If you don’t know what Social Media marketing success looks like and you hire or promote an employee to do your Social Media marketing, how will you know for sure if your Social Media strategy is right and the results are successful?
There is a direct correlation (although neither side may realize it) between a boss’ approach to Social Media and an employee’s level of Social Media marketing expertise.
Very often, I witness a “shared delusion” between boss and employee that culminates, at its best, with sad maneuvers and at its worst, harmful consequences. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
While training and guidance are imperative, not everyone seeks it out. Without quality information and solid Social Media strategy, you and your company may be headed for The Social Media Perfect Storm.
The Business Owner Weather Front
Picture this: The boss has been hearing that he needs Social Media for his business. He hears a lot of information and chatter but doesn’t really know where to start because he’s:
- Not a regular user of Social Media
- Doesn’t have access to the latest trends in consumer shopping behavior
- Has been given all sorts of information from vendors who want his account
- Decides the easiest solution is to ask an employee to do the marketing
The Employee Hurricane
The employee works for the above mentioned boss. She already has a full-time job doing something important. How do we know this? Because she’s been working there for a few years and she’s one of the main components in the daily operating machine.
She hears the boss needs someone to do Social Media marketing. She’s active on social sites personally, so, as a way to increase her value to the company, she volunteers to add the business’ marketing to her list of duties. She sees the endeavor as “free” (just like her boss) because you don’t have to pay to be on social sites.
The Social Media Perfect Storm
The boss thinks that Social Media marketing is free so why not let the employee manage it. What has he got to lose?
Plenty. The days of unicorns, rainbows and easily making a mark through Social Media are over. Putting someone in charge of your marketing who has little or no experience guarantees disaster. Neither the boss nor the employee have a concrete way of proving success. Both disorders come together to form the perfect storm.
To create the Social Media Perfect Storm takes a rocky foundation and some misplaced hope. Hope is not a Social Media strategy.
Two real-life examples of The Social Media Perfect Storm
1. The car dealer’s duplicate content blog.
There’s a recent post on a Subaru dealer’s blog that’s an entire NY Times article…verbatim. Yes, that means they copied an article word-for-word from the New York Times website. When you copy the first paragraph and do a Google search for that phrase, the New York Times article is in first position…with the dealership’s blog showing up 7th of 7 listed. What could possibly go wrong?
- Harmful: The dealership website is penalized by Google for duplicate content.
- How to avoid it: Blogs are about adding your voice to the conversation. Using a short excerpt from the article is fine but write your own opinion and your own story.
- Bad Branding: The dealership is in New York and the NY Times article talks about New Hampshire.
- How to avoid it: As a local business, you must keep your audience engaged. The dealerships’ ideal buyers are 4 hours from New Hampshire. Don’t spend time and effort talking about subjects that aren’t relevant to your audience.
- Syndication: publishing this type of content on social channels only enhances the negative effect.
- How to avoid it: When you plagiarize, sooner or later, you get caught. I’m sure this dealer and his employee had no intention of plagiarizing but ignorance is not a defense.
2. The Social Media strategy fail on a dealership’s Facebook page.
The dealer’s page is filled with pictures of what they sell. A steady stream of vehicle images is not a strategy. Remember, you’re competing with their friends, their family and other pages they’ve liked for space in users’ newsfeeds. Product images do not stand out in the newsfeeds of your fans. In fact, they scroll right past them, giving you a lower and lower rank in Facebook’s algorithms.
How to avoid it: Relevant content to your ideal customers is still what drives engagement, leads and sales. When you share only posts about the products you sell, you sell yourself very short. People want to know more about what it’s like doing business with you.
In this case, it seems clear the boss is not aware of what Facebook marketing success looks like. The employee is doing his or her best with what they’ve learned so far and that is shared delusion.
To avoid The Social Media Perfect Storm, think long and hard about who you have managing your marketing. Seek guidance from an expert to help you make your decision and, once the decision is made, get further assistance with a ongoing Social Media strategy support. There’s absolutely no reason to fly blind in a storm. The beacon you need is there; just keep your compass pointed North!