I’ve provided you with plenty of ways to use social media correctly, shown you companies who have mastered it, and even given you steps for how to start using it for your fitness (or any) business if you’ve never used it before… but now it’s time for me to address the ways you might be using social media incorrectly. There are many mistakes that can be made when it comes to social media and if you haven’t done your research, you might be making them too. Here are a couple of the most common mistakes from my experience and an article in Social Media Today.
Know why you have it
Like Gary Vaynerchuck pointed out in my previous blog post, a lot of companies can’t identify exactly why they have social media. They simply think everyone is supposed to have it, and if you’ve managed to stay on top of the trend then you are doing great. Well, this is definitely not true. If you don’t know why your company uses social media and it has become a blur between advertising and hunting for followers, you are definitely far from having any social media impact with any of your customers. You should have social media to connect with them.
Don’t send me your advertisements
Sending all your advertisements to all of your followers isn’t social media… it’s an updated version of email spamming. Advertising on social media should be limited to promotions and specials catered to them for being followers, but other than that any kind of brand marketing should be limited. Your use of social media should be mainly for giving to your followers.
Learn what to measure
One of the most common mistakes companies make is measuring the wrong metrics. The number of followers, fans, or connections you have does not actually matter… The reality is that it doesn’t matter how large your social footprint is if others aren’t talking about your company and sharing it with their friends. Companies need to be monitoring and measuring things like brand sentiment, speed and quality of customer service resolution, and engagement (comments, shares, interactions, etc.) with customers.
Take baby steps
Don’t stretch yourself too thin with social media sites. Rather than using every single platform poorly, hold back by only joining a few of those platforms. Then you can work only on making those ones great. Once you have mastered these by keeping them fresh, engaging, and very consumer interactive, you can move on to the next big social media thing! Remember that it is better to do a couple things great than to be everywhere and not really doing anything.
It’s not you, it’s me
Companies need to realize that social media is not all about them. It’s actually about the customer, how you can help them, and how you can become an everyday part of their lives. Companies should focus on being interesting and keeping customers interested. How do you do this? Get to know your target market really well through their social platforms, follow the people who follow you, respond to questions they have, figure out what they use your product for, cater your products to them, and ask them how your products can be improved.
It’s not only for the marketing department
While social media seems like it gets left to the marketers, it should actually be incorporated throughout the whole company. Customers like transparent companies at all levels, and social media has made this a very easy thing to do. The marketing department should use it for promotions are showing off new products, customer service should use it to help customers and answer questions, and human resources should use it to offer jobs to the people who love the company enough to follow it already. Social media should be a love that is shared across the company.
Have a plan
Every single company should know where they are planning to go with their social media. While this may seem like a shot in the dark, an effective social media road map should assign a purpose to every social media platform you have and should create an escalation process for its future.
Ok so now that you know that you might have done some things wrong, what do you do? The beauty of social media is that you can fix your errors immediately and continue to trek on. Turn your mistakes into learning opportunities that will put you ahead of your competitors, realize that you are in the customer service business, and never stop listening to your customers.
Here’s to you and your social media journey.