Published on November 18, 2014
This report, 7 Dumb Mistakes That Smart Business Owners Make With Social Media, focuses on #socialmedia as a technology for the whole business & not just for marketing. Read it & see if you're guilty of making these mistakes.
1. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 2 7 Dumb Mistakes That Smart Business Owners Make With Social Media Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay, and it’s rapidly evolving into an essential tool for business. No longer do you have a choice as to whether or not to participate. Choose not to, as a business owner and your business will suffer. Choose not to, as an individual and you’ll be replaced. It’s really that simple. Social media is happening with or without you, and year-on-year, more business owners understand the value it brings when implemented the right way. Treated as a business asset, they experience exponential social capital and a return on their investment. However. Whilst this is encouraging, unfortunately there are still many who are not achieving success. This report has therefore been written to go through why they’re not, and to help address this issue. The report covers seven common (dumb) mistakes that business owners make with social media. #1 Mistake – Ignoring social media & thinking it’s not relevant to the business I’ll be blunt. When you ignore social media in business it’s like saying “we don’t need clients to grow our revenues.” Personally I don’t know any business that could survive, let alone grow without its client base. Social media positions you. It raises your profile. It helps you get found. It gets you exposure. It helps you attract new clients and keep in touch with existing ones. It enables you to get to know them much better and develop relationships. It makes you more responsive to their needs. It can even help with business continuity and keep you operational when (not if) you get hacked. Social media is an extremely powerful business tool. Accept it.
2. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 3 #2 Mistake – Failing to set objectives I see this mistake time and time again. However, it can be so easily solved. A business sees their nearest rival using a particular social media platform. For this example, let’s pretend its Facebook. They think they’re missing out. They so jump on the bandwagon and get a Facebook account. It’s a fail. Here’s why. As with everything you do, it’s important to consider your objectives right from the start. Just because someone else does it doesn’t mean you should too. You’re more than that. Besides, you know that time is your most valuable asset. It’s not just a cliché. It’s a fact. You can’t get it back so you must ensure that you’re spending your time productively. When it comes to social media, the first thing you need to do is to ascertain what you actually want to achieve by using it. You then you need to define this in an order of priority, and do some research. I’ll give you some examples. Business A uses social media for lead development but principally for SEO i.e. to help them get found more easily in the search engines. They’re not looking for anything else other than optimization. They want to dominate the first page of Google for their search terms. They check where their target market goes online and are able to determine that some social media platforms are used more than others. They create a list of these platforms and rank them in order of importance, according to the information they’ve gathered on their prospects. They put more time and effort into the platforms that are more frequented by their target market. Business B uses social media for lead development too. In some ways they’re more advanced that Business A so their main objective is to support their sales team. To them it’s a tool that’s supplements their cold calling. It hasn’t replaced the phone and nor will it, but it’s helps them data mine; find buyers that are looking for their services and develop relationships faster. And, it positions them as the best provider to fulfill their target buyers’ needs.
3. In parallel, their marketing teams are working on campaigns. They’re generating interest in the brand, listening for buying signals and engaging. They’re making their content relevant to their target buyers and researching more thoroughly for what’s genuinely needed. Their eye is on the competition too so they understand their strengths and weaknesses better. They’re feeding this back to the sales team and joining the intelligence up. Their pitches are stronger, their collateral is more relevant and they’re winning more business. Business C uses social media primarily as a vehicle for communication. They’re focusing on customer service, reputation management and business continuity. They know that their target buyers are active on social media and that they have a competitive advantage if they can be more responsive to them there. They’re on the platforms 24x7, listening out for customer queries, complaints and praise, and promptly answering, rectifying or celebrating them. They join in the discussion. They add value. They know that if they want to get a message out to their customer base in real time they can do so through their social media platforms. This helps if there’s a crisis and a message that needs to be communicated. It also helps if their website goes down. It’s a reality. Business D uses social media to attract new talent. They’re a growing business and want to lower their recruitment costs. They don’t post job positions all the time, but they’re positioning their organization and the opportunities of working for their brand. They’re focusing on their leadership. They’re promoting the values and culture of their organisation. They’re following the game changer’s, like Richard Branson (@RichardBranson), Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Marc Cuban (@mcuban), Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff), Tony Hsieh (@Zappos_Hsieh) and Bill Gates (@BillGates). They’re sharing inspiring leadership stories and quotations, which creates online conversations about fresh business ventures. They’re mixing things up so it’s not all about the business, and they’re raising awareness for charitable initiatives or other things they simply find fun or interesting. By tweeting and blogging daily, their employees follow suit and engage directly with their target buyers through social media. They’re able to find out what their target buyers want and need. As a result, they remain ahead of their competition. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 4
