Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.
Ok, we know… we just finished berating you for publishing a blog that’s boring and sporadic, along with all kinds of advice for shooing the latest trend out the door. And now we’re about to tell you why the current trend – social media – is one to ignore at your peril. But bear with us.
Stupid Idea 11: Brush Off Social Marketing As Something That’s Too Hard/Not Relevant For Your Business
To recap an important point, if a particular strategy doesn’t work for your business then you should absolutely not pursue it. That includes social media.
But social media happens to be one of those things that is quickly becoming more than a trend and is insinuating itself into the fabric of the web in ways that can have a tremendous impact on your marketing, search rankings and brand.
If you have even the slightest nagging suspicion that you should be out there Tweeting, you probably should be.
The web has become far less static and the expectation is moving away from strictly information-based to experience-based. There are photos, videos, real-time updates and networks of friends and colleagues that share perhaps more detail about their likes and dislikes than we care to know.
Search engines (read: Google) are paying attention and listing your buddy’s Twitter update right up there along with your five-thousand-dollar home page.
As more and more people network, more and more people expect you to be networked. If your brand isn’t visible on Facebook or Twitter, if your profile isn’t current on LinkedIn, if you fail to engage customers and potential customers, you might well become invisible and irrelevant behind competitors who are engaged.
When it comes to social media it actually may be a good idea to “follow the leader”. If your competitors are out there, you’d better be out there too.
This advice comes with a hundred caveats we couldn’t possibly cover here. Things like don’t waste time with social media “just because”. If you don’t have something relevant to say then don’t say anything. Don’t expect it to be a panacea. You can Tweet every five minutes but if you’re not giving your followers (you do have followers, right?) a compelling reason to pay attention, go to your site or take action, then you’re simply practicing your typing skills. Make sure your social media is integrated with your marketing. Make sure you’re tracking responses to your Tweets, posts and updates.
And for heaven’s sake make sure it’s social. Facebook is not a place that you get to go to tell everyone how great your company is. Twitter is not a way to mega-blast your product’s perks. The concept is social which means that you need to engage, be active and present, responsive and professional, helpful and damn quick about it.
Social media is not a “throw spaghetti at the wall” approach. It requires just as much planning and investment as any other marketing strategy.
Blogs can also be a form of social interaction if you publish meaningful and timely content, engage your readers and foster discussion. If you’ve planned it out and think it will work, go for it. Just don’t opt out of blogging and then throw away the idea of social media altogether.
If you do it right you’ve tapped into huge potential. Improved search listings, more exposure, building your brand, fostering loyalty, and ultimately more business.
Do it wrong – or not at all – and your web site may become just an expensive billboard.
Are you engaged in social media? If not, what’s holding you back?
Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series
- Stupid Idea 1: Hire someone to do it “cheap”
- Stupid Idea 2: Fabricate an FAQ section
- Stupid Idea 3: Just start building the site
- Stupid Idea 4: Worry about search optimization “later”
- Stupid Idea 5: Believe the person who tells you they can “get your site to be number one in Google”
- Stupid Idea 6: Don’t pay attention to your domain name, where it’s registered or when it expires
- Stupid Idea 7: Get the cheapest hosting you can find
- Stupid Idea 8: Write the copy yourself
- Stupid Idea 9: Don’t worry about whether your site or database is being backed up
- Stupid Idea 10: Insist on a news section or blog
- Stupid Idea 11: Brush off social marketing as something that’s too hard/not relevant for your business
- Stupid Idea 12: Be too busy to study your analytics and decide it doesn’t really matter anyway
- Stupid Idea 14: Say “I don’t know” a lot
- Stupid Idea 15: Launch the site, breathe a sigh of relief and cross it off your to-do list