Social media can be fun, rewarding and even life enhancing.
It can also be somewhat awkward.
You’re supposed to be there, or be stuck squarely in the middle of 2006. But “there” can be one of any number of platforms. Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Flickr. Google+. Instagram. The list goes on and on.
Once you get to the party, nicely frocked with some great handle or cover photo, the crowd’s big and loud. And, before you even have a chance to say, “Hello, my name is @BrogurtLover,” you get cornered by a stranger trying to hard-sell you on their colonic cleansing services. Or, worse, you get a phishy message that someone’s spreading nasty rumors about you.
Navigating social networks is hard enough when you’re there for strictly personal use. When you’re Tweeting or Facebooking on behalf of a brand or company, it’s even more challenging. Instead of going the DIY route, many businesses decide it’s a job best left to the experts. And it’s no wonder, given the results of a recent Harvard Business review survey, which showed only 12% of businesses participating in social media feel they use it effectively.
The problem for businesses looking to outsource their social media work is that there are all kinds of self-proclaimed experts. You can’t go anywhere online without bumping into one of the following:
The people who do the best at social media generally fall into two groups: writers and strategists. Writers know how to talk to followers and engage them on sites. Strategists make sure a plan is in place and that campaigns are thought through all the way. Strategists also analyze and track results. Magic really happens when writers and strategists remember to communicate with one another before anything is posted online.
At Power, we’ve experienced the successes that come with solid planning and execution. We’ve also made a few minor social media blunders. Just last week, in celebration of a social media ad we ran in the Louisville edition of Business First, we asked for comments to a social-themed post on our Facebook timeline. As a reward for participating, we offered up a $10 Starbucks gift card. We got a little excited and bent the rules on running a Facebook contest. In response, we were called out on Twitter by one of our followers. The irony here is that we asked people to share what they thought were the top social media mistakes made by businesses.
Social media is about human-to-human interaction, and humans make mistakes. We figure the best way to correct those mistakes is to be honest and own up to them. If you go at it from the right perspective, you even realize you learn from them.
We’d love to learn more about followers like you and your experiences out on the social media scene. So we invite you to join us on Facebook or Twitter (#PowerSocial) for some friendly conversation over the next few weeks. We promise we’ll do our best to keep things from getting awkward.