Social Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

dos and dontsTime to go over those social marketing do’s and don’ts! Over time small business has learned more and more about what works and what doesn’t when communicating online. While there isn’t a perfect formula to engagement, there are a few do’s and don’ts that seem to hold true.

Here are a few don’ts that we encourage you to avoid in your social media marketing.

 

Don’t: Ignore your customers and fans.

DO:

  • Social media is all about interaction and response. Your audience of both current and future customers want to hear from you and feel as if your business cares about them. Check out these brands for example!
  • Answer their questions, take in their concerns, throw in some surprises, and give them attention.

Don’t: Let opinions scare you.

DO:

  • Consumers will react positively as well as negatively, but that’s your chance to face your foes and listen to what they have to say. Answer politely and be patient with them. Deleting their comments and messages typically does more harm than good and will often egg the naysayers on.
  • Opinions are opinions and are going to be diverse. Use the negative opinions as a way of showing how your company reacts and handles criticism. This can help you gain more customers, respect, and awareness through the good that you give in return. There are some great examples in this article!

Don’t: Become stagnant.

DO:

  • Constantly remain active on social media, it’s not a place to rest. Keep consumers up-to-date, and keep renovating your sites, profiles, and posts to match the changes. Don’t sacrifice your brand, but keep the conversation fresh.
  • Use multiple social media tactics to create a cross-over value for your communities. Consider providing incentives such as contests to engage your audiences.

Don’tAssume one message fits all.

DO:

  • Knowing your target markets or audience to reach is critical to your marketing. Do you know your customers? Once you identify your targets ensure that you are using the correct social media to reach them. Spend your time and resources on the appropriate targets for your business.
  • Choose wisely what to post, share, like, tweet, etc. These choices will define who you are to your customers.

Don’t: Become “THAT”business.

DO:

  • Don’t bombard your audience with multiple promotions, discounts, and constant status updates about yourself. Instead, use social media as it is meant to be used and be social. Focus on what your audience wants to know.
  • Try posting a Q&A session or give them some tips based on the nature of your business; intrigue them to begin looking for your next post. Let yourself get noticed, don’t push so hard for attention.

Check out other recent posts on our blog including last weeks, Social Media Analytics!

About our Author

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

 

Who should you be watching on Twitter?

twitter

As social media, especially Twitter, plays a bigger role in how businesses are operating and marketing, it’s time to take a look at who’s doing it right.

Ever ask yourself what your small business should be doing, or how the businesses that use social well make it so big in social media? As a network of small business consultants, we get this question frequently.

Sometimes it’s the delivery that makes all of the difference, while other times it’s the response that blows them away. Take Twitter for example. Ever tweeted and received a real life reply from the business you tweeted too? One woman did when she tweeted Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. She was enjoying her time at the hotel even though she wasn’t feeling well. When Kimpton’s team read the tweet, the marketing team notified the hotel. Soup, a card, and hot tea was delivered to her room.

This is par for the course for Kimpton. The team makes it a regular habit to pay attention to birthdays and other events. Kimpton uses social media as a key component in customer relationship management.

In January of this year, Fortune Magazine published the Social Media Superstars 2014. In the article, Fortune includes a list of businesses that have mastered their market when it comes to social media. These businesses are great staples to include in your research, but here are a few more instances where social media involved businesses shine:

Tesco Mobile: A difficult tweet posted by a customer was answered so well that other businesses joined in on a long-lasting twitter feed that resulted in many amused followers. Check out their example to see how they handled the situation and even made it worthwhile here.

Taco Bell: Tweets from Taco Bell can never be predicted. Their humor and seriousness in tweeting can change in an instant and they are not afraid to talk back, send some love, or even butt into another conversation. They do not let the customers run them, but instead collaborate in creating a humorous, but great relationship through tweets. Read Buzzfeed’s “The Best of Taco Bell’s Twitter Account” for some Taco Bell examples.

Delta Airlines: Delta catches a customer tweeting that they’re waiting for a flight. Delta responds by offering to check alternate flights. How’s that for customer service?

These are just a few instances where brands were able to live the brand promise and show the brand personality by listening and then effectively responding to their customers via social media. There are many more examples out there. I encourage you to check out brands you admire through their social media pages, especially their twitter feeds to learn how they’re reacting to both positive and negative customer comments. Remember, a negative tweet or one that is a complaint/concern can be transformed into a strong customer relationship with the right amount of humor, a little sincerity, and some apology gifts.

Interested in reading more? Hootsuite also has a few of the top tweeters and how they brand themselves through their tweets: http://blog.hootsuite.com/brands-awesome-conversations-twitter/.

About our Authors

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

Lisa Roberts is the associate state director/marketing and product manager with the Kansas SBDC statewide network. Lisa brings a background of marketing, sales, and media with a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication to the Kansas SBDC network. She’s been with the team since February 2013. She believes that entrepreneurship is the lifeblood and small business is the backbone of an economy built on free enterprise.