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3 Social Media Pitfalls - How To Avoid Them!

With the seemingly unending hype surrounding social media, it has become a necessary channel for marketing. Decisions on how to use it to your advantage can be tricky. Here are our top three social media blunders and steps you can take to avoid them.

#1 The Hard Sell:

Simply put, social media thrives on building online communities while creating a loyalty to a brand. An overt sales pitch is likely going to turn off the attention you seek. Instead, find other ways to inform followers about your services and products while interacting with them. Become a source for information. (Home banking issues and hours of operatios are biggies!) Create buzz about events and involvement with your community, either regional or sponsor-based. These activities will create trust from your followers, leading them to think of you for their next auto loan or mortgage. The average Facebook user has about 300 friends – a boon for word of mouth messaging.

#2 The Wild West:

The days of the Wild West were marked by a corruptible legal system. It was a lawless time when folks took things into their own hands, much like many social media launches today. Like any technology endeavor, a set of rules should be developed for your social media strategy. A policy to identify key players, administrative access and guidelines for content and responses is integral to your social media success. Chrysler’s Twitter blunder in March 2011 was a painful lesson in carefully selecting the players in your social media plan.

Setting guidelines for how to address employee turnover is critical as well. Decide ahead of time (and train) a staff member who can step in as needed to fill a void and define a process for changing access and passwords — quickly!

#3 Avoid The Negative:

One of the toughest hurdles in using social media is examining and addressing negative posts or comments. Keep in mind that negativity does not stem from social media. It existed before the ages of Facebook and Twitter, although now has a more public channel to be aired. Negative comments are an opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding, direct members to a service that serves them better and right any wrongs. If there is an error, resolve it. If there is a service complaint or product issue, recognize it. Turn your followers’ needs to share their opinions into action by using quick surveys. Surveys are a great way to counteract potential negative posts as well. The most common negative posts are member service, wait times, technology (e.g. home banking access), and individual accounts. A planned response should be developed for each.

Don’t hide from the negative. Instead, use it to deepen relationships. Still worried? Did you know that a filter in Facebook blocks profanity and can be set based on your tolerance level? Technology enhancements are ever evolving and can help in developing your communication strategies.

Are you ready to hit the trail, or take a new direction with social media?

MPI makes social media easy and fun! Contact us at 888.641.1215 or e-mail us to get social today.

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