This post outlines some of the best and worst practices in social media marketing.
This post outlines some of the best and worst practices in social media marketing. Most of these are common sense, but they are key components for an effective social media marketing strategy.
- Consistency: This should be applied to every area of your involvement in social media. All of your online profiles should share the same information. Make sure to use the same user names. If possible, use the same profile pictures (if applicable), logos and contact info. Maintain a recognizable streamlined presence across all social networks, professional and personal. Be consistent with your blogging updates, marketing campaigns, product updates, improving website usability and responding to customer feedback, good or bad.
- Listening: You need to listen on a consistent basis for customer chatter. If people are talking, it's usually a negative. Satisfied customers remain quiet for the most part, as there is nothing to gripe about. Satisfied customers, on occasion, will leave testimonials and reviews. Happy customers are loyal endorsers of your brand, and it's very important to keep these people happy.
- Transparency: People relate to people, plain and simple. Show the human side of your brand. Create an experience and tell a story. Put real faces and stories behind the message you are trying to get across. Most of all be authentic. If faults are made, acknowledge them.
- Handing over the keys: Give someone else the spotlight. Louis Gray and Chris Brogan are two examples of this. Both of these guys constantly turn their blogs over to smaller lesser known voices for guest posts. Let others shine when the chance presents itself. With millions of voices in the blogosphere, unless you have an edge, you probably wont be heard. I firmly live by, and believe the old saying "do onto others as others do on to you."
- Promote others first: There is a multitude of ways to do this. If you have the platform and audience, hand over the keys to your blog. Share good content via Google Reader, Digg or Stumble it. These are the easiest ways. If you are blogging about a particular subject, make sure to reference and link to the source. Bloggers love the "link love", I know I do. It's a sense of accomplishment and acknowledgment. Linking to others is also very positive for search engine relevancy and rankings.
- Don't Ignore: Negative criticism or customer complaints should receive some kind of response. Saying nothing can seal your fate on the web. Word of mouth, especially negative, on the web spreads quickly.
- No drive bys: Drive by spamming is a major no no. People will see it for what it is, spam. Do you want your brand recognized as spammers who are just trying to make a quick buck?
- Lie, cheat and deceive: Don't create fake profiles and or personas. Creating a fake image with the goal of marketing will eventually backfire. Fakes are always found out, it will just take a matter of time.
- Don't player hate, but participate: Sometimes saying nothing is better then something. What I mean by this is, dont trash talk your competition. Listen and learn instead.
These are just a few examples off the top of my head. What are your best practices? What's the worst you have observed?
Read more by Mike Fruchter at MichaelFruchter.com.
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