Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring tons of deals to consumers, and consequently an influx of advertising from all fronts. As social media rises in prominence, more and more companies try to jump on board with social media advertising, but, unfortunately, many companies fail miserably.
First, companies need to understand how social media works. It’s not like other media where you measure sales directly from a source to determine profitability. As opposed to TV or newspaper, which are 1-way communication, social media is a conversation. It goes two ways. While it is important to measure leads, brand perception, customer service, and brand loyalty are all important as well. With social media, you can be profitable in the immediate future, but lose out in the long haul.
One company, whom we won’t mention by name, spent a significant amount of money to promote their online store and a specific deal on a tablet through promoted posts on Facebook. They missed out on tremendous opportunities, and likely looked worse in the long run. Here’s what they did wrong:
- Ignoring FeedbackWhen users post negative comments on social media, you have a chance to address the issue, or ignore it completely. Look at it this way, if you had a customer service department for your business and someone came up to the desk with a complaint or issue, the service would address it as best as possible. Now picture them completely ignoring the person complaining. In a very crowded area. The silence is deafening.Even worse, in this case the post was promoted. The company was literally paying to bring posts with negative feedback to everyone’s attention.
- Posting Irrelevant Comments
Take the example above, and now picture the customer service representative listening, then giving a completely unrelated answer. Stock answers are almost always bad in social media. If you are going to take the time to invest in social media, take the time to invest in your customers as well. Answers like this show that you really don’t care what the customer is thinking:
- Repeatedly Giving Stock Answers
Giving stock answers repeatedly with a cut and paste approach is a step further in showing the customer that they’re not important, just your end goal of a sale is:
Remember, though you want to make sales through your social media efforts, you need to remember that a social media audience processes differently. They don’t just want to be sold to, they want to communicate and need to see value. Making your comments a second sales pitch is only going to deter customers.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line for social media – make sure you understand it before you take it on full force. Many companies are fully capable of doing this in house (in fact, in many cases, we recommend it). If you don’t have the personnel to do it in house, or you just aren’t comfortable with it, don’t try to wing it. Hire professionals to work with you on your social media campaign. If done well, it’s worth the investment.