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The Worst Mistakes for Businesses
Posted on May 14th 2014
Aside from criminal activity, the worst mistake a company can make is assuming it can handle content marketing. What’s so hard about it, anyway? A few Facebook posts, a Twitter account, a blog — what can go wrong?
As it turns out, a lot can go wrong when it comes to internal, untrained, and misdirected content marketing. Below are a few examples, reasons, and arguments that (I hope) will convert business owners into believers of social media, content, and external marketing.
The Initial Rush
The everyday small- to mid-sized business will likely pull in an intern or underworked employee and say, “Hey — you’re now in charge of our Facebook page.” It’s that employee’s job to post updates, manage comments, stay on top of fans, and generate meaningful, attractive content. Check.
Too bad Facebook isn’t everything. There are a dozen or so platforms companies can choose from, whether they fit a niche on Pinterest, create YouTube videos, become influencers on LinkedIn, or use blogs to share authoritative content. We all know these things because we work with them every day.
The business with the fresh online presence also risks setting high expectations. “But big brands have thousands of followers,” a boss may say. “Why don’t we?”
It’s because social activity takes time, effort, and a little luck. Nine times out of 10, the smaller business’ FB page will get a few fans out of friends, family members, and loyal customers. But these people already accept and support the business, don’t they? What good are they as followers?
Businesses need to set out on social media with the expectation to reach new customers, a goal achieved by utilizing existing ones. Without realizing this goal, a dull business page will likely fall into obscurity and the employee responsible for updating it will stop trying.
The Bad Blog
About three-fourths of the business blogs I come across are outdated or — even worse — feature heavily promotional content that doesn’t say anything. This content is usually shaped around upcoming events, new releases, and other updates. While this info is necessary (and justified if delivered properly), most business blogs cannot support it due to low readership.
The “bad blog” is a side effect of having a non-writer (or a writer who specializes in advertorial content) as a content manager. In addition, a less-than-savory blog usually maintains these qualities:
- Infrequent posts
- Poor grammar and spelling
- Short, unformatted content
- Over-promotional tone
- Written from a brand’s perspective
Who wants to visit a site and find this?
Social media is a healthy way to communicate with consumers, professionals, and other businesses. While setting out to become big-hitters on a platform, businesses often run the risk of saying the wrong thing.
How do you deal with a customer complaint on Twitter? What do you do when a well-meaning customer uses profanity? How do you connect to influencers without sounding desperate?
These are tricky questions, ones that experienced content marketers and social media experts know how to answer.
So here’s my plea: Businesses. If you’re unsure how to approach Facebook, blogging, or website content, find someone who does. Don’t bet on the long shot and suffer the consequences.
(business mistakes / shutterstock)