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Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Social media marketing is a strategy employed by many companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from businesses is that they’re not having much success on social media. The thing is that certain social media marketing mistakes can cause brands to fail. I’ll be addressing several issues that may be impacting your social media efforts in this article.

Are you making any of the following mistakes?

1. Posting Without A Clear Strategy

Many organizations struggle with focus when they first start using social media marketing for business. There are two problems with posting without a clear strategy. First, your results will always reflect the quality of the content you publish on social media. Publishing sub-par content to hit a quantity target will often lead to inadequate results. I’d recommend asking the following questions before posting any content on social media:

• Is this of any interest to our target customer?

• Is this useful or of value to the consumer?

• Why should the target audience care?

Secondly, people generally have an innate ability for detecting inauthenticity. So, if your content isn’t well-thought-out, your business could come off as an organization that doesn’t care about what it shares with others. This isn’t good because it can destroy trust, which is a very important aspect of a business.

2. Being Overly Promotional

Companies can turn people off or make them less interested in their content by being too promotional. The reason for this is because consumers are on social media for what they want. So very few want to pay attention to what you want. The way you turn this around is by building trust. Constantly selling to your target audience comes off as selfish, not trustworthy — even though they may need your product.

Instead, focus on building a relationship with your target audience. The best way to do this is by being helpful and genuine. The former involves sharing valuable content that may or might not benefit your business and engaging with the audience regularly. The latter involves being true about wanting to make a difference. You have to give freely without expectation. All of this can help you connect and build trust with your target audience.

However, I’m not suggesting that you don’t promote on social media. Rather, limit the number of promotional posts. One promotional content for every four social media posts works for some companies, but your business may need a different ratio. I recommend testing the audience’s response.

3. Acting Like A Robot

Some businesses follow their social media calendars on a very strict basis. However, social media marketing isn’t something that should be rigid. There should be room for creativity and inspiration. For example, you don’t have to always share a blog post from your website every Wednesday because the social media calendar notes so. Staff should be able to share something else if it makes more sense.

A social media calendar should serve as a way to keep going instead of a be-all and end-all. Your calendar helps you on those days where creativity and inspiration are absent. Furthermore, your social media calendar should be ever-changing based on outcomes. Sticking to post ideas even when they aren’t yielding results is a waste of resources. I recommend making adjustments to the plan as you receive feedback from data (e.g., the rate of engagement, views, likes, etc.). Don’t be a robot.

4. Not Investing In Your Greatest Online Asset

You’ve probably seen companies on directories like Yelp that use a social media page as their website. These organizations don’t own a website and have chosen to use other platforms instead of investing in one. However, this is a huge mistake. The problem with relying on external platforms is that you have no control. The website may shut down, or they can decide to impose fees, restrict your capabilities and more.

Also, companies usually sacrifice branding possibilities on social platforms. Your business can only do what the social networks permit. I recommend using social media to boost traffic to your website — a platform you control. Use social networks to capture the attention of the target audience and attract them to your site or related business asset (e.g., email list).

5. Not Being Consistent

Every company should be consistent with their brand presence on social media. That means keeping brand assets in line with your style guide and avoid breaking promises. For instance, stick to it if you promised to share a new article from your website every day. Similarly, colors used with imagery should be in line with brand colors. From the tone of voice to font choice to post frequency and others, maintain consistency in everything involving your brand. This way, you’ll be noticed and remembered.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Mistakes are a part of business and life in general, so you can probably correct course even if your company is making some of the aforementioned social media marketing mistakes. Remember to keep your content authentic, be less promotional and be more focused on the audience. Don’t follow your social media calendar too strictly, invest in your website and be consistent. Lastly, the original purpose of social media is to connect people and foster engagement. Remember that, and good luck.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

CEO of SmartStreetMedia, an award winning full-service digital marketing agency based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Read Victor Smushkevich’s full executive profile here

Source: Council Post: Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Your Marketing Stinks Like Fear That’s Why Your Content is Getting Ignored

Fear is like sex, sweet onions, and a seven-day road trip: Once the stink gets on you, it’s hard to shake. And, when it comes to the marketing strategies used and the content created by most organizations, that stink is so overwhelming it drives their audience toward any alternative that seems even remotely bold.

