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Just Say No: How To Protect Your Brand From Common Social Media Mistakes

Having worked in marketing for several years, I'm noticing an increasingly disturbing industry trend: companies who put their social media accounts solely within the hands of their twenty year old marketing intern.

I understand the temptation to hire a fun, hip 18-20 year old in an effort to go viral. They're young. They have 1,000 followers on twitter who watch their every move. They know the latest trends. And therein lies the problem. While Twitter and social media sites can be a priceless marketing tool, the potential for unintended disaster is far greater than traditional methods of advertising.

Are there exceptions? Yes, of course. If your target demographic is college students, male & female, 18-24, and you're promoting say, a new restaurant near campus, by all means, hire a person who can tap in to that market. 

Before you decide to hire your best friend's daughter's boyfriend's sister who is 'all about' social media, here are 4 simple things to consider...

Branding is about image.

As a business owner, chances are you've spent years developing your brand. Now think back to yourself at age 20. It's probably safe to say you made some poor judgment calls. The difference? Your poor judgment likely didn't have the potential to 'accidentally' reach millions of people.

Branding is about having a point of view.


Cloud Computing by Petr Kratochvil

If you're a business owner, I think you'll agree when I say that no one knows your brand as intimately as you. Your point of view, your perception, and your passion has been poured in to this entity over a period of time.

Again, think of yourself at 20 and ask yourself, did you have your own point of view and more than that, did you really have a clue about how to effectively and genuinely oversee that of someone else?

Branding is about knowing your audience.

Social Media should not be (all) about numbers. Having a lot of followers may be great for the ego, but it should never be the goal. Here's the thing: you don't need a million followers, you need the right followers. Sure, your intern may be able to get all of her friends to follow you on Twitter or like you on FaceBook, but if you sell insurance and the intern's friends are tweeting their outfits and fashion blogs, it's likely not going to be a great lead generator.

Maintaining a cohesive brand may mean bringing in a professional.

Budget is almost always a consideration when determining how best to reach an audience. An inexperienced intern may be free, but like everything else, even free comes with a price. You may not pay the dollars up front, but if a poorly thought out tweet or inappropriate picture/video accidentally ends up on the company page, the cost may be much greater. By hiring a professional who can strategically look at your business, your brand and what you hope to achieve, you will have a greater chance of reaching an audience who has a genuine need for the products & services you offer.

*Note: Image is Public Domain. It is not copyrighted, no rights reserved, free for any use. Credit: Cloud Computing by Petr Kratochvil is for any use including commercial purposes without the prior written permission and without fee or obligation.


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