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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

  • James LaPalme : Francis Would not say thrived - but close - in spite of geography. 15ish years ago - a group of similar skilled and experience and capable business folks (sales, channel, alliance, business development) all lived in Canada (Ottawa-Toronto-Waterloo). All except for one stayed - that would be me. Well the guys that went to Silicon Valley have thrived well beyond expectations. The others - Boston, Dallas and EU have done very well - thrived. My survival has been predominately based on CEO's from outside Ontario seeing my value. Best to move on to more receptive fertile ground if ambitious. A successful strategy is to move south do a few years and remove the pure northern business experience then come back - which my experience is very few will.

  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

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