The social web, whether we are talking about Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other platform, has proven itself as a very powerful medium that can help you achieve results otherwise not possible. But there is a catch, or should I say a learning curve. Unfortunately, anyone who is indeed active on social media is well aware of these problems that you see occur daily. Fortunately, there are pretty simple solutions to them. So here goes, five of the biggest problems with using social media for marketing purposes, and how to easily solve them.
Can we all agree that if you work in marketing or pretty much any field that is even remotely connected to innovation and technology, social media is a must? No? You are not sold on it yet? OK, then in a year from now, when you realize you may be too late to the game, feel free to come read this post. For the other 99% of people who get it, by now you are probably active on at least two social platforms.
Yes, we all know the feeling of coming to the party late and missing out on all the fun. Now multiply that by a bazillion and you have yourself an average day on Twitter. New things happening all the time and you always worry about missing out. Solution? Don’t. Follow interesting people, consume and generate content consistently on the various platforms and you will stay on top of things that are important to you. And if you don’t? You don’t. Whatever is important enough will end up being brought to your attention. Breathe, live and keep it all in perspective.
So many users, so many apps, how can I find the relevant ones? Yes, as the social web continues to expand, discovery is becoming a real problem. How do you find relevant people to follow? The same way you find people to be friends with in real life. Slowly. Have someone you are friends with? See who he is connected to. See who is sharing content that is interesting to you using search and engage with that person. They are nice enough to respond and engage in conversation? Consider following them. And so on and so forth. No shortcuts—take the time, invest the resources and enjoy the results.
Ah the oldest trick in the book. Let the most powerful platform in history do your marketing for you. Send out multiple tweets, Facebook like requests, links to your blog post/product or use endless hashtags in your Instagram pics. Surely this will help you build a large audience. Yeah, don’t. This is spammy, it is ineffective and it will damage your brand. Be personal, be human, be authentic and provide value. Do NOT fall into the trap of spamming. You will regret it. Maybe not right away but in the long term.
You know what the best part of social media is? That it leaves a permanent impact on your friends and followers. You know what the worst part is? That it leaves a permanent impact on your friends and followers. What you share online can go to unprecedented distances so if you tweet something with a typo, you have a problem, being as it’s not possible to edit tweets. The same goes for blog posts (once indexed by search engines) or certain types of Facebook posts. The solution? Wait for it… Proofread your stuff! Really, how long does it take to read 140 characters before sending it out to the world? Everyone makes the occasional typo but when it happens every time, you might as well stop tweeting because all you’re doing is causing yourself and your brand irreversible damage.
“How are you so active on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog, your company blog and Instagram all in a single day?” This is a question I am asked multiple times each day. The answer, contrary to popular belief, is not by automating the process or any other quick fix. So the issue is scaling up your activity so that you reach maximum audiences with optimal results. How? You sitting down? The answer is… By caring. Yes, it takes time, no, it is not easy to scale, but if you truly understand the potential of these platforms, you will invest the time. Blog as often as you can, engage on Twitter, share great content on Google+, upload interesting pictures to Instagram, etc. Yes, I know, it takes time, but if you dedicate yourself and provide consistent value to your audience, you will indeed build a successful and eventually profitable online brand. That is, of course, assuming that a brand is your goal. If not, well, this might not be your thing.