Does it sometimes feel like everyone else has got online marketing figured out?
You look at your Twitter feed, you read your favorite blogs, and you wonder how they do it. However, the truth is that not everybody knows what they’re doing—instead, you’re seeing those few “marketing heroes” that have figured out how to stay present and relevant in the online world.
So why aren’t you a marketing hero? Well, it might have something to do with the way you use your social media. Though most people know that their business should be using sites like Facebook and Twitter, many brands struggle to actually attain and engage fans.
This is your chance to look into the minds of some of the best and brightest in the marketing world. But instead of focusing on what you should be doing on social media, let’s figure out some of the things you shouldn’t be doing. I asked three marketing experts to share with us some of their biggest pet peeves when it comes to brands on social media.
Carrie Morgan – Digital PR consultant and founder of Rock the Status Quo
She says: My biggest pet peeve with social media are brands that don’t respond to their own audience – which is an astounding 70 percent! Social media was never intended to be a push marketing tool to foist your promotions on people. Social platforms are designed to BE SOCIAL: to build community, to foster great customer service, and to drive conversation. And whether your business is large or a fledgling start-up, only launch a presence on social media platforms that you are prepared to handle. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for negative branding, instead of building a great reputation and visibility.
This slides right into my second pet peeve, which is brands who judge social as not successful yet don’t realize they are using it completely wrong. Failure is typically caused by lack of a strategy, not understanding your audience, and activity that doesn’t resonate. It’s critical to connect the dots between the right audience and the right content. This is the reason that I launched my RSQ My Social product; it helps small businesses outline a strategy, then wraps in a specific road map on how to reach them using social media. It’s a HUGE pain point for most small businesses.
Ayaz Nanji – Digital strategy consultant and research writer for MarketingProfs
He says: My personal social media pet peeve is when brands try to find artificial tie-ins with current news stories, holidays, and pop-culture trends. Many times these posts feel forced and unnatural, which I think they often are. Sometimes they’re even downright tasteless (remember AT&T’s September 11 anniversary tweet?) That’s not to say that creating content around events is bad, only that it should be undertaken carefully.
There are lots of great examples of this being done intelligently—from the famous Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl blackout to Johnson & Johnson’s royal baby Facebook cover. Both of these worked because they were clever, tasteful, and in line with previous messaging. Ultimately, that’s the key for businesses: Don’t post on social media around every “tentpole event” because you have to; instead, only do it when the moment truly fits with your brand.
Aaron Lee – “Grandmaster of Customer Delight” and blogger at Post Planner
He says: Something that really annoys me about what brands do is their boring posts that try to sell to me every day. Whenever I like a page or follow a brand, I want these brands to add value to me, whether it’s as a source of entertainment, tips, etc.
What many brands do instead is constantly try to hard sell in most of their posts or tweets. While I don’t mind being sold, at least give me a reason to buy the product rather than simply posting a photo and linking me to your website to buy. I think so many brands miss the mark in this—they could easily showcase how customers are using their product and then sell, sell, sell.
After all, reviews from customers are some of the best sales copy one can get. It humanizes the brand too. There are so many ways to sell by adding value. The possibilities are endless.
What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to brands on social media? Let us know in the comments below!