Social Media and Business 2010 – Fatal Mistakes to Avoid. Part 1.

    by Paul Shuteyev


    Hey folks, Here are few mistakes that businesses commit in using social media platforms for their marketing communications (i.e. for us it's email marketing software niche). Well, don't be afraid to make these mistakes, 'cause the best thing is that solutions to solve or to prevent these mistakes are included below. Mistake 1: Failing to consider the audience first Jumping on the latest, greatest communication bandwagon without first asking, "Who is my audience and is [insert new media platform here] the best way to reach them?" is the leading cause of ineffective marketing communications. That social media lacks an entry barrier (i.e., it's easy and cheap) magnifies the problem; even marketers who should know better are led astray. Without understanding your audience's needs, expectations, and preferences, you can make only guesses about how best to reach them. Solutions: Sometimes, profiling your target audience based on knowledge that exists inside your company can be enough to determine whether a particular communication path is worth pursuing. Audiences can also be interviewed, surveyed, or polled to determine their communication preferences. But the most effective strategy will be a combination of solutions, including those provided below (and in the Part 2.) Mistake 2: Assigning ownership of messages Companies will often make individuals owners of important key messages. Thus, numerous people throughout the company are given incentive to do whatever they can to "get their message out," and they will tend to measure their results in terms of volume. The result is a great deal of noise for those on the receiving end of these dispersed communications, because no one has an incentive to make the needs and preferences of the target audience a primary concern. Solution: Assign ownership of audiences, not messages. For example, "business partners" may be one target audience with whom your business needs to communicate. "Attendees of event X" may be another. Assign an individual or department to own each audience for your company; it's then the owner's job to represent the needs of the audience and to ensure that the messages delivered to the audience match what the audience really needs. This approach also helps to reduce noise because one entity has complete visibility into the messages that audience is receiving.
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    Paul Shuteyev
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