How do you gauge the influence fear has in your approach to marketing, communications, and content?

It’s relatively simple.

Do you make decisions about marketing, communications, and content based on:

  • Unwritten industry norms?
  • A desire to appeal to every possible audience?
  • A reluctance to be the first?
  • An avoidance of anything remotely controversial or political?
  • A lack of faith in your marketing and communications team?
  • A lack of knowledge about (or worse, judgement of) modern, diverse cultures and generations?
  • The way you’ve always done it?
  • An unwillingness to avoid making anyone angry?
  • A worry that you’ll look, feel, or get called stupid?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, fear is playing a big role in your marketing and content creation.

Fear can be useful. For example, that guy who made the documentary where he canoodled with grizzly bears before being eaten by a grizzly bear could have used a little more natural fear encoded in his DNA.

But you aren’t canoodling with grizzly bears.

You are running a business.

In business, fear is the fastest road to irrelevancy.

And irrelevancy is failure.

To better understand how fear leads directly to irrelevancy in your marketing and communications, take a broader view of the word “content.” That word means more than just Instagram posts, videos, and blogs.

Content also includes movies, books, music, and art.

Using that definition, think of the content that forms big parts of our shared cultural history. Think Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Grapes of Wrath, Invisible Man, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, every Motown record Berry Gordy ever produced, “This Land is Your Land,” every painting Frida Kahlo ever painted, The Catcher in the Rye, every book Toni Morrison ever authored–all part of our shared history.

Combined, all the great works of content like the ones mentioned above represent an immeasurably small percentage of all the content produced, period. But the content we remember? The content that changes all of us collectively, and each of us individually? Behavioral change is the goal of any marketer, and content that succeeds in changing behavior–regardless of whether it is a great novel or a thirty-second commercial–is fearless.

Always.

Every time.

The same is true for your organization’s marketing and communications strategy. The only way to succeed as a marketer is to be heard, and the only way to be heard is to be fearless.

Finally, being bold and being fearless do not justify using Gandhi’s voice to sell Hyundais during the Super Bowl. That sort of “fearlessness” is just cynicism with good cinematography.

Plus, everyone knows Gandhi would never drive a Hyundai Accent.

The man was a revolutionary.

And revolutionaries only drive the all-new, redesigned Hemi-powered Dodge Ram.

Be bold.

Be fearless.

Be a better marketer.

 

By: Dustin McKissen

Source: Your Marketing Stinks Like Fear. That’s Why Your Content is Getting Ignored | Inc.com

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Five post ideas to get your business blog fire burning brightly.

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15 Must-Reads Small Business Owners Can Choose from This Summer – Young Entrepreneur Council

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Summer is often a time of rest and relaxation, with plenty of time to sit out by the pool or on the beach with a good book. It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs fill up their summer reading list with books that will help them run their business better. There are the business classics like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Good to Great, but sometimes business owners can find valuable lessons in an unexpected read. We asked 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Quiet by Susan Cain

“I’ve been reading Quiet by Susan Cain and it’s all about introverts in a world that celebrates extroversion. As a leader, there are a lot of cues to take to better craft experiences and environments for both.” ~ Darrah Brusteindarrah.co

2. Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters

“I would recommend this book for growing businesses with a founder that makes too many changes too often (like me). It’s all about clarifying the roles of a visionary and an integrator in a business and learning when the founders need to let go for better execution.” ~ Sunny DesaiDesai Hotel Group

3. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor, but he was also a Stoic philosopher. His Meditations aren’t a thrill-a-minute read, but they are full of insights that can be useful to entrepreneurs and managers. In stressful times, I often think of this quote: “When anything tempts you to feel bitter: don’t think, ‘This is misfortune,’ but ‘To bear this well is good fortune.’” ” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting





4. The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan

“Alex Banayan just released The Third Door, a book that took him seven years to write. I love it because it uncovers scrappy ways of getting to the likes of Bill Gates and Maya Angelou, how each of these “mega successful” people have all consistently found not the front door or the back door, but some “third” side door to bust into an industry or career.” ~ Beck BambergerBAM Communications

5. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is a memoir by the creator of Nike. It made me realize that even the biggest companies of our time have gone through the same challenges most entrepreneurs face during their formative years.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

6. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

“I love how this book outlines ways to make the most of your time, whether it’s during office hours, with friends or with family. Small business owners are notorious for burning the midnight oil trying perfect their businesses, and this book is an inspirational reminder that busyness isn’t the answer, and perfection isn’t attainable. It offers practical and implementable tips to be more present.” ~ Leila LewisBe Inspired PR

7. They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

“This collection of personal essays illustrates how empathy works. If small business owners set out to solve problems and be a force of change, empathy is the muscle that needs the most exercise. These essays ask the reader to consider what makes the world around us meaningful, using music as its guiding lens. What if we used a similar principle when deciding how we fit into our customers’ lives?” ~ Sean HarperKin Insurance

8. Transform Your Life by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

“This is a book by Buddhist Master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and it completely changed my approach to both life and work. The focus is on understanding that every experience is a perception of the mind, and that how we feel is based on how we choose to interpret situations. The more positive we are, the happier we become. This has helped keep me happy, which in turn, makes me more productive.” ~ Marcela De VivoBrilliance

9. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Aloneby Brené Brown

“I was inspired by this book’s message of becoming a true individual. More and more people are associating with people who already share their tastes and ideologies, and we see people with different opinions as “other.” She suggests disagreeing with the parts of your “tribe” that you disagree with and being true to yourself, even if it means having to walk alone and brave the wilderness.” ~ Alex FedorovFresh Tilled Soil, LLC

10. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

“Former head negotiator of the FBI Chris Voss’s book “Never Split the Difference” is a great book to read for anyone wanting to learn how to build their negotiation skills. There’s some atypical advice in there that works such as, “the fastest way to getting to yes is by getting to no.” ” ~ Kenny NguyenBig Fish Presentations

11. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Switch shares simple but powerful insights into why it is so hard for people to change their behavior. By sharing takeaways from anecdotes and scientific studies, small business owners can use the shortcuts presented in the book to implement personal change, as well as organizational change.” ~ Stephen BeachCraft Impact Marketing

“This book reveals that people fit into one of the following four tendencies: Questioner, Upholder, Rebel and Obliger. It helps you not only figure out yourself, it also provides insights to others and how they think and what motivates them. This makes it easier for you to work with them and find the best ways to communicate with them based on those qualities.” ~ Vladimir GendelmanCompany Folders, Inc


13. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou is about the collapse and scandal surrounding the biotech company Theranos. It’s an entertaining read, but it’s also important for anyone in business to read as a cautionary tale on what happens when people abandon ethics and run their business in a very secretive way. It’s a good primer on what not to do.” ~ Kalin KassabovProTexting

14. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

“You wouldn’t think this book would give insight to small business owners, but it does. One part talks about Nietzsche, who proposed that we should see ourselves as gardeners in our life and in leadership. A freshly planted garden doesn’t seem like much, but a gardener knows the potential of it and works to cultivate it into something beautiful. The same can be said for starting a small business.” ~ Brian David CraneCaller Smart Inc.


15. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“I’ve read this book many times, and I plan on rereading it this summer. I love this book, especially for small business owners, because it reminds us never to lose hope. If we work diligently toward a goal, and we believe that we can achieve it, we will get there eventually.” ~ Zachary BurkesPredictable Profits

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