Have you ever heard the saying, “Everything old is new again?” Well, that is what is happening with the whole “social media revolution” going on online today. If you don’t recognize this essential truth – that social media is simply people doing what they’ve always done while using the latest and greatest technology has to offer – then you are truly doomed to make these three critical social media mistakes.
- Social Media Mistake #1: Ignore it
- Social Media Mistake #2: Try to manipulate it
- Social Media Mistake #3: Forgetting what it is…
If you’re a business owner – big or small – you need more than a blog – you need a social media marketing strategy.
One of the primary “laws” of social media is that people have always been talking about their experiences. Thousands of years ago – Caveman Joe would share stories with other cave dwellers around the fire. Sometimes, Caveman Joe would record his stories by drawing them on cave walls – but in order to partake of the stories – you had to enter the cave.
Fifty years ago, 1950’s Frannie would share her stories over cards or perhaps the back yard fence. If she was lucky – her stories might make their way to a newspaper reporter who would share her story with a wider audience – but that happened rarely if ever.
Today – Modern Marta is still sharing her stories of her experience with her friends – but those conversations are happening in a different way. Marta is blogging, tweeting and sharing her stories via Facebook now.
The difference between Modern Marta’s stories and Fifties Frannie’s stories – Frannie’s stories not only had limited circulation – but they were also held out of ear shot of the star of the stories. So when the local butcher added enough bread crumb filler to her ground beef order to make it smell like toast when she prepare hamburger – Fifties Frannie would dish that dirt with her bridge club and the other women at the PTA. That circle of ladies would heed the warning and would find another meat market at which to shop. More often than not, the butcher never knew what hit his business. He might try advertising to bring in a new source of customers – but if he didn’t change his ways the cycle would repeat itself.
However, when Modern Marta tells the tale of how her local grocer shorted her – that conversation is simultaneously happening in real time andit is being recorded for posterity.
Fifties Frannie never had a search engine compiling and indexing all of the conversations going on about the local merchants.
Social media is brand spanking new no matter how you look at it. It’s putting a new spin on behavior we humans have been engaging in since the beginning of time.
Unfortunately, the FIRST conversation a social media consultant has to have with a new client is to explain that it’s impossible to remove many of these conversations from the record. Usually, the client has contacted the social media consultant because they’ve discovered one of these customer conversations that has been recorded and preserved on the web. While the first item of business in the client’s mind is to remove these conversations IMMEDIATELY – it’s the social media consultant’s role to explain that it simply can’t be done. All we can do is to try to BURY the conversation under a flood of positive conversations.
We can’t manufacture positive conversations… that is the WORST thing we can do. Instead, the best social media consultants can help you put into place devices which will encourage those positive conversations to begin taking their rightful place in the internet indexes.
Honestly, that’s the easy part… if you’ve been delighting most of your customers/clients – then we can quickly undo the damage caused by a few bad apples.
Many of the pioneers embracing social media as a marketing tool have stumbled along the way… but the greatest mistake any business owner can make is to ignore social media and hope that it goes away.
A century ago, makers of the buggy whip hoped that the fad of the horseless carriage would pass – but it didn’t. A new mode of transportation literally changed everything about how humans in developed countries live their lives. Automobiles didn’t change human beings – humans have always needed to get from point A to point B. Automobiles just made transporting humans – and their cargo – easier and more efficient.
Social media is doing the same for human communication. It’s radically changing the way consumers gather information about businesses. Suddenly, everyone has access to Modern Marta’s views on the newest restaurant downtown.. and if that restaurant isn’t actively managing their online reputation – if Modern Marta has a blog – it’s possible Marta’s view is the first and most important view of that restaurant’s food and service.