Social Media issues: How to lose online influence / waste social media $

Social Media Metrics – Terra incognita for most managers…

Social Media issues for companies take many forms, we thought we'd list our homemade hall of fame. The most common, costly and structural ones.

It is often striking to see how many companies are very principled in terms of process and ruthless KPI's when it comes to traditional functions such as HR, HSE (thank God) PR, Sales, R&D etc. And how unstructured they can be when it comes to adopting a coherent strategy, or tracking even basic info about their social media.Content planning and social media marketing scheduling

Isn't it ironic to hear so many people muttering "Mah. Doesn't work for us, our industry is too specific / serious /etc." And yet continue to try implementing inbound and social media marketing, without plan? Without training. No budget allocated (financial and/or time). No content policy. No moderation policy. No planning tools. No idea of their online audiences, let alone what their audiences care about or struggle with? (see: "pain points" in broader marketing parlance).

Content marketing still largely seems considered by most SME's as some gimmick. Click-bait blogging you do "after the real work is done". Without process, strategy, or governance. And all that despite the advent of "Content Shock" and of "Social media algorithms" two concepts that raised the bar enormously when it comes to content visibility, mileage and conversion.

Without further ado here are, logically ordered, the 9 worst things you can do to exhaust yourself, to the smallest avail:

1) Do not audit your social media / or have an inbound strategy.

A critical step. It will allow you to parrot random flotsam of content "on Twitter" and deluge the interweb with your rantings in such untargeted manner that will make the Microsoft rep feel like a intimate business partner.

Benefits:
– You won't know what outcomes you are after (Leads? Branding? Sales?)
– Yon won't know either what core audiences you need to engage to reach these goals.
– Finally, not having a strategy is viciously effective when it comes to not measuring your outcomes: Never measure branding, network reach, leads or £ generated, etc.

2) Make your Social Media goals nebulous / unrelated to business:

NEVER document your goals, and never ever make them SMART ones (click here for an introduction to SMART goals). In order to pulverise your budget as quickly as possible, it is crucial that you follow absurd, cosmetic goals such as:

a. Tweet 5 times a day!
b. Get at least 5 "likes" on each post! (Even if 3 come from you, your nana, and your spouse!)
c. Get blogging, cos' everyone is doing it!
d. Be present on every social media platform possible. Including Periscope and Pinterest, even though you are selling hydraulic compressors.

Obviously, never tie back any social media objectives however nebulous they are, to any business objectives. Who needs to know about leads, conversion rates, and turn over generated by your social media activity?

3) Never offer any valuable content.

Your rudderless content production and nebulous goals are only the beginning!

To turn away the very people you need to engage with, you will have to go the extra mile: Only ever produce content that is commercial and self-promoting, to ensure that only one in a quadrillion will ever click on your CTA and come to your website.

Flood your social media accounts with enough news of your company do to make sure that your core audiences start trembling uncontrollably at the sight of your blog notification!

Bombard your Twitter feed with naff, attention-begging updates such as that new water cooler you bought because "That's how we roll here hahahaha".

Ensure that your connections would sooner slit their throat than receive that email you like to send after each update along the lines of "Hey!!!! I just wrote a blog about our new waste tank the BoJo2017, feel free to share it if you like it!!!!"

4) Never listen to your core audiences

So how do you know you'll never offer any valuable content to your core audience?  There is an easy answer to this: Do not ever listen to them!  Make sure you do not set up any Google alerts, do not use mention.com, do not look at what keywords bring you SEO traffic, do not ever follow any #hashtag on your twitter that your audience could ever cohere around!

5) Never monitor your social media conversation!

By now, you have ensured that you spend money, time, and manpower into what has become a bottomless hole. What if I told you a way to ensure that you can turn your social media presence into an active reputation-destroying machine?!

The discriminating connoisseur will ensure he/she never addresses comments, and will particularly benefit from not having a content strategy (that wee document that describes your "Why" and how you want to express it, around what topics, style and tone for what audiences).

