Although it’s a great tool, social media marketing also has its pitfalls, and many companies — some of the world’s largest, in fact — have fallen victim to antiquated thinking about a modern medium.
Following are four important components to consider when
establishing your professional presence in online social
1. Play to your strengths. Experts warn against trying to
be too many things to too many people. Stick with what you know.
Retail giant Wal-Mart recently saw its ill-conceived Facebook
campaign go down in flames in part because it tried to offer its
users fashion and style advice. This was a complete about-face from
its core-competency of a discount superstore.
2. Listen to the members. Social Media
Today, which helps companies leverage social media, likens a
firm’s marketing efforts to conversations at a cocktail
party. Retailers can certainly drive a topic, but it’s
important not to steer potential customers off their subject and
onto yours. Businesses will have more success connecting with
clients if they ride the wave of whatever is being discussed.
3. Respect their privacy. Facebook allows users to
search and locate other members by name. And retailers often
possess databases of customers numbering in the hundreds or
“You can find customers on Facebook and ask them to become
fans,” says Matt Giovanisci, marketing director at Niagara Pools &
Spas in Blackwood, N.J. “But you don’t want to go
too far. I wouldn’t ever invade a customer’s page.
People would be turned off by that.”
4. Avoid controversy. A company’s Facebook
page is a reflection of its values and standards. Adding some
personal information about your operation will make you more
approachable, but stay away from topics that may alienate fans such
as politics, religion and other divisive subjects.READER RESPONSE
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