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3 Social Media Mistakes Your Brand Could Be Making

Katherinev123
August 27th, 2012
Social media is everywhere, and brands the world over are trying to figure out how to use it effectively in their marketing plans. However, social media isn't as easy as it sometimes appears; many brands make social media mistakes, which could be the difference between gaining fans and losing them. Here are three common social media mistakes you might be making:

1) Not Having a Focused Strategy. Just because your competitors are on every single social network doesn't mean you should be, too. As writer Brad Smith of Social Media Today says, "There's too many opportunities, too many new features, and too many new shiny tactics to try." To make the most out of your social media efforts -- and your resources and time -- focus on the activities that will help you reach your online goals, whether it's increasing followers or creating compelling content, the most efficiently and effectively. Focus your strategy by considering who your customers are and what social network they will use predominantly. Weed out social networks that might not align with your brand. For example, don't use Pinterest if your company is not reliant on visual imagery.

2) Ignoring Complaints. Dissatisfied customers will often use brands' social media pages to vent and say negative things about their experience. Although this is never a pleasant situation for any brand, it is important not to ignore these complaints and deal with them as you would if the customer appeared in person at your office or store. Some brands will delete negative comments or ignore them completely -- both tactics are not advised since other online users would have already seen the comments. Even if you reach out to the dissatisfied customer privately, others might assume that you have chosen not to deal with the complaint at all, which inevitably puts your brand in a bad light.

3) Putting the Wrong Person in the Social Media Seat. Since your social media manager or marketer is the bridge between your online fans and your brand, choosing the right person for this role is imperative. For example, hiring a social media manager who is more concerned about promoting themselves, rather than your brand, translates into wasted resources. What's more, if the person does not fully comprehend your brand and its offerings, he or she may wrongly represent it or interact with customers in a way that does not suit your brand image. In the Inc.com article, '11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn't Run Your Social Media,' writer Hollis Thomases points out, "You need to make sure your posts reflect your brand -- and that you don't wind up with a late-night smartphone photo landing in the wrong account." Thus, hiring someone who is mature, respects confidentiality, understands urgency and knows how to converse with customers is essential to a solid social media marketing plan.

Social media is constantly evolving, but simply understanding and addressing the social media mistakes you might be making right now will save you time and money as you improve your social media marketing strategy. To uncover different examples of successful social media marketing plans, make sure you download our Social Media Trend Report and visit our PRO trends database.