Social Media: Building Your Brand

Social Media: Things That Make you Go “Oops!”

Don’t be these people
The Joiner

Don’t hop on every social network with no clear idea of how your participation is going to help build visibility for the brand.

Mr. or Ms. Random
People often mistakenly think it’s a numbers game and follow people randomly. Be clear about who your target market is and the industry you want to build a community in.

The Pusher
Don’t start to promote your business to people as soon as you join a site. First listen, then share information that is adding value.

Biggest mistakes in online marketing
1. Being everywhere, getting nowhere. Get a good a grasp of a tool before you deploy it. Just getting a Facebook and MySpace page without knowing how the audience acts can lead to frustration.

2. Being a control freak. Take a lesson from the music industry: Instead of letting the fans be their voice, they took all the power away. In other words, don’t be limiting. Digital empowers the audience to speak for you. It is the new word of mouth–but even more powerful than that.

3. Giving the silent treatment. Remember to interact with your customers. You want to make sure there’s a two-way conversation going on. You want to make sure you’re responding to customers and enriching the conversation.

4. Auto-everything. Avoid buying mail lists or adding people randomly to your e-mail lists. It’s better to have quality numbers than a huge list of people. Build a list organically.

Biggest mistakes in online marketing with video
1. No call for response. Don’t forget to tie your brand to the video or give a call to action. You’ve taken the time to make the video. If you’ve created a product demo or a how-to video, you can use video overlays that say, “To purchase this … ”

2. Unoptimized video. Even big-name clients sometimes forget to optimize. You can upload videos to your YouTube channel, but that video needs to live on your website so that it’s driving the traffic directly to you.

3. Wrong time, place, manner. Don’t upload inappropriate content because it can hurt your business and damage your brand. Take the time to ensure that it’s appropriate. If you run a home-based business, consider the background and stash the kids and pets in another room while you film.

4. Tech deficiency. When sites have video that is not properly integrated and pops up in a format that forces visitors to download an application, it can show you’re not keeping up with the times. And if you’re not keeping up with the times, customers will think you’re not going to keep up with their needs.

Sonya A. Donaldson is an editor-at-large at Black Enterprise.