February 21, 2014

I’ve been in business for a humble seven years but it wasn’t long before I began to loathe some of our competition and venders. I felt like they were often praying upon ignorance and in many cases did not deliver the promised added value to our business.

I would allow that sometimes you must be critical of that vender in your waiting area (they usually aren’t hard to spot) that is offering you a ticket to the “next big thing.” When it comes to Social Media venders in any industry are willing to take painful shortcuts to show you short term gains. This is a dangerous strategy in both your long term social strategy and frankly for the reputation of the vender.

These are the Three mistakes I have seen Social Media Venders Make:

1) Mis-Managed Social Media Contests

Sure the standard i-Pad giveaway can drive short term interest in your business’s Facebook page and increase your likes. BUT if you are conducting business in Texas and are wondering why you have 100’s of Pennsylvania housewives flocking to like your page here could be why:

Your Social Media Vender has placed contest information on contest related websites that are “fished” by contest and prize seekers daily. There are many obvious problems with this: a large portion of your fan growth is bound to be out of market (not your real customer) and is unlikely to “engage” with your social media content.

But doesn’t Size Matter? Yes and No. Problem is if you aren’t increasing your reach inside of your market area or amongst a local conquest segment – you’re probably talking to the wrong people. Also too you may see some significant Social “bounce” or “dislikes” once the contest is over. At the end of the day treat Facebook like you do your CRM. If you put garbage in – you will get garbage out.

2) Does your vender know your personnel?

As you begin your venture into Social your employees will be some of the first to engage with your content. Maybe sure your vender is doing a good job of taking the “pulse” of your true business activity and events but if they don’t know your people this can lead to a disconnect. I have seen countless posts that go something like this:

Jon B: Great post!
Dealership A: Thanks Jon you should do business with us!
Jon B: Of course – I’ve worked there for 15 years

While your social content manager means well he is creating a disconnect. Taking two minutes to find out where a stated “Fan’s” place of employment is would be wise but it’s not often done. This also hinders your ability to create true “relationships” in the Social world.

3) Reputation Management – the “Copy and Paste”

Yelp has a very strict algorithm in the world of “filtered” reputation management. With Yelp now fitting the role of Apple’s preferred places rater in Maps you will want to grow your reputation reviews the right way. Google has show us in 2012 that they are also constantly adjusting their own reputation management filters.

I had a business friend recently who told me that his reviews on Google + Local (Google Places) were reduced from 180 to 35 reviews overnight. When I pressed him for an answer he thought for a while. His “Social & Reputation” Vender was copying and pasting content from other sources and uploading from the same IP. Another instance I had heard about was a business “pushing” their preferred reviews from another source to Google. They had the same outcome.

Would you allow someone to be responsible for your personal reputation? Why do you when it comes to your business?

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