2013 has arrived, and it's time to say goodbye to some long-standing habits and attitudes around social media marketing. With the New Year upon us, we can reflect on the beliefs we've been holding on to and make a conscious decision to jettison those that no longer serve us.
Some things just need to be put out of their misery. Sure, soul patches and socks with sandals were a good idea at the time, but now? Not so much. The same goes for these five archaic habits and attitudes around social media marketing.
1. Stop showing your disdain for social media. It's like bragging that you can't read.
Social media is not a fad, folks.
How do we know this?
Humans like to share and get support from their friends, family and network. We've done it since the dawn of time.
Word of mouth has always been the cheapest, most effective way to market, and social media simply facilitates word of mouth. Businesses can now be part of that process on an ongoing basis. If you have a product or service to sell, you have to participate on platforms where your customers spend time.
2. Stop ignoring your most valuable asset in content creation: your employees.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is to find the right content to share on social media.
Content that's relevant to your audience—piques their interest, solves their problems, makes them laugh—is hard to come by if you don't take time to get to know your target customer. No one knows your customers better than your front-line personnel. Make content marketing your culture. Welcome their input and ask for contributions.
3. Stop relegating your brand's marketing to someone you just promoted because he's 25 and seems to enjoy Facebook.
The days of handing your brand over to an amateur are over. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. have become more complex and require sophisticated marketing ability.
There are so many great options available to market your company. I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity. However, it matters who you trust to do your brand's marketing, and his or her level of skill.
4. Stop avoiding social media because you think "it doesn't sell products."
Here's the thing: Marketing has never sold a product.
Successful marketing produces leads; it's up to your sales staff to sell the product. Do newspaper ads sell cars? No, salespeople do.
When you're doing it right, it is very possible to produce leads on social media. There are many components that make up a winning social media strategy, and I see many people get hung up on one or two of them and overlook the others.
Just like a V8 engine running on four cylinders, social media marketing cannot succeed without all the parts, sufficient power, and optimal road conditions.
5. Stop ignoring online ratings sites. Denial will kill you.
Eighty-four percent of the buying public says online reviews influence their buying decisions. You may not think they're relevant, but your current and future customers put a lot of stock in online reviews.
People talk about your brand online every day. Make a plan to be part of those conversations. Don't be reactive-it puts you in a position of no power. Instead, install an internal proactive strategy within each department to capture the opinions of your happy, loyal customers.
A new year is here. Are you prepared to compete in the ever-changing social media landscape?
Kathi Kruse is an automotive social media expert, blogger, author, speaker, and founder of Kruse Control. A version of this article originally appeared on the Kruse Control blog.