In order for social media strategies to be successful, it is important for businesses to embrace social media marketing at all levels of employment. Many businesses are already doing so, and 70% of companies plan to increase their activity in blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter during the next twelve months. Increasing activity is a good step for businesses as long as it is being increased in the proper areas and with follow through. There are a few potential pitfalls where CMOs can get in trouble, as Forbes magazine points out in a recent article.
- Failing to Link Social media Tactics to Broader Business Objectives: Although social media is a great tool for marketers, it works best when it is done in addition to traditional marketing techniques. Engagement across social platforms needs to be connected to the larger strategic plan – in an integrated effort with other marketing maneuvers. Isolating social media will prevent it from having the positive outcome that is possible for a business. Social efforts need to be analyzed and then changed to account for the information that has been collected.
- Failing to Implement a Content Plan: One of the most important tasks for businesses using social media is to listen. Listening to consumers will help develop a better understanding of their needs, wants, and concerns. After doing so, businesses can then develop content to address these issues. As Rick Thompson from Snapshot Social Media explained, “If you do one thing right in social media it should be to generate a steady stream of high quality content. Great content attracts followers, engages them, and leads to website traffic and conversion. While it is very important to track and measure the impact of social media, if you don’t create great content first, you will be tracking failed results.”
- Trying to Control the message Instead of Seeding a Discussion: Social media marketers have varying opinions when it comes to the right ratio for promotional versus non-promotional material. What everyone can agree on is that constantly pushing a business message is a great way to fail at social media marketing. Engaging people about a business or a brand is the best way to generate success. These conversations allow businesses to be a part of everyday lifestyle discussions that will eventually convert to customers and evangelists for the company.
Social media can be overwhelming for businesses due to the real time communication and the possibility for company missteps. Nevertheless, social networks are important platforms to be a part of, and using them well means adapting to the manner in which they already function. Integrating great and engaging content with an overall business strategy is the best way for CMOs to succeed in this industry.