Social Media: Is Your Marketing Team on Board?

Social media, if used correctly, can be an untapped treasure for marketers. All too often though, marketing departments treat social media just like any other channel they use to PUSH their marketing message. What they don’t seem to understand about social is that it’s about engagement and interacting with real people!

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, titled How Marketers Miss the Boat with Social Media Relationships that outlined 7 things not to do if you want to succeed with social media. Here are some highlights:

  1. Don’t talk about you – Talk with them, not to them. Be social and listen. Ask them questions and engage them in a conversation.
  2. Don’t speak in “marketese”– Marketing lingo is selling lingo and it turns people off big time. Talk like a human being. Pretend you’re at a cocktail party. Be funny, inquisitive, be human.
  3. Don’t force YOUR point of view – Listen to what people are saying through brand monitoring and respond accordingly.
  4. Don’t think you can buy customer trust – In the social arena, trust is earned. Pay attention to what customers are saying and if something needs fixed, fix it. There’s no better way of building credibility.
  5. Don’t knock your competion – It doesn’t work in the real world and it certainly isn’t going to work in this one. Focus instead on ways you can help your customer.
  6. Don’t think a social media relationship will result in a sale – Social prospects are not unlike a regular prospect. Not all folks you meet are ready to buy right now. You need to identify where they are in the selling cycle and give them the type of info they need to go to the next step.
  7. Don’t assume that social media relationships are limited to social media networks – Appreciate the fact that people have a life outside social media and have real life relationships. In those relationships, what they’ve learned in social media circles may come out in conversations. Wouldn’t you like it if they were telling their business associates about this great product they found or a solution to a problem they had and they were talking about your brand?

The bottom line is the marketing team needs to be on the same page and treat social media differently.

Do you have any other suggestions on what not to do?

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