Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The 3 Worst Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business (And What You Should Do Instead)
Posted on September 10th 2012
New media has changed the way we interact and communicate.
To understand and adapt to these changes, "social media experts" popped up to help organization's evolve their marketing communications accordingly.
But while their intentions might be good, their results aren't. Because having more Twitter followers and a high Klout score won't necessarily help you get more website traffic, bring in more qualified leads or increase sales.
The tools and technology may have changed. But the underlying marketing principles still apply.
Here are 3 of the worst ways to use social media to grow your business, and what you should do instead.
Bad Strategy #1: Creating Too Many Social Networks
According to "social media experts", you should be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and every other network possible.
Marketing Pilgrim recently reported that the "the average large company has 178 corporate-owned social media accounts".
The problem with this strategy should be obvious. Who's going to manage all of these? How can you really do a great job on ALL of them? And which accounts are your customers supposed to follow and interact with?
If you want to see big improvements in growth, then you should't split your budget, hours or focus into too many things at once.
Corrective Strategy #1: Invest MORE resources in to LESS tactics.
Diversifying your financial investments is a great way to minimize risk. But when you minimize risk, you're also minimizing the possible returns. So if you want to grow quicker, then you need to put all your eggs into one basket.
The same thing applies in social media. Identify the top performing channels and invest more into them. Of course, you'll have to expand into other channels to keep reaching new people. But that doesn't mean you should "spray and pray" too much.
If you want to grow visitors to your blog, then produce one exceptional blog post each week. If you want to grow your email list or database, then make that your primary call-to-action (and don't even bother promoting your Twitter or Facebook accounts). If your customer demographic doesn't really match Pinterest, or if your competition is already dominating it, then don't even bother using it.
Bad Strategy #2: Relying on Others to Share for You
Getting people to share your blog posts, or Retweet your updates is one of the best things about social media marketing. It exposes your content to new people, and turns customers and fans into ambassaders of your brand.
But serendipity is not a marketing strategy. And it doesn't matter how many social media buttons you plaster on your site. You can't sit around and wait for others to do the work for you.
Social media for large companies is easy, because everyone already knows who you are. They'll follow, interact, and pass along your stuff (even if it's not that good).
New or smaller organizations can't rely on lucky "word-of-mouth" to significantly impact your bottom line.
Corrective Strategy #2: Drive visitors to specific points of conversion.
You'll get better results if your activities more focused and deliberate. Funnel people from one marketing asset (your existing website traffic, email list, offline displays, or another social network) to the new place you're trying to grow.
But don't just refer people to your homepage or Facebook Timeline. Direct them from a specific marketing channel to a matching landing page, tab or update. And increase performance by aligning an appropriate offer that this target segment cares deeply about. Use offers and incentives that appeal to their emotional triggers, and you'll get better response rates.
Another way to to drive more users is to piggyback off other's success. Which leads us to #3...
Bad Strategy #3: Focusing Too Much on Easy, Ineffective Tactics
Engagement is a vital step in the marketing process.
But joining Twitter chats, leaving 3-sentence blog comments and doing a lot of manual outreach is ineffective and inefficient.
Instead, you should position yourself so people want to come find you. That way you're pulling people in, and they'll be more receptive to engaging with you.
But how do you do that? Especially if you're new, small, or virtually unknown?
Corrective Strategy #3: Focus on business development, not just community management.
Community management is important if you already have a huge audience. But if you want to grow, then you need to focus on business development and create partnerships with other entities.
Maybe you can provide content to a larger media property. Or donate time and money to an important nonprofit that will position yourself in front of affluent or influential people.
Either way, the goal of business development is to use these new tools and technologies to create partnerships with important people and organizations.
It's more difficult because there's no pre-defined script. And it takes more time to develop trust and figure out how to help each other properly. So you won't see quick, fast returns.
But the long-term ROI is much higher.
And it will contribute more to your overall business growth than a Twitter chat or blog comment ever will.