It’s incredible to think that just a few short years ago, entire generations of consumers and businesses literally limped along in the fossilized age before the internet, eking out a living via television and print ads, no doubt fueled by good old fashioned Flintstone’s style Brontosaurus burgers.
The explosion of social media has not only been via a massive networking and connectivity forum and an expansive and growing marketing and advertising medium, but also as a literal real time window on and catalyst for globally significant events, which has secured its place in history as among the greatest communication advances ever seen.
Despite these amazing accomplishments however, social media has presented almost as many potential problems as triumphs for e-commerce, as the technology and usage of this medium continues to rapidly evolve and businesses struggle to understand and employ it as a means of better interacting with consumers.
The most common issue many businesses encounter when attempting to engage their customers via social media (whether for the first time or even among those companies with an ongoing social media presence), is the dreaded pitfall of ‘brand dilution.’
As you would expect, this is the result of over saturating consumers with product information via social media which has the negative effect of actually decreasing consumers’ ability to identify or ‘connect ‘with individual products or services which have become less unique in their minds rather than more easily recognizable as a separate entity, and therefore actually dilutes the company brand.
It’s an all too common occurrence for businesses that are venturing into social media commerce for the first time to be a little uncertain how to best make use of the medium, and they generally overcompensate for a lack of experience by simply bombarding consumers with as much product information as they can cram into a Facebook entry or tweet.
This is not a wise strategy however, as previously mentioned, and almost certainly runs the risk of simply turning people off your social media forums, and even worse it actively discourages consumers from retaining the individual brand information that was the purpose of the social media campaign.
The best means of avoiding this problem is to research your competitors and other industry social media forums and decide on what elements your campaign should focus on, such as;
– Will this be for a new product launch or for existing product communications?
– Is it a specific targeted promotion or a ‘one off’ ad?
– Which social media you want to employ?
– Will it be a short term or long term marketing advertising project?
A well thought out and developed social media strategy will allow your campaign to grow organically from the ground up, detailing everything from demographics to cost management from a focused perspective that immediately discards any unnecessary or unwanted elements.
One of the easiest issues to avoid when utilizing social media as a commercial forum is to not try too hard to be ‘hip.’ Many businesses make the near fatal error of assuming that a social media presence necessitates they be among the coolest kids on the block.
This couldn’t be more misguided. Suffice to say that the vast majority of those whose use social media are between the ages of 12 and 25; if your company honestly thinks that these kids can’t see lame from a mile away, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Think of social media commerce as a way of learning about your consumers as much as a means of marketing to them, and you’re guaranteed to find that an honest, sincere ad campaign that connects to your consumers and doesn’t talk down to them or tries to impress them, will offer your business more interaction and more respect than any phony attempt ‘to be down with twitter.’
Finally, whether your company is taking its first steps into commercial social media or you want to improve your standing among your consumer community, the best advice is to stay informed, be engaged and make certain you can manage your social campaign efficiently and accessibly.
Ludwing Hernandez is the owner of an Social Media Company. He has written many articles regarding Social Media. Follow hin is his new project Zinzz chat room.