While at this month’s Social Media Club of Kansas City professional lunch, Forbes magazine social media editor (and Kansas City resident) Alex Knapp let us all in on the top social media mistake. Ready? It’s falling into the trap in thinking that there’s something new about social media.
News flash: there’s nothing new about social media. OK, OK—maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, because tools like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Vine and LinkedIn didn’t exist a few years ago. Yet look past the tools and, at its core, social media is a publishing platform—plain and simple. And it needs to be treated as such, rather than approached with a new way of thinking that gets little mileage out of these digital tools.
Of course, the type of content you publish on each social media platform will vary. A tweet, for example, doesn’t necessarily translate on Facebook. But what’s important is that you have a strategic, thoughtful content marketing strategy that maximizes the assets of each social platform you use while delivering the information your audience needs.
Consider Forbes’ social media strategy. The publishing powerhouse maintains an active presence on a variety of networks. Yet they don’t just post the same stories across the same networks at the same time. Instead, they tune into their audience to customize their strategy. The Forbes Google+ audience, for example, largely wants tech stories and info—and that’s what they get.
Understanding that social media networks are digital publishing platforms is critical to your digital marketing success. Another must-have tool? Good writing.
I won’t lie—I seriously wanted to stand up and yell “AMEN!” and “HALLELUJAH!” as Alex spoke about successful social media strategy. One piece of brilliance? “You can train people to use social media platforms, but you can’t train them to write.” And if that isn’t the truth, well, I don’t know what is.
Lesson learned? Take a look at your social media marketing strategy. Are you building a strong content library that’s tailored to each group of users and fans? And while you’re sharing your own content, are you also taking time to share content from others? Social media marketing, after all, is a two-way street—and even though social networks are based on publishing, you don’t simply want to broadcast your own information—you want to share other relevant resources, too.
One last tip? If you don’t have a skilled writer on your social media marketing team, you might want to consider adding one. This investment in your content will pay off, I promise—and you’ll be confident in all of your written material ranging from web copy and blog posts to social media status updates and whitepapers.
Do you agree with Alex’s assessment of the biggest social media mistake? If not, what’s at the top of your Social Media Sins list?