Social Media Marketing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them (1 of 6)

Earlier this month, I ran a daylong seminar on social media marketing, which was sponsored by the Triangle chapter of the American Marketing Association. It was sort of a “101” class. We started at the basics and moved through it to best practices. About 75 people were there, and we had some fun, so I thought it might be fun to share a little of the content with you. One of the sections was “The Top 5 Most Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes.” This post focuses on mistake #1: “Not Listening. Not Responding. Not Good.”

I put this mistake first because listening is the first step in social media marketing. If the theory is that conversations are already occurring online about your brand and your area of interest (and they are), then you have to be listening to them lest one of them becomes really, really important. In fact, the day after I did this AMA seminar, I co-presented with Cord Silverstein at BlogCarolinas. Cord shared a great example of this about an unnamed client who had a YouTube video with their name in the title prefaced by F You… Very quickly, that video attracted over 100,000 views. Oh, and it shows up on page one of Google in searches for that company’s brand name. (Yes, I found it online, but I’m not sharing it because, well, Cord’s a good guy.)

The two examples in the class, Kryptonite lock and Dell Hell, are really old, almost to the point of being hackneyed. Despite that, they remain highly relevant examples in May 2008 for two different reasons.

Kryptonite lock is a good example because a post about them written in September 2004 still comes up in the top 5 searches for their brand almost 4 years later! Is ANYONE at Kryptonite working on this? I know that chasing an Engadget post off page one ain’t easy, but if my brand were at stake, I’d find a way. I’d call someone like my boy Andy Beal and pay him whatever he wants.

Dell is a good example precisely because of what they learned from being crushed in the blogosphere beginning June 21, 2005, they really have turned things around. It’s now being reported that Dell has sold $500,000 worth of product through Twitter. I believe it, as the 22″ wide screen monitor hooked up to my MacBook came directly through finding a deal on Twitter. That’s just one of the things they are doing right.

Over the next few posts, I’ll share the other five most common social media marketing mistakes (and a BONUS 6th mistake FREE). In the meantime, what examples do you have of brands not listening to social media conversations? I’d love to hear them.

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