Social Media Lessons from The Year of the Snake!

2013 was the year of the snake. And like its Chinese zodiac representative, 2013 saw plenty of slithering, twisting and hissing across the social media sphere. While many organizations had great game plans for growing their social media presences, there were still enough gaffes to go around for all of us.

year of snake

Some of the mistakes were tough to comprehend, while others were simple slip-ups that nearly any of us could have made. The important thