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10 Things That Are Ruining Your Social Media Strategy

In the last couple weeks alone the Sony Playstation 4 , applications for a pair of Google Glasses were being accepted, the Apple “iWatch” patent and the HTC One were all announced. ALL with sharing capabilities to tap into the networks of the billions of users around the globe, all the while, you continue to argue social media is… a fad.

Social media as it’s called, I call it a normal socialized society, is blowing up before your very eyes. For me, it’s the same story, different era. It’s a new medium, but the concept hasn’t really changed. People talk with people and banded together they are called communities. Communities have always grouped together based on ideals, hobbies and other variables. This is where your brand and it’s social strategy come together.

In 2012, brands continue to buy up television and print ads while missing the bus that’s carrying the consumers. However, by addressing this bus, you can fix the ways that fault the socialized segment of your marketing and communications strategy:

  • Forgetting Your Homepage

    • The website for your brand is the homebase to your strategy. When populating your social platforms one of the first things you do is optimize by making sure your websites URL is in place. This creates an inbound link back to your site. However, if the strategy behind your site is poor, think user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) as well as content strategy, then how do you suppose the user can successfully navigate it? Thus making your initial social effort, a failure. Many sites are shifting to very socially optimized sites that create engagement via the site and increase broadcast efforts through the user’s own social networks. A bonus that it gives you place to hold your content that you develop, just look at what Cheetos has done with all of their content.

  • Just Facebook

    • Being on Facebook doesn’t mean shit. If you’re on Rodeo Dr. it doesn’t guarantee you will have a successful fashion retail store. Being in Portland’s thriving brewery scene doesn’t guarantee success, so why should being on Facebook bring you success? Being a part of the conversation wherever it’s being held is important. Delivering content via the many channels available to your target is important. Facebook is just a vessel to drive your content. Sure, it’s the #1 social site in the nation, but even Michael Jordan knew what a loss was. If there’s conversation happening on Twitter, you must address it. Craft your delivery based around your target and already established customers.
  • Avoiding Mobile

    • Many business leaders spend so much time worrying about social that they don’t even realize consumers are shifting right through the “social era” into the “mobile era.” By nature, mobile is social. From my device I text, email, tweet, Facebook  create content and address my networks. In fact, I’d suggest that desktops and laptops were never truly meant for social, sort of a cart leading the horse scenario. But with mobile blowing up, we have it going the way it should. It’s on you to realize how to interact with the consumer. Vine, SnapChat and Instagram are ALL mobile based social platforms.
  • Lacking Social Customer Care

    • I hate phones. I especially hate phone trees. Social and customer care go hand in hand like steak and potatoes. Yet, so few brands understand this. They send customer responses to call or email, which is counterproductive. Use the social tools to address the concern on the spot and if their is a necessity to call, take it upon yourself to call the customer. Could you imagine a world where the brand waited on the phone for the customer? Twitter is perfect for this concept and Zappos kills it with this.

  • Failing to Educate

    • As a leader, you have to adjust to changing tide. Unfortunately, so few want to educated themselves. Instead, they’ll fight it. Then gripe about these new kids and their lack of manners. For me, I tend to manage far more relationships than I could without Facebook. I can tell a friend from high school, Happy Birthday, even if I haven’t talked to them physically in 10 years. The next time I am in a foreign city, I can drop a note on Facebook asking if anyone is in town and want to grab a beer to catch up. This is relationship building and these are the tools that are used today. Educate yourselves and stop fighting the shift that has already happened. You’ll feel better and more in the driver’s seat.
  • Missing a Content Strategy

    • Content is key. Producing content to be distributed throughout the web is essential to your strategy. Content is how you can create engagement with your brand. Becoming content with the idea of not producing content can hurt your fight for market share. Create a story, tell it well and have some fun. This is a way for your blog to come into play. Also, highly consider YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Acting Entitled

    • Brands are notorious for acting like customers should like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for the sake of it. What a ludicrous concept. Consumes owe you nothing, it’s time you treat them as such. Consider telling a captivating story that helps them discover the beauty behind your brand. Create the content that makes them want to share your brand. But never act as though they owe you a like, share or comment.
  • Employing the Wrong People

    • A previous client hired me to get them straight with digital media. The problem is, my point of contact was someone who didn’t want to work in digital media, didn’t understand it and overall, just wasn’t capable. How is this possible? I wouldn’t hire my firefighter to do my taxes, because he’s not skilled in the fine art of getting me a substantial return. He’s damn good at being a hero in the face of danger. But brands all too often shove people into social media because that’s how invested they are in social. If you invest 50%, you will get half a return, one place to start is using those who have already expressed interest in helping the business build their social efforts. Also consider those who know something about distributing messages and stories based around your brand.
  • Not Staying Agile

    • Your clients are everywhere. Facebook, blogs, forums, mobile devices, Vine, SnapChat, they are literally everywhere, and even more so today, than five years ago. It’s important to become agile and move at the speed of your customers, because it’s their attention you desire, so acknowledge that and build relationships on the platforms that they find convenient. Thrusting tv commercials and print advertising in their faces isn’t convenient, it’s interruptive and has become tuned out.
  • Lacking of Research

    • I have heard many clients tell me they want to be on a place. For the sake of simplicity, I will say Facebook. So I ask, “Why?” Typically, they will say, I just heard I need to be there. This logic is terrible. Research is so vital, from the smallest of brands to the global brands. Consider where your target is, or where your current buyer is, possibly even consider where your competitors are if you want to snatch up market share. Quality research will answer why you need to be on particular platforms but not on others.

With all this said, social media isn’t the easiest nut to crack. It takes time, experience, and some failures to really hone your strategy and make it right for your community. But using a social media tool can really help to improve your daily workflow and leave more time for focusing on strategy. Viralheat helps you management, monitor, engage, and analyze from one dashboard.


Danny Schotthoefer is a social strategist on the Old Spice team at Wieden+Kennedy. He was also a TEDx event organizer and is an avid Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers fan. You can also find him running via Nike+ and cycling via Strava – he is highly social. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn. Forewarning: He Talks A LOT!

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