Social media isn't new. It isn't some unknown X factor or revolution that is freshly sweeping the world up and changing communication as we know it - it's already done that. In fact, it's been doing that for several years. So why, then, do so many people in the marketing world treat social media as some new, foreign thing that they just aren't quite sure how to wrangle? Put more bluntly: Why do so many marketers and businesses fail so miserably at social media?
1) Don't view social media as an extension of advertising.
We get it, social media is ultimately another gateway to your product or service, but the reality is that treating these platforms like just another selling tool is setting you up for failure. Social media is all
about paying attention to the places that interest you, and people are not interested in your ads and constant promotions.
2) They don't think of themselves as a media company.
One of the big mistakes companies make is thinking that they are only as wide as their product when it comes to social media. Instead of thinking of social media as a way to sell product X, think of your
channels as a way to create interesting content for people who happen to be a part of the audience that would also like product X, and worry about them actually making their purchase later on.
3) Their ratio is off.
There are a number of different formulas that different blogs and experts will recommend, but the general consensus is, that in one way or another, you diversify your content so that you are able to balance out what you bombard your communities with. For example, keeping your promotional, self-serving and "salesy" type posts to 10% of your total posting volume or less is generally a good rule of thumb. Feel the rest with engaging, funny, interesting, or educations posts take your pick.
4) Their interaction game is week.
It's called SOCIAL media for a reason. Brands used to be able to talk at consumers in a one-way interaction chain that involved them giving information and informing the thought of the consumer, and that consumer not having much direct feedback (since that wasn't really possible through print, TV, etc.).
Now, however, it's easy for customers to engage with brands instantly in any number of channels, and they expect to be listened to. The best marketers make sure to respond to every comment, good or bad, every re-tweet or share of their content, etc. when on social. The ROI from winning over a few regular social media guests and supporters can be more massive than you might think.