|Most businesses are trying to make sense of social media marketing and trying to figure out what the real ROI, if any is. To this end, The Business Generator is curating articles that will help folks come to grips with this thing called Social Media Marketing.
Check out what PR/PR President, Pam Lontos has to say about social media marketing.
The Top 5 Mistakes of Social Media Marketing
As a business owner, you already know the importance of utilizing traditional PR – print, radio and TV exposure – to keep your name circulating in the marketplace. Now, however, there’s a new PR outlet you need to become familiar with. It’s called Social Media Marketing, and when combined with your traditional PR efforts, Social Media Marketing can help you penetrate the marketplace with your message quicker and easier than ever before.
What is Social Media Marketing? It’s utilizing the various social networking sites to enforce your brand and market your business. A social networking site is simply an online meeting place. Think of it like an eHarmony or Match.com for business people. On such sites, people can post a profile with the hopes of meeting other like-minded professionals for business reasons.
According to the Nielsen Research Group, social networks and blogs have moved ahead of personal e-mail among the most popular online activities people engage in. Additionally, USA Today reports that the time spent on these sites is growing three times faster than the overall Internet rate. More than two-thirds of the world’s online population now visits social networking and blogging sites.
Knowing this, it’s clear that if you haven’t yet engaged in Social Media Marketing, the time to start is now. But before you do, you need to be aware of the top mistakes businesses make with this PR outlet so you can avoid them and get the biggest return for your marketing investment.
Mistake #1: Having more than one face on the Internet
When someone looks at all the pieces at the various sites, they should be able to put them together to see a single whole. They should not see multiple images of who you are, as that would ruin your credibility. Therefore, if you have multiple Facebook accounts, for example, your personal one has to be hidden and by invitation only. You don’t want that other image out there confusing people and possibly diminishing your reputation.
Mistake #2: Collecting friends
When you collect a contact, you’re supposed to be opening the door to exchange information and build a relationship. Think of it as relationship marketing in the 21st century, and the same rules apply. The only difference is that you’re building the relationship online rather than over coffee.
Mistake #3: Putting out the wrong messages
The key is to keep your messages consistent. Remember that people are subscribing to various feeds in order to get your information. They are essentially saying that your message has value. That’s why you can’t do a series of sales tips and then post a couple of your favorite omelet recipes. You have to stay on message, and your message has to be for your readers.
With that said, it is okay to occasionally have a press release type message that says something like, “John Smith is speaking at ABC Convention on employee productivity today.” Such a message does two things: 1) It tells people they might not get a tip today or tomorrow because you’re busy, and 2) It shows that other big-wigs out there think your message is important. It’s a positive reinforcement that boosts your credibility, so long as you don’t do it too frequently.
Mistake #4: Posting inappropriate information.
The only problem is that he was married. His wife (or rather, his now ex-wife) saw the photo. How? Someone on his invitation-only Facebook account thought it was a great picture and decided to repost it on the public Internet. To top it all off, his board of directors got wind of the photo and fired him. Now he’s no longer employable in that field or that position again. The moral of this story: Never post anything on any site that you wouldn’t personally show your own grandmother.
Mistake #5: Assuming that it is better to have your message in only one place on the Internet.
Think of it as constructing a funnel. You want to lay several trails of information, all of which lead to your main site. Therefore, no matter how someone stumbles upon you, as long as they “follow the trail,” they’ll eventually find you. That’s essentially what you’re doing with your Twitters and other SMM messages. You’re putting out kernels of information. If someone wants the next kernel, they have to follow the trail. Eventually it funnels them to one Web site, which is where you wanted them to be anyway. You’re creating an environment where people see your message everywhere. As a result, you now have their attention and you have the opportunity to sell your product, your services, or whatever you’re selling at that point of distribution.
Here’s an example of the power of funneling: Recently Aaron Chronester posted a message on Twitter. Someone saw his post and reposted it on their blog. CNN and the New York Times found the post interesting and reported on it. Because of that exposure, Chronester got a book deal from Simon and Schuster. So, what was his post about? Current events? Global warming? A tell-all celebrity biography? Nope. It was a Twitter post with a unique bacon recipe, as Chronester was trying to get publicity for a barbeque club he belonged to. That’s how powerful funneling your message can be.
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About Pam Lontos
Pam Lontos is president of PR/PR, a public relations firm based in Orlando, Florida. She is author of I See Your Name Everywhere and is a former vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. PR/PR has placed clients in publications such as USA Today, Entrepreneur, Time, Reader’s Digest, and Cosmopolitan. PR/PR works with established businesses, as well as entrepreneurs who are just launching their company. For a free publicity consultation, e-mail Pam@prpr.net or call 407-299-6128. To receive free publicity tips, go to www.prpr.net and register for the monthly e-newsletter, PR/PR Pulse!