Before I dig into what I think is the biggest mistake marketers make in regards to social media, I want to set the stage for what I hope will be a conversation starter. First off, this isn’t an article written by a non-marketer condemning the use of social media for marketing. I have been in marketing my whole career and strongly believe that marketing has a place within social media when done correctly. Finally, this is not meant to act as a finger pointing exercise or be a blanket statement directed at all marketers. This is merely an observation and I hope to see/read your thoughts in the comment section below.
With millions of individuals using social media everyday to create/share content and participate in real-time conversations it’s no wonder why marketers are drawn to social media. However, there is something about social media that causes marketers to ignore the basic marketing principles that they learned in school and throughout their career. Marketing is marketing regardless of the channel and it requires you go through all of the proper steps to increase your chances for success.
- Identify your business objectives
- Conduct your market research (understand your target audience)
- Create your marketing strategy
- Implement your marketing tactics
- Record / Measure / Report on results
- Optimize your marketing tactics (remember to keep testing)
So with this in mind, the biggest mistake marketers make in regards to social media is a failure to monitor/ listen as monitoring should be at the heart of all your marketing activities. There are several use cases for social media monitoring / listening and the majority of them can be groups into the following buckets.
- Always on: this is great for reducing your risk by setting up alerts surrounding your brand, identifying major themes in the conversations surrounding your brand and its competitors, identifying influencers, brand advocates or detractors and potential prospects, and identifying where these conversations take place (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc). The goal should be creating reports that track metric such as share of voice, sentiment, etc.
- Limited duration: this allows you to tap into the real-time conversations occurring during events or product / campaign launches. The goal is to crowdsource and engage with your audience all while measuring the reach, amplification and impact of your messaging.
- Research: this focuses on finding the conversations specific to your industry and target audience. The goal is provide insights into the topics that matter most to your audience, the language they use when communicating with each other, the communities they participate in and the major influencers.
- Engagement: this is a no-brainer as it is impossible to have meaningful conversations with someone without listening to their needs and pain points. Social media marketing requires interactions and this cannot be achieve through one-sided messaging. The goal is create fully integrated campaigns that create positive interactions with your target audience.
What do you think is the biggest mistake that marketers make in regards to social media? Is your company actively monitoring social media conversations and if so what tools and resources are you using?