This way, if someone should catch a bad comment out of hours, they will have no idea how to handle it in a way vaguely coherent with company culture and policies.

Important note: Irony aside, in truth, negative social media fall out is relatively rare, and in my experience, much exaggerated in the imagination of those willing to get on the social media revolution but scared to. Also, if it ever happens, you can often "catch" the negative publicity and turn it into something positive. Social Media's young history is already awash with examples of companies that managed to do this through a witty come back, or a generous gesture.

6) Never think RoI:

Any amateur intern can massacre social media budget/overheads by spending a summer tweeting the drone footage of himself at Glasto on Periscope because well, that's the new thing!

This shall not do. The proper executioner of social media budgets must see farther. A true visionary he will ensure that the following priorities are delivered:

– Only track vanity metrics such as "likes": No matter if 3 out of your 4 likes come from your boss / nana / your best mate who's too busy to read it so dispatches it with a "like".

– Ensure you do not convert the extra website traffic into leads: Your website is your aircraft carrier, the place you control, into which all your SEO and Social Media traffic feeds. So if some extra traffic ever comes to the website, ENSURE YOU DO NOT CONVERT IT INTO LEADS!!! Essential, guys. You MUST make sure that the extra traffic to your website ends up splashing about in the interweb ether! In other words: No landing pages, no email catcher, and no Thank you pages!

7) No 80/20 mindset

Strangely most managers in conventional business understand the vital need to focus first on what will bring the most results / reward, for the least amount of investment. Yet when it comes to social media or inbound marketing farcical waste is the word! Example:

a. Ask everyone in the team (or the company) to "start blogging", without any training. Tell your staff that their prose must be earth-shatteringly good, and that they can just blog after work, when "all the real stuff is done". When they will miss deadline after deadline (because they have work to do and are probably daunted as for most to put some content online), simply shout at them and turn as crimson as possible.

b. BONUS: Ask everyone to start blogging regardless of their network size! It is virtually pointless to blog on LI if you have less than 250, maybe even 500 contacts in general. Blogging is the best tool admittedly, but does take time. It is a skill that must be learned, tried out, and holds most value once you have enough of a captive audience that your blogs may go viral.

So make sure you force anyone with a LinkedIn network of less than 100 contacts to blog! And do not spend any time doing quick-kills and low-hanging fruit to grow your network first!

8) Never measure. Never test. Never improve.

By now you should have it, the best approach to vaporise social media budgets, ensuring as little extra visibility as possible, in as negative a light as possible. Creating as much internal strife as possible. Learning as little as possible from your core audiences.

However. Since social media (and digital marketing at large) are the ideal marketing channels to measure, test and improve, it could be tempting to, you know, do that!

BEWARE such foolish fads! This might show you how a certain topic is more or less engaged with! Or what variations of an email work better! Or what core audience is most likely to buy!

Just laugh uncontrollably at the folly of the next staff who timidly suggests "Errr, we could do some A/B testing no?" and your work will be done!

9) Never, ever change internal culture around social media being "click bait" or "some gimmick that just doesn't work for us"

In our experience, cultural change is probably the largest stumbling block separating vibrant, successful adopters from frustrated ones. It is essential to understand that social media works but it is not a magic flick you can turn on with a viral video (anymore, if it ever really was).

That simple internal shift is necessary so that your entire organisation can start:

  • Earmarking dedicated time, and corresponding budgets for social media.
  • Understanding social media, content and inbound marketing more. The philosophy behind valuable content production and promotion. How to nurture authentically your audiences online. How to convert qualified, relevant traffic, bonded to your company into business outcomes on your website. Ec.
  • Being able to raise the internal conversation internally, become creative as they start respecting the medium more.
  • Trigger a deeper reflection about what your brand really stands for. What your real "why" is, that you can share with the external online world. Not as simple a shift as it may sound.
  • Enjoying the process more.

In a similar vein for personal use of social media, you may be interested in this:10 tips to commit professional suicide on LinkedIn or this lighter, possibly more cringy one: 10 Horrific LinkedIn pictures and how to fix them



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