol to get a comment or a post reviewed by at least 2-3 people before it goes on the social media. After all it’s better safe than being sorry!!!