Social Media is here to stay. The bus has just started and people need to be on board ASAP. Unfortunately there are not much sources to gather valuable experience from either. We need to learn from our mistakes and make sure we don't repeat them. We need to concentrate on what not to do, because what to do differs from person to person and organization to organization.
Don’t Just Promote
Never try promoting on Social Media, instead participate actively with your customers and interact with them to get the maximum out of it. People usually see social media as an immediate way to connect to a large number of customers and sell their service or product. If you want to get something from the community, you need to give something in return; or else people will lose the interest to promote you.
Don’t do it just because it is there!
PLEASE, please do not be in social media to do an OK job; or because everyone is doing it. If you decide to be in social media, make sure your presence is felt. There is no middle way in the close knit world of Social Media. There should be a strong strategy, constant updates and continuous interaction. Always remember that social media is by far the fastest interaction avenue for the people to share their views. If you take social media for granted, you are going to burn your fingers, and how!
Don’t rely just on your Social Media tactics!
The usual way for people to start their social media campaign is to start the campaign and later think on the strategies- planning, research, resources etc. The tactics you use is important but it is never as important as your overall strategy. Typically 70% of the time should go on strategizing and the rest on tactics and platforms and not the other way around. Your strategy should be carefully devised and clearly in line with your overall corporate identity which can glue well with the long term objectives from social media.
Never blindly follow someone.
There are no Gurus in Social Media, period. Everyone is learning from a very effective Trial & Error method. A person with a huge fan following can be a very effective ambassador and can create awareness about your campaign but that comes in the tactical stage. You need to rely more on your research, planning and strategizing and resource planning to keep your campaign attractive and impressive. Remember, Social Media is not just about numbers.
Don’t rely on external marketing agents.
The best way to get a quick impact for your campaign is to get people from outside through different sources, it essentially includes soliciting help from influential bloggers and gurus. This can help you to reach faster to the critical mass effectively but this cannot keep people glued on to your campaign. The most important facet is to keep your campaign attractive and relevant to people so that they keep on visiting your page. Content is the king!
Don’t be a fake- be yourself!
Be transparent! You can no longer over-promise or lie or pretend. The bad feedback can spread a hundred times faster than the genuine good feedback. The users are the rulers here; you can’t keep them in the dark. Always be genuine; public likes you to admit your weakness. How BP turned their worst disaster in history to their marketing/PR juggernaut is the best example of how social media respects openness.
Don't eat the pie yourself- sharing is caring!
Share everything, on different channels! Never shy away from sharing anything that might be interesting or relevant to your target audience. Interesting pictures, informative videos, live tweets during an event, interesting content shared by users; anything can generate interest and create a ripple effect. That is what the iGen is looking for; they are impatient and quick to switch loyalties if they feel you are taking them for a ride