Social media is a powerful medium for e-commerce brands to reach new customers. Many businesses have entire teams of people dedicated to social media marketing. However, there is a dark side to social media marketing.
Social Media Blunders to Avoid
If you are going to be active on social media, you need to be very careful. A single small mistake can ruin your company image. Here are some major mistakes e-commerce companies need to look out for.
Humor that Doesn’t Support Your Brand
Many brands try too hard to be funny on social media. Humor isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You want to be able to connect with people on a personal level. This is particularly important for e-commerce companies because social media is the only way for your customers to get to know you.
However, it isn’t appropriate for all brands. E-commerce companies that sell products to more conservative customers may need to use less humor. For example, LiveWay, an online Christian store, can’t make the same kinds of jokes as eBay retailers that sell Adult Swim products.
If humor just doesn’t work for your company, then it’s better to take a more serious tone. Focus on sharing useful information instead. People will still appreciate it.
One of the reasons humor doesn’t work for many brands is that the marketers don’t really like being funny in the first place. It’s important to come up with a message you believe in and enjoy creating content around it.
“There is a way to market and sell just about anything you can imagine on the internet. What you love to do can make you rich in the world we live in today,” said Kenny Rueter, CEO of Kajabi, a content marketing platform.
At Kajabi, our customers have collectively made over $350MM selling their own content. These are not big companies or educational institutions, but rather everyday people who have a passion or expertise selling content on every topic under the sun ranging from fitness, dog training, real estate investing, baking, knitting, and the list goes on and on…” said Rueter.
Similarly, if you aren’t interested in something, it’s going to be difficult to create a great social media campaign around it. Don’t spend your time writing cliché jokes for your Facebook page if you don’t like telling them. Focus on what you enjoy and build your campaign around it.
Forgetting Your Audience
You never want to forget who your target customers are. Seoul Secret and Vera Bradley had to learn this the hard way, which hurt their online sales for months. Seoul Secret assumed that their customers were all white. Vera Bradley assumed most women still want men to be chivalrous.
Nothing will anger your customers more than making presumptuous statements about them. Know what they really want to hear.
Dumb Statements Linger Forever
Always assume that everything on the Internet is there forever. Kev Kaye, founder of GrowthBCKS.com, shared an anecdote about Ashton Kutcher screwing up on social media.
“With social media, nothing ever seems to die. Once a thread or conversation starts, you’re going to be battling it or handling it forever. Even if you manage to put a particular topic behind you, it can resurface at any time. Ashton Kutcher learned this with his defense of Joe Paterno. Of course, that was before he knew the circumstances (according to him), but that defense likely will never die.”
Forgetting Emails are a Form of Social Media
Email marketing is very important for most online stores. It is also a form of social media, even if people don’t usually think of it that way.
First of all, it’s important to create highly engaging emails that stand out. If your emails are boring or too sales oriented, they will turn people away. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that far too many e-commerce brands make.
Harry’s, an online store that sells shaving cream and razors, found a unique way to structure their e-commerce email marketing strategy. They created the “Five O’Clock Magazine”, which they share on email. This has helped them stand out from their competitors and provides content that their customers can share in social media channels. As Campaign Monitor explains in a recent article, by integrating email and social media strategies, companies can keep their messaging aligned across both channels.
You must remember that emails can be shared with anyone. Make sure that you never write anything that reflects poorly on your brand. If you are using automated emails to promote your e-commerce storefront, then you need to read them carefully and make sure they align with your brand message.
Images and Templates Clash With Your Brand
Sharing the wrong images on social media can ruin your brand image. You also need to make sure you choose a good template for all of your social media profiles.