Sean and Mittie | Marketing Mishaps

Marketing Mishaps

For all the ways that marketing is growing and changing, there are a lot of fumbles going on out there on the worldwide web. And, I get it. People feel overwhelmed by the choices and limited in both understanding of the platforms and the time to get it all done.

There are two main schools of thought in how to solve this conundrum.

Option One: Inform Yourself

This means researching the platforms you think are a good fit for your product, brand or service, observing how popular accounts in your niche behave, and upon learning the etiquette of the platform, you engage.  This tactic also requires outside research – reading articles on marketing and listening to podcasts or watching videos from prominent marketing voices.

Here’s the takeaway: Don’t play the game until you’ve learned the rules

P.S. Want to hire someone to do it for you?send me a message. I love making it easy for people to invest in their creative work instead of putting their energy into managing their social platforms.)

Option Two: Just Get Out There and Do It

Others are timid. They may know what they want to do on social, but spend their days second guessing themselves and every word they write. There is value in starting, in the sense that we will never truly be “ready”. We are always in the process of getting there, that’s life. Plus, if your social accounts are in their infancy then, truth be told, no one is listening yet. That should be empowering! You can always delete things after the fact, testing technique as you go.

My own personal experience is a mixture of the two. I do this professionally, so I probably spend more time on it that your average user, but like most of you infopreneurs, I am a 1-man-band, meaning I generate the content, design/update the site, market it, and more, for my own brand as well as my clients. When do I sleep, you ask? Rarely.

But when I work with a new platform (or when I started) I both dabbled in the platforms to get a sense of how they are used and observed others while researching them. One of my favorite ways to research the latest trends, productivity tips and social platforms is through audio. Podcasts are easy to enjoy while doing other tasks like housework, driving, or working out. Just make sure you have a note taking device handy (Wait, like a pen and paper? Yeah, that’s right. #oldschool) for when the ideas start flowing!

But more than knowing what to do (which everyone is writing about), I’m going to talk about what to avoid. My own personal marketing peeves, if you will. The most common things that I see mucking up people’s marketing efforts are shortcuts, created to save time, but actually nullifying any benefit they could receive from the platform.

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Marketing Mishaps

1. Blasting the Same Material Everywhere

Most people view social media networks as channels of delivery. They create a piece of content and want to share it on all of their accounts. That in itself isn’t problematic; it’s the delivery. Social media platforms are nuanced. People hang out on different platforms for different reasons and your delivery needs to indicate that you understand that.

Ask yourself: Why are they on this platform? What kind of information, tone or style are they seeking?

You may find that some pieces of content fit for certain platforms and not for others. You may find that other content overlaps comfortably, but needs a different caption to accompany it. Let me give you an example …

Facebook: People are there to have social interactions, to connect with family and friends. Impersonal headlines and lone links don’t work well. People want your personal thoughts on whatever you share.

Meanwhile …

Twitter: People are there for information based posts and humor. Impersonal headlines are fine, as long as the link to quality articles and apply to your niche. If you comment, a quick wit is prized over gushing (which is hard to do in 140 characters anyway!)

For this example, I’m just using the two mega platforms. If you’d like a more in depth description of social platforms and the best techniques for using them, mention it in the comments.

By acknowledgeing that the platforms are different and that people are there for different reasons you will get better results. You are, in a sense, speaking the language of that platform. If you don’t speak the language of the platform, why would anyone listen?

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2. Posting Instagram to Facebook

To me, this is a mega no no and I see it all the time. I like someone’s photo on Insta, just to see it pass by in my FB feed too. Firstly, Facebook bought Instagram. If you haven’t noticed, Instagram invites to follow your Facebook friends when they join the platform. That means most of your Facebook friends are also following your Instagram account.

I don’t know how many hours you have in your day, but I don’t have enough to see the same images at the same time on two different platforms. #instagramfacebookfails #automation

Here is the argument I imagine happening in your head: But my instagram post is so awesome! I want all the people on Facebook to see it too. And I need to create more content. I don’t have enough time …

Despite all of that being true, there is a smarter way to do it, one that doesn’t make your viewers feel that you’re automating their experience and blasting the same stuff everywhere. If you love a post, save it for a few days and then post it to the other platform. It’s not that the material can’t be repeated on another platform, just not at the same time. By spacing out posts you love and sharing them on other platforms later, they feel fresh.  So post that great gram, and then share it on FB later so people enjoy seeing it – instead of thinking, oh yeah, I just saw that on her Instagram.

3. True Twit Validation and Twitter DMs

So seriously, this didn’t die out in 2012? If you have True Twit Validation, please, for your own good, disable it!

And let’s be honest, most people don’t look at their Twitter direct messages because their inbox is flooded with spam …and again, because of the psychology of Twitter as a platform. It isn’t a platform oriented toward private connections. If you choose to use direct messaging for marketing outreach, do it in a hyper-personal way. Saying, “thanks for following, now follow me at x-link, y-link, and z-link” is obnoxious. It feels automated and spammy. Instead, be informative while orienting the message toward the other person – who are they and what can you learn from them?

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4. Typos and Poor Grammar

I know you’re in a hurry – we all are! But that’s no excuse. Write, read, re-read, go do something else and then re-read again. And, after it’s all said and done, if you have a mistake anyway – edit it! You can usually go into posts and articles and revise after the fact. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes checking your material as well.

There are some cool free apps, as well as spell and grammar check built into most basic writing software so take advantage of it! By writing your text in MS Word first, for example, you can quickly edit grammar and spelling. Not a fan? Try browser plugins like Grammar.ly instead.

What are you greatest marketing pet-peeves? Biggest questions? Write your questions or ideas in the comments and I’d love to respond.

Mittie.Roger
mittiebabette@gmail.com

Mittie Roger has been blogging for 5 years; her blog focuses on off the beaten path travel in the Americas. Both a blogger and a social media consultant, Mittie works with writers, brands, and artists of many mediums. Her first book of short stories, Aurora, was published in December of 2013 after its title story, “Aurora”, received second place in the 2012 Richard Bausch contest. Her fiction has also appeared in Our Stories and Monkey Puzzle Literary Magazine and her non-fiction has appeared in Land Rover Magazine, Land Rover Monthly and Fuse. Her most recent publication, These Boots Are Made for Walking: Travel Journal and Workbook, uses creative prompts to get you thinking differently, traveling more and experiencing life.

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