By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|July 26, 2011
When you think back on it, the advent of social media hit the marketing world like hot sauce on an empty stomach. All of a sudden businesses with an appetite for “what’s next” rushed to set up Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts and blogs to connect with as many customers as possible. Waylaid somewhere along the way, however, were the fundamentals of public relations, marketing, corporate communications and sales — giving way to erroneous assumptions about how businesses should manage their social marketing.
In my view, there is no “one way” to manage your online positioning using social media. Instead, each company’s marketing strategy should differ depending on specific goals and target audiences.
What follows is a cheat sheet to the dangers of absolutes when it comes to marketing online:
- Size matters. Many small businesses equate the number of “likes” or “followers” on branded social-media platforms to success, not realizing that it’s the quality of those likes and followers that is important. More people signing up to view your message doesn’t necessarily equate an increase in sales or even a bump in long-term or sustainable brand recognition.
- The medium is the message. Just because it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace or some other newfangled online or mobile-powered platform, the message still carries more weight than the medium. It’s always been about the message. It’s not about the platform or the technology. The technology is just a tool, and just because younger people were the first to use Twitter and Facebook, don’t think for a moment that older employees can’t effectively use them just as well.
- Social media gurus really do exist. No, they don’t. Here’s my advice when you run across someone positioning himself or herself as a “social media guru” or expert. …
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