5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media

We recently came across a blog post on 5 Rookie Mistakes in Press Releases, and turns out, the author was not exaggerating about the “rookie” part. Use a headline that makes sense. Include an “about” section and contact info. Still, it’s always helpful even for seasoned PR pros to get a reminder that sometimes the most basic things are the things we screw up, because we take for granted that we won’t screw them up. The post also inspired us to write our list of tips to help businesses avoid making rookie mistakes in social media. Without further ado…

1) Don’t dive in without a game plan. You know what makes me cringe? When companies get excited by the sparkly social media trend and tell their staff to go gangbusters on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, a company blog, etc. – all without having a strategy in place. What is your goal? Who are you trying to engage with? Do you need to engage with different audiences on different platforms, and perhaps share one type of information with your Twitter followers and a different type with your Facebook followers? What’s your policy on employees blogging or guest blogging for your company? Your plan for dealing with negative Yelp or App Store reviews? I know it’s tempting to want to just dive in – but trust me, you’ll be glad later that you had a strategy in place first.

2) That said, be wary of social media ninjas/experts/superstars. It can be incredibly valuable having people on your side with specific experience developing and executing social media initiatives. However, be careful about who you trust with your social media strategy; 90% of the self-professed social media ninjas/gurus/superstars/experts out there are full of it. Just because someone has 1,000+ Twitter followers and calls himself a guru doesn’t make it true – and typically, the people who are the gurus don’t need to use such audacious self-promotion to prove it. Since the beginning of time (or at least the beginning of capitalism?) people have looked for the next get-rich-quick scheme to make a buck off the latest hot new thing, and right now in marketing, that thing is social media. Don’t get suckered. Still, there are people out there who genuinely have great experience and a track record of success in working with businesses to help them do social media right. And if you’re already working with a PR or marketing agency, they may very well have the know-how to work with you on those initiatives, and it helps that the relationships and knowledge about your company are already established. Continue reading