Although it is true that the key to succeed in the current environment is to keep an open and interactive communication with your customers and future clients, there are a few things you cannot do if you want to use social media as the effective tool to retain and attract new consumers. Many people normally focus on what makes web marketing so successful but very few in ‘what not to do’. Learning from other people and companies’ mistakes should be one of your objectives if you are just starting using this powerful tool to build or develop your business or hobby; there are hundreds of examples we could use; however, we will be concentrating on the mistakes that are most commonly repeated in the development of an Internet marketing strategy.
1. Marketing Spam
The error that many businesses made when they start using social media is to develop a thread of web-marketing spam, without realizing they are doing an irreversible damage to the brand of the company. How many spam emails do you receive on a daily basis? And how many of them end up in the ‘junk folder’ without being opened? Have you ever heard the term consumer driven innovation? This is a co-creating process in which the consumers interact with the company using social media for the conceptualization and development of new products and services. Give people what they want but don’t over saturate them with information they don’t need. If your company has an email subscription service you should use it wisely and only when something important or innovative happens such as the launch or a new products or news that affect them directly.
2. SMART Marketing
Many small businesses normally set up a website or social media groups without having a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. The Internet is a powerful tool but it is only effective when used effectively; any large, medium or small business-marketing plan should meet all the requirements of a SMART Marketing program. Social media should only be used when the goals and intentions are Specific (clear and well-defined to anyone), Measurable (is it achievable; how can you measure it), Attainable (all stakeholders should agree with the goals established), Realistic (does the firm has the time, knowledge and time) and Timely (specific period of time). Once this principle is clear you can create the website, use Facebook for Business, Twitter and create a LinkedIn profile.
Do you know the meaning of hacking? Hundreds of companies have been hacked or ‘web attacked’ by unscrupulous or Internet savvy people; the intentions are different from one group to the other but the consequences are equally damaging to the reputation and short-term survival or any company. In an article published by the BBC confirms that Nokia’s developer network has been hacked; the article reads "A database table containing developer forum members' email addresses has been accessed, by exploiting a vulnerability in the bulletin board software that allowed an SQL Injection attack." Internet attacks are common and you must ensure you know how to protect against possible web attacks; they are able to steal personal details of your customers, including credit cards and bank details – It is also important to protect your Twitter and Facebook account; learn how to adjust security levels on Facebook and how to avoid getting into trouble.