I just saw this post by Priya breaks down the five dumbest mistakes marketers are making with social media. I liked it because he also suggests some solutions. It may be a great post to share with any staff members that are still a bit "stiff" with their posts.
1. Repurposing press releases for Facebook and Twitter. As PR pros we think that social media integration is taking a boring press release and converting the headline into a tweet or Facebook update. Please stop. It’s a sure way to turn your friends and followers off.
Instead draw your target audience to the announcement by asking them a question on the topic or pull out a stat or text bite that’s sure to get people to click on your URL.
2. Maintaining a formal, businesslike tone on social networks. Realize that those in your target audience have an attention span of 10 seconds, and then craft your Twitter, Facebook, or blog content accordingly. The voice you maintain in an annual report, during a board meeting or quarterly stockholders’ call is not going to cut it in the social sphere.
I am not asking you to sound like a hipster if you represent a financial services company. Yes, you need to maintain your brand image but come on, engage.
Step away from that “push” mechanism of sending tweets and updates. and instead “pull” your customers into a conversation by asking them what’s on their minds. It’s OK to show a little personality.
3. Using social media to broadcast and not to get feedback. The beauty of social media lies in feeling your customers’ pulse in real time and using that valuable feedback to define your future steps. Features like the Facebook poll can be used weekly to ask a question or get your community’s reaction to a future product release. A tweet chat with your customers can result in ways to improve your customer service on Twitter.
Let’s get away from the “I am a PR manager, so my role is only to send messages” mindset. Instead, let’s get our hands dirty asking some tough questions to our online audience. You spent all that money and resources to get people to follow you online, now leverage their feedback to deliver what they truly care about.
**My note- Wow! Tough questions- how many of you are there with your social media? I'm hearing that so many of you have fought just to be able to post to Facebook or Twitter that you may feel a bit afraid to push topics. Are you?
4. Treating social media as a one-person job within PR/marketing. If you still think social media is a job for your junior executive who happens to love new technology, you have totally missed a social media opportunity. Moving forward, every PR and marketing professional will be expected to have a basic knowledge and understanding of how social media functions.
I am not saying the VP of communications must take the time to tweet every few hours a day, but you need to encourage every member of your team to practice social media. I am startled at how just one person is tasked with engagement activities across multiple levels for an organization that has the capacity to spend millions of dollars on advertising!
My note- Right? Many libraries are still in the mindset that their webmaster should be updating web content and PR people should be updating Facebook! I'd love to hear from those of you are have knocked down the solos and have lots of staff participating. Send us the links so everyone can see how fabulous you are!
5. Joining the shiny-object bandwagon without a strategy. Scott Stratten of “Unmarketing” fame summarized it well: “Let’s just get Web 1.0 right first, and then we can talk about Web 2.0.” Have you put enough time and resources on the three most essential social tools: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Have you increased SEO with your blog? Do you see an incremental increase in your following and engagement activities (comments, shares, likes)?
My note- Have you? I know some of you are because I'm following you. But then there are also increases in followers that have little to do with your target audience at all. It drives me crazy the way some people are following my tweets just because of some "keyword" that matched their search list!