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Social media marketing: Pitfalls and how to avoid them

By Megan Totka

Most people understand how to use social media to find friends, activities, games, etc. Businesses are also becoming more adept at finding both their current customers as well as new ones by using social media sites to their advantage. But social media can be a dangerous creature if you don’t know how to harness its power properly.

Social media marketing is quickly becoming a focus for many companies. Since some social media sites, Facebook in particular, are viewed millions of times per day, it’s critical to the success of small businesses to keep their page(s) up-to-date and use them as tools to interact with customers.

However, there are many pitfalls to social media marketing. Here are some common social media gaffes and how to avoid or remedy them:

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Social media gaffes: They can happen to anyone

By Megan Totka

Missteps are increasingly becoming a part of the landscape for business social media. While unfortunate, those of us who run social media pages as businesses are still only human – and make human mistakes.

Some of these gaffes have more dire consequences than others. One of the most recent posts-gone-wrong was on the night of the first presidential debate. This particular post came from the KitchenAid brand and quickly became top business news. KitchenAid tweeted:

“Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics”

Many people found this tweet to be rather offensive. It was shocking, too, coming from such a neutral brand as KitchenAid. We don’t typically expect the company that manufactures stand mixers to have a particularly strong political view. This tweet was broadcast to about 24,000 of KitchenAid’s followers before it was deleted from the company page.

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Great articles roundup: Data hype, content marketing, startup lessons, buyer behaviour, social media, guest blogging, and target audiences

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Social Media Explorer, TopRank, Financial Post, Forrester, Forbes, Copyblogger, and Startup North.

How data hype is destroying your social media ROI

We are all looking for the latest nugget of data that will help us optimize our social media strategies for success. Every time we see a post with an infographic about the best time to tweet or what social networks our audience is using we get excited thinking it’s just the right information to help us take our social media strategy to the next level. That’s why you see so many status updates hyping the data because it’s finally the answer we’ve been looking for … or is it?

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Great articles roundup: Content marketing, rebranding, journalism, social media, and team building

By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are MarketingSherpa, Fast Company, MarketingProfs, SocialTimes, and Jeremiah Owyang.

Content marketing: 3 tips from the trenches

Short and sweet, MarketingSherpa provides three content marketing gems in this post.

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Levering the power of teamwork to drive a successful content marketing program

By Alexandra Reid

Running a successful content marketing program has many challenges, a number of which Joe Pulizzi expertly cites in his post, 12 challenges that stop marketers from creating epic content marketing. I propose that many of these challenges could be solved if businesses would learn to simply tap the resources available at their fingertips.

Employees hold a wealth of knowledge that can be turned into thought-provoking content. Some also understand their customers, their pains and where to reach them. What many lack is the knowhow to turn that insight into great content and how to coordinate efforts to use that content for marketing purposes. That’s where hiring an agency can come in handy, but I’d argue that even the best agencies can never know a company as intimately as its employees.

The best solution I’ve found to develop and implement an effective and budget-wise content marketing program is, quite logically, to use each team for what it does best. Let the marketers create, coordinate and implement the content marketing program while showcasing the internal talent of the client’s knowledge keepers.

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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