Content Marketing Blog

How to fail at social media marketing

Social media marketing can often feel a bit like ice-skating. You watch people doing it well and it looks amazing. You’d love to join in but you can’t work how they’re gliding along so effortlessly and you’re worried about falling flat on your face if you try.

When it comes to edging out on to the slippery surface of social media marketing, there are two ways to ensure your experience ends with a red face and a wet backside.

The first is to launch into a campaign without having anything relevant or compelling to say. To stretch our ice-skating metaphor a little further, these are the types that can do straight lines, but can’t turn or stop, so they charge about making a lot of noise and generally ruining everyone else’s evening.

The second shortcut to a social media disaster is to hang desperately on to the side of the ice rink while everyone else has all the fun (end of the metaphor).

The communities on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook tend to be self-regulating. If you join in the debate with interesting and thoughtful contributions, you can gather a large following, engage potential customers and promote your brand.

But spamming followers with product promotions will tend to create a backlash and could permanently damage your reputation.

Avoiding social media entirely can also be unwise, particularly for larger, consumer brands. Just because you’re not taking part, doesn’t mean there’s no conversation.

In the very least, it’s a good idea to monitor mentions of your brand on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. If you do this, you will at least know what’s being said about you and you’ll have opportunities to respond.

A tactic used by a number of big consumer brands (Vodafone is a good example), is to track tweets mentioning the brand and then respond directly. This can turn a negative (a customer complaining about bad service) into a positive (the Twitter community sees you respond promptly with a solution).