10 Social Media Mistakes Brands Can Easily Make.

This isn’t the 10 tips to get it right but the 10 mistakes you can make as a brand. No doubt very debatable, and we’d all agree that if you hire top people/agencies you’ll not make these. But how often do companies opt for the wrong people? The problem is that every brand manager thinks they have to be in the Social Media space so rushes in and can easily get taken for a ride. However, the bigger brands now do know their stuff, so make less mistakes. But it’s still an over hyped area of marketing with few solid rules and a lot of unpredictability.

1. Thinking having a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube channel and blog puts them into the social media space.

It’s only part of your communications mix and you will need to use other media. Many brands now are promoting their social media via TV, posters and press.

2. Thinking people want to engage with them without making any real effort and that people actually want to involve their brand into their social life.

Why would they? There are hundreds of brands we buy and engage with, almost all with a social media platform. No one has the time to engage with even 10%. So how can you be the 1% they do?

3. Thinking numbers matter.

Most agencies know how to fake up numbers. “Don’t make the measurable matter but what matters measurable”.  Quality not quantity. It doesn’t matter how many people view your YouTube video if none buy your brand.

4. Thinking that social media is a cheap option.

Opps…this is going to cost you a lot if you want to do it properly. One big brand spends $2m annually just monitoring all their individual brand’s Facebook sites, that excludes the marketing activity. Creating good content and activity can cost a lot.

5. Thinking creativity isn’t important.

“We’ll just tweet some recipes, and post a few up on Facebook”. Good creativity is as important in social media as it is when doing a TV ad. Great creativity engages and spreads. Thinking people will pass your boring stuff around is stupid, why would they? As Ogilvy said, “No one buys from a dull salesman.” And remember, 95% of ads don’t deliver, probably 99% of social media doesn’t deliver (digital ads have the poorest response rates of any advertising medium). Ask, how can you be the one that does.

6. Trusting people blindly who call themselves a ‘Social Media Expert’.

There are many people who have jumped on the bandwagon. Check out their credentials and get real case studies. Suggest part payment on results, if they can deliver what they claim, why not offer a bonus? And remember, this is marketing, your advisors need to know about selling, about brand values, not just creating a lots of ‘likes’.

7. Thinking research isn’t just as important as if you were doing a TV ad.

Start with the mind of the consumer.  Ask how you can engage them and actually be invited to the table? You have to be invited into their space, unlike traditional advertising, you can’t be disruptive or intrusive. Most people don’t want brands in their social space , anymore than they’d want their bank manager around for lunch. Find out what they want, what they think, what interests them.

8. Thinking everyone is talking about brands on social networks, and that everyone is on the web the whole time.

Keller Fray (leaders into research into WOM) say that just 10% of conversations involving brands are online, 90% are in the real world. Figures. That over 70% of conversations involving brands are about promotions. The web is a great PR, promotional marketing tool. But it’s no magic wand. And remember there are no rules, it’s still very random what works, despite what some will try and tell you.

9. Putting all your marketing budget into the Social Media basket.

Fatal!. Few brands can survive just via social media. You will need to support your brand via other channels – remember the phrase ‘a marketing mix’? And even if you do have some success, look at the numbers compared to the number of consumers you can hit with traditional media – 100,000 YouTube hits vs 12m viewers on TV. As has been proven, big ad campaigns drive online campaigns.

10. Thinking the world revolves around the web.

Many bloggers get their information and ideas from outside the web, via classic mediums like TV, radio, newspapers and even friends. A good PR story will stimulate lots of chat online. Use the real world to stimulate the virtual world. But remember, it’s now such a crowded environment people are filtering out.

A final thought. In India book sales have rocketed because office workers can’t stand to go home and sit behind another computer, so they are reading more. This trend is not just happening in India. In UK, Facebook users are declining. AdBlocker is an app that filters almost all ads, and very popular. Even when people are on the web, they usually have a purpose and aren’t interested in sales messages.

  • Darian Watts

    Good list Chris. Though I could add another 50. I think some of the big brands have got smart but some are still in the dark ages. Too many don’t invest enough to do the job properly. And I would like to add that there are so many social media experts you have to wonder where they got their expertise from.

  • Rebecca Salmon

    Great list, I agree there are only a handful of the masses of brands out there that fully understand social marketing. Also a very interesting ‘final thought’, also consider that people’s lives are getting busier they become more inclined to use services like sky+ to record their TV programmes, fast forwarding through all the adverts.. so how can brands target these busybodies?! The good old fashioned way would be my guess, billboards and posters, back to advertising in the real world.. not cyberspace!

  • SARAH JAMES

    Mistake No 11 - Versace (a jean’s brand) revoked the free publishing rights for its 500,000 Facebook fans after activists hijacked the page (seems their ethics were a little questionable). Rather than address the problem, answer the critics, it took the coward’s way out and gaged it’s fans from speaking. The result, it publicised it more and alienated its fans. What idiots!
    More and more brands are disconnecting the interaction with their consumers and resorting to a dull dribble of information. Probably because brands are scared. The legal team (spineless as always) fear what people might say. PR department feels the same. And this marks the death of a brand on Facebook. Interesting piece on it: http://www.neoco.com/blog/2011/07/the-social-media-tug-of-war/

  • Ophelia Poems

    Using living thinking walking people as your marketing tool and paying them to do it
    seems to becoming more popular than spending money on controlled marketing
    which involves trying to imagine what the marketplace will respond to.For this new web site dedicated to music and music videos, see:-
    http://www.video.rtist.eu/
    People’s friends will be the most trust worthy recommendation making the assumption that your best sales person is an enthusiastic friend. There there is no advertising involved; however a small payment will go to those that recommend their friends to join.
    This approach may take over from the more popular music web sites.
    Does anyone know any other web sites starting from scratch using a similar method?
    Ophelia Poems.

  • Ophelia Poems

    on 10 Social Media Mistakes Brands Can Easily Make. 20 minutes ago
    Using living thinking walking people as your marketing tool and paying them a small sum to do itseems to becoming more popular than spending large sums of money on controlled marketingwhich
    involves trying to imagine what the marketplace will respond to.For
    this new web site dedicated to music and music videos, see:-http://www.video.rtist.eu/

    People’s friends will be the most trust worthy recommendation making the
    assumption that your best sales person is an enthusiastic friend. There
    there is no advertising involved; however a small payment will go to
    those that recommend their friends to join.This approach may take over from the more popular music web sites.Does anyone know any other web sites starting from scratch using a similar method?Ophelia Poems.

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