BUSINESSES should stop tweeting so much and shut up and listen to what their followers are saying about their brands on social media, according to Ted Rubin, Chief Marketing Officer of social media company Collective Bias.
And he would know. Of all the CMOs in the world, Ted has the most Twitter followers.
At the Association for Data-driven Marketing forum in Sydney Mr Rubin told news.com.au that when it comes to social media, the numbers don’t matter. He says that too many businesses put emphasis on how many Facebook or Twitter followers they have, or how many impressions they can get from a social media campaign.
They’re skipping the most important step.
Ted Rubin says companies need to shut up and listen instead of using social media as an advertising tool.
“They’re worried about who has more Twitter followers, about who has more fans on Facebook,” he said. “Or they’re worried about who is getting the message out more consistently on those platforms rather than taking the amazing amount of market intelligence available to them by looking at people that are following them and reading what they are writing on their own pages.”
And with that, Mr Rubin shared with news.com.au the top 10 things businesses are getting wrong on social media.
1. Broadcasting instead of engaging
Businesses need to spend less time tweeting and more time reading, listening and understanding what it is their customers really want.
2. Using social for short term campaigns and initiatives
Businesses can’t expect to use social media only when it is convenient for them and expect customers to remain engaged.
“A perfect example was when during the last Olympics, Procter and Gamble had an amazing campaign about women and what inspired them,” Rubin said. “It was inspired. But the minute the Olympics ended, the campaign ended. It could have been ongoing.
“Women were asking what happened to it and Procter and Gambel said they weren’t even interested in considering reopening it because when it ended, it ended.
“I keep threatening to restart it,” he said.
3. The belief that advertising on social platforms is social media
“It’s not. That’s just advertising,” Rubin said.
4. Blocking employees from accessing social media sites
“That’s just absolutely ludicrous,” he said.
5. Discouraging employees from building their own personal brands
Rubin said few companies are empowering their employees on social media, “seeing it as a threat instead of a benefit”.
“Imagine you have a major international global corporation with 50,000 employees,” he said. “Imagine if you empowered all of them, not just empowered but encouraged them and advised them on how to build their own social media followings.
“Imagine if they wanted to get a message across how powerful it would be if even 10 per cent of employees built up a following. That’s 5000 people”.
“Employees as advocates. Brands are not realising that their best advocates are their employees.”
6. Letting agencies tell you how to use social media
Rubin said it’s down right irresponsible to let agencies tell companies how to use social media, without ever learning how it works themselves.
“You can outsource once you come up with your ideas,” Rubin said. “But to outsource something that you have no clue about is a big mistake.”
7. Allowing PR agencies to run your social media accounts
The DNA of PR firms is “less is more and control the message” Rubin said. “But brands should learn to be more experimental because often they don’t know really who their product appeals to. Following the example of PR companies could mean you miss out on potential opportunities, as well as the ability to better understand exactly who their audiences is.
“The DNA of social is give out as much information as possible and let it fly,” Rubin said. “It’s totally in direct contrast to what PR companies are used to doing.”
8. CEOs making social media decisions without any knowledge of what it’s about
In the US only 35 per cent of top level employees are on social media, Rubin said. In Australia the number is likely to be much lower. “They’re passing it off to other people,” he said.
9. Letting interns set your social media strategy
Just because your interns understand social platforms doesn’t mean they understand your marketing, Rubin said.
“It’s OK to let them execute your campaigns, especially in small businesses where they may not be able to afford a lot of employees, but don’t let the intern build your social media strategy.”
10. It’s not about numbers. It’s about connections
Too many companies focus on how many social media followers they have.
“Buying Facebook fans has no value,” Rubin said, “because they haven’t come to you for your information, they’re not bringing any value to that relationship.”
“If you want to buy Facebook fans, fine, but if you don’t have a strategy about what you’re going to do with those followers, don’t waste your time.”
by: By Claire Porter Technology editor
From:news.com.au August 09, 2013 9:20AM