Social networks - too much of a good thing
Posted: September 6, 2011 | 10:07 ET by Tessa Wegert
These days when I take a business trip I find myself torn. Do I check into foursquare upon my arrival, or post the news to Facebook Places? If it's the former should I comment along with my location tag or save it for a tweet? And come to think of it, when was the last time I updated LinkedIn? Isn't it due for a little love?
If you too are starting to feel like you can't keep up with the demands of social networking, rest assured that your concerns are fully justified. Word on the Web is that having too many social networking profiles isn't such a hot idea. With countless social sites at our disposal, drawing inexplicable amounts of press as they grow and thrive, it's tempting to take advantage of all of them – what better way to demonstrate our digital prowess and reach potential customers wherever they are online? In fact, this blanket approach will only confuse and confound your audience, along with their perception of your brand.
Identify your objectives
That said, before you dive into social marketing you must first identify your goals. Is your primary objective to deliver product news and special offers, or are you more concerned with customer service and relationship management? Your answer will determine whether your brand is best suited to a Facebook Page or a Twitter account, and may provide a good many other clues as to your optimal social media strategy as well.
Don't be seduced by apparent ease
It seems one of the motivating factors for getting involved in social media is that so much of it is free. Many networks don't require a monetary investment to create a branded profile and, relatively speaking, it can be quite cost effective to choose social marketing over a more traditional campaign. On top of that, social network copywriters seem to be particularly adept at making participation in their sites sound as easy as can be.
Don’t be fooled by the promise of either. If social marketing was cheap and easy we wouldn't see so many agencies specializing in it – and so many brands lamenting its wily ways. In short, never select a network (or a social marketing strategy, for that matter) based on a tendency to crave too much of a good thing.
Check back next week for more tips for creating a thoughtful social strategy that includes the careful selection of the right social networks for your needs.
Tags: Design , Interactive Strategist , Marketing Strategy , Social Media , Social Networking , Twitter
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.