Social Media: what not to do!

Social media is still a relatively new marketing phenomenon, but it’s here to stay. These days, both individuals and companies are Blogging, Tweeting and Facebook-ing with vigour.

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For some social media is an established arm of their business that they’ve successful conquered and set a great example for others to follow. For others it’s a new zone and one that they’re still testing the water in.

Undoubtedly it can be a hugely effective technique, and participation in social media should be encouraged. But social media on a professional scale does need the necessary skills and experience behind it.

Here a just a few tips on how to make your journey into the world of social media an easier one. Put simply, these are the things you should avoid…

To start with, social media on behalf of an organisation needs a planned approach. It shouldn’t be attempted in an ad hoc “let’s give it a go” way. Remember, if you’re the mouthpiece for an organisation you also have a reputation to manage and represent.

  • Don’t choose someone because they have over 500 friends on Facebook and regularly keep their “friends” informed with everything from what they had for breakfast to how they feel about the latest episode of their favourite soap.
  • In effect, social media sits at the intersection of sales, marketing, PR and customer service – so some knowledge of these areas would be a plus. You need to choose someone who has the capability and relevant skill set to enhance and not damage the profile of your business and someone who actually knows your business and its goals.
  • Remember, social media takes time and commitment. You can’t just start and then give up when other business concerns become more pressing. People will notice!
  • Take it slowly and build your profile up over time. See how the commitment fits into the overall workload over a given time period. Also, look at what platforms are a good fit for your business. Don’t just engage with every medium out there. Don’t overexpose, have direction and have your end goal in sight.
  • Also watch what you say!  With one click your company’s thoughts and views are out there in the public domain. Don’t publish first and then think later.
  • Jointly, make sure you look at what is and isn’t working for your business. The usual business measurement tools should still be applied to help assess your successes in this field.

Social media opens up doors and reaches potential customers that your business previously didn’t, it also reaches existing customers in a new way. However don’t expect a huge buzz over night. These things take time, they also have their own set of limitations. That said, social media is another potentially effective arm to your communications strategy.

As we are on the subject of social media, don’t forget to follow Art Division on Twitter!

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