4. Business E concentrates on staffing retention and innovation. They’re using social media as a way to keep in contact with their team. They’re globally dispersed but through private social media platforms they’re able to communicate more readily and be more responsive. They can demonstrate that they’re a social business; community lead and care about staff welfare. They’re interested in their employees and what they’re thinking. Whilst they’re not physically on the ‘shop floor’ with them, virtually they’re as good as. And, this helps not only to retain talent but with innovation. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 5 #3 Mistake – Operating “push” marketing techniques I’m not a fan of jargon so let’s start by defining what push marketing is. Push marketing is a marketing term that involves getting your products or services in front of your target market. It’s sometimes referred to as traditional marketing or outbound marketing. It’s typically one-way and involves any of the following; advertising, direct mail, cold calling, billboards, trade shows, conferences and events. Its nemesis is pull marketing, which is sometimes referred to as modern marketing, attraction marketing or inbound marketing. This type of marketing “pulls” the target buyer into the business. Understanding that today’s buyer is an avid researcher and seeks out a solution to their problems online, pull marketing gives you an opportunity to attract the buyers who want answers you already provide. To see it in action, just imagine yourself browsing online. You see an advert for a product you love and then click through to buy it, or learn more. So how does it fit in with social media? Well, to date much of the conversation around social media has been on marketing and ways to support the brand i.e. to get the target buyer to see you and listen to you. As a consequence, businesses have used marketing to create content for blogs and social media platforms. They’ve used push marketing tactics and literally pushed out tweets and posts. However, rarely have they had conversations after doing so. When their target buyers have engaged with them, their voices have fallen on deaf ears. No one has been listening, for that’s not how push marketing has ever been done.
5. Feeling ignored, rejected and upset with the brand, the target buyer has moved on to the competition. They understand social media and they get them. Ultimately they take the business. So when it comes to your social media activity, make sure you use push marketing strategies. Work on maintaining a good balance between informative and personal posts. It’s great to publish lots of valuable information to your target buyers such as industry-related news but it’s also important to let the personality and culture of your company shine through. Otherwise it gets boring. Social media is “social” so remember to entertain your buyers as well as to engage them. Make them feel good about interacting with you. They’ll then come back for more. #4 Mistake – Choosing DIY rather than learning from experts How hard can social media be? You’ve got a Facebook account and are happy posting and uploading photos. It makes sense for you to think that you can cope with your own brand’s social media activity, or a Gen Y, or someone from within marketing can. Unfortunately this approach is shortsighted. Social media for business requires a strategic approach. It requires tried and tested tactics and a different set of skills than most have acquired without training. It’s more than tweeting or posting about what you’ve just accomplished. With technology advancing at a rapid pace, keeping up-to-date with the latest social media practices is crucial for any business owner who’s using it to drive their business forward. Socially savvy buyers want the latest news, insights and promotions. They’re engaging by asking questions and commenting. They don’t sleep either. They’re doing this on a 24x7 basis, 365 days of the year. And, they want answers and interaction in real-time. Not everyone knows how to cope with this so investing in social media training can help them to understand how best to filter the content, deal with engagement and set expectations. It can help them to understand how to position themselves, express their voices and convey their messages. It can inform them on best practice too in terms of policies and procedures that are in line with the business. Social media training saves time. And, it cannot be well executed, to deliver a return on investment without training. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 6
6. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 7 #5 Mistake – Failing to create, manage & measure a social media implementation plan Finally you’ve accepted that you need social media training across the company. You’ve found a supplier and the social media training gets delivered. You expect to see transformational results and a healthy bottom line. It doesn’t happen. Don’t beat yourself up about this though. Many businesses fail at this hurdle. They do a great job of recognizing that they can’t do it alone but then fail to understand that someone needs to own it within their organization, create an implementation plan, see it through to completion and track the results. They often start at the wrong point. A better place to begin is with a gap analysis or audit. Ideally you need to be assessed by an independent party to ascertain where you are, where you want to be and what’s going to get you there. If you don’t do it this way, you’re going to miss valuable information and run the risk of not joining things up within the organization. You need to capitalize on the technology. When you opt for an audit, and assign a key stakeholder to it your chances of success double. They can work with the independent auditor to create a social media plan for key departments or for the organization as a whole. It really depends on your requirements. They can then check to see that everything has been understood, is being acted upon and measure, assess and report back on the whole initiative. By reviewing the process in this way, you can then make improvements and provide a more targeted approach for the future. #6 Mistake – Working as individuals or SILOS rather than as teams I’m going to use sales and marketing to illustrate this fail. Since the advent of my business career, I’ve seen these two at loggerheads. No matter which company I walk into, it’s the same story. Sales believe that marketing aren’t providing enough quality leads and marketing believe that sales aren’t converting enough of the leads they do provide. And that’s even when they’re tracking this - apparently.
7. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 8 Obviously this has to stop. And social media can help. It can act as a bridge. It can wave the white flag. By educating both teams and others within your company on why they need to work together as a united front they’ll achieve greater job satisfaction, security and incomes. Only by getting your teams to work together and focus their attention firmly on your target buyers will a business increase its leads, sales and revenues. By leveraging off all employees a business will grow its exposure and influence. As a business owner you must realize that these relationships are a vital component of your business success and go about reinforcing the alliances. #7 Mistake – Working without a social media policy When it comes to social media and the law I get asked a lot of questions. Typically these can be summarized as: • Who owns the social media profile? • Does a social media account belong to the employee or the brand? • What happens when the employee who posts or tweets on behalf of the brand (using their own name and own social media account) resigns, quits or has their job terminated? o What happens to the data, the contacts and networks? o Who owns these now? These are great questions and as with all things legal, it’s crucial you seek specialist advice. The law is extremely complex and social media is still very new. As a business owner the cleanest, clearest and least costly approach is to have a social media policy and written agreement for your employees that details who owns what i.e. the profiles, logins/access, content, followers; how it can be used and so on. Both the brand and the employees need to make sure that the terms are clearly defined so there’s no question or confusion as to what happens when the inevitable happens – they leave.
8. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 9 Conclusion Whilst there are challenges for business owners to overcome when using social media, make no mistake; there are more advantages available. And, whether you chose to get involved or not, one thing is certain – your clients, prospects and competitors will. You can treat it as an asset now; integrate it into your company by training your teams and see the returns unfold, or get you can get left behind. Thank you, as always for reading. If you found this useful, please tell others and get them to sign up to receive more information. Wishing you much success!
9. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 10 About the Author Jane Frankland is the Managing Director of KnewStart. She has had a diverse career encompassing art and technology. Kicking her career off in sales for Hays, she rose through the ranks quickly. Seeing a business opportunity in 1997, Jane set up an information security consultancy, Corsaire, with a partner, where she had enormous successes winning large global and FTSE clients. Whilst remaining a shareholder of Corsaire, after thirteen years she exited the business as an employee and joined Europe’s largest cyber security assurance provider, the NCC Group as an Associate Director of Operations. In addition to her operational role for the SE of England, North American and Australian divisions and leading a team of 45 consultants, Jane played an instrumental role in re-branding the Group’s latest acquisitions, and as a Business Process Owner for SAP. She then went on to head up business development for SensePost, a South African company entering Europe. Being a creative at heart, having been nominated as a Young British Designer when she graduated; selling work in London, New York, Tokyo and Paris to art galleries (including Christies) and fashion houses, Jane felt it was time to get back to her entrepreneurial roots. After 16 years of ownership she sold Corsaire and founded her new consultancy to help agile, forward thinking, service-based B2Bs solve business development challenges. She combines her skills within cyber security and business development with her interest in emerging technologies and communication. Right now she is particularly focused on helping organizations to really understand the power of using social media for business so they can leverage market share. Jane Frankland can be contacted on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneFrankland LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/JaneFrankland
10. Services The consultancy exists to help you increase your competitive advantage by modernizing the way you do business. Through consulting and training we help you think differently about how you engage and transact with your employees, partners and clients so you can profit. E-Mail: [email protected] Web: http://.jane-frankland.com Distributed and Copyright ©KnewStart, 2014 Page 11 We specialize in: • Creating influence • Leveraging sales • Protecting the brand Further information is available by contacting Jane Frankland at [email protected] Report Disclaimer Please note that you have Personal Rights Use Only to this report. You may not give it away for free under any circumstances. You may not sell it unless you have purchased or acquired Resell Rights or Master Resell Rights through the author. The author has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this ebook, notwithstanding the fact that she does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the author assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. Copyright Notice All content published within this report is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission or altered in any way shape or form. Artwork Artwork is courtesy of Gabriela Szulman and can be purchased via http://gabrielaszulman.com.