There’s a growing tactic in today’s marketing that the majority of organizations are incorporating into their marketing strategies; social media. Social media has been proven to be effective, but we’ve also mentioned how it can be unsuccessful. So, what’s the real answer? Is social media an effective marketing tool or not? Well, maybe the answer is that many organizations are making the same mistakes. These issues are not small either; they can literally destroy the perception of their brand’s image by making certain social media mistakes. So, we’re going to point out a few things you should be aware of when running a social media campaign. We here at the TM Office truly hope that this information is helpful for your organization (and/or your clients).

1st: Establish a Plan/Goals

I’ve personally seen a few organizations start up a social media page with no foundation, no planning, and for the most part, no idea what they are doing. Who are they targeting? What is the ideal outcome of this social media strategy? How/who will be running the social media campaign? These simple, but crucially important questions must be answered and identified before an organization launches a social media page.

2nd: Don’t Hope People Will Just Come Find You

Rarely will you see a social media presence with a large amount of friends and little promotion involved. This pretty much only happens if the organization/brand is well know and already has an established following.

More common than not, it’s the complete opposite for most organizations. Companies need to work on gaining support through blogs, e-mail blasts, online articles, online books and traditional promotions. This will generate momentum and intrigue into the minds of your consumers, resulting in the consumer becoming a friend of your social media pages.

3rd: PR Personnel can’t do Everything for You

Public relations agencies can be a tremendous help when launching your presence within the social media world. Receiving help from PR agencies is great, but in the end, they can be very expensive for the long-term. At some point, your organization will have to pull back the reigns from the PR agency.

You need to understand/remember people love to see authenticity. They want to hear from the CEO, the secretary, the director of marketing and even your newest employee. People need to hear from the men and women who deal with an organization’s day-to-day operations.

Once this happens, you may now have a decent following and people will want to engage in conversations with your organization. You need to plan ahead to have someone monitor these conversations and have the ability to represent your organization in a positive light.

4th: Don’t Ignore Traditional Media Marketing

Just like with print advertisements and other media marketing approaches, social media needs to be supported by other marketing assets. Experts have started to notice over the past two years that many organizations have put the majority of their marketing and advertising efforts into their social media campaigns.

Yes, social media is important and isn’t going anywhere. But it’s just another piece to the marketing puzzle. Organizations that use their entire marketing strategy to promote their social media pages may want to rethink their approach.

5th: Not Everyone can be a Social Media Strategist

It’s very hard for anyone to state that they are a social media “expert” or “guru” when social media has only been around for about seven years. My advice is to sway away from self proclaimed “social media gurus” since most of these people only have one to two years of experience. When you launch a social media presence, you need to find the right person to handle the long-term social media monitoring as well as the ability to manage his/her normal day-to-day operations.

In the end, the most important aspect of all of this is that social media needs to be incorporated into all of your marketing and advertising efforts. Print, TV and viral promotions are very important to the success of your social media presence. Make sure to establish goals in the beginning of your campaign, avoid all the misconceptions mentioned above and you’ll be on the right track to social media success.

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