4 July 2012

Social Media and Common Marketing Mistakes

When it comes to social media utilisation, are you enabling a meaningful network that generates solid business results, or merely selling Tupperware at someone’s wedding?

What do I mean by this? Put simply, many people in business hold the view that, ‘if I build a Facebook page, they will come.’ As a result, many businesses are content to have their brand messages pop up surreptitiously on certain social media platforms in order to access people who may have gone to those sites for a completely different purpose – like accessing pictures from their best friend’s wedding in Fiji, for example. But with many consumers viewing this type of unwanted intrusion as a turn-off, it’s clearly a marketing model with serious shortcomings.

I’ve argued that social media has enormous potential for impacting business communication and accelerating brand engagement - but only if done correctly. In a nutshell, social media marketing success depends on provocative interaction. It’s about offering fun, meaningful, and interesting content that makes it worthwhile for people to participate with you. Consider the major pizza chain that enables customers to visit a Facebook page to design the perfect pizza. Or the prominent burger company with a Twitter feed that invites consumers to offer commentary on their meals. Both initiatives have proven tremendously successful.

With many businesses struggling with the challenge of creating meaningful social media networks, the key point of advice I’d offer is this: go back to basics. Ask yourself, ‘if I’m commercial, what is the start of my customer’s buying journey?’ With pizza, for instance, the first part of that journey is making people feel their hunger and fantasising about a tasty meal. Does your Facebook page instigate this process? And do you have a meaningful place that allows your end consumers to do what they need to do more effectively?

If the answer to both is ‘no’, you need to radically re-think your social media strategy.

Author: Ray Kloss - Head of Marketing, Australia & New Zealand - SAP Marketing
Follow Ray on twitter @ray_kloss or connect with Ray on LinkedIn

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