Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Social Media Marketing Is Messing You Up

Recently, I've found it harder than usual to update my blogs and tweets. I've been so busy lately, I just haven't been physically able to get online to do much of anything, including getting email. But, I've decided to commit some time anyway, once I get more settled.

This got me thinking about the whole social media phenomenon. And especially about all the businesses that have a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Flickr account. When I look at them, I get the sense that some businesses belong, and some are awkward at best. Unfortunately, many businesses are feeling the pressure to be a part of social media, whether it fits their business model or not. Their best reason is that, "Everyone else is doing it. And I don't want to be left behind." But is that a good reason?

Being on social media can sometimes hurt more than help. If you do so as a big commercial advertisement it will be ignored, and sometimes be seen as SPAM. If you don't update often, it may not only be ignored, but seen as an insincere corporate gimmick. If you do so with no clear direction, you will remain in the dark as to its effectiveness. As a result, you may either spend too much for too little return, or be unaware of what type of social strategy actually fits your business personality. And last, if you write with a style and tone that doesn't match your business personality you could alienate potential customers and confuse your brand.

Before launching your business on social media, consider these three things first:
  1. Are you giving something of value to your audience, and current customers? How would you know?
  2. Who's writing and updating your stuff? What good is it to launch into social media, with nobody to update it?
  3. What's your style, tone of voice, and the rapport you want to have with your audience? Don't confuse your potential audience or your current customers.

If you remember at least these few things, your launch into social media will be a lot less awkward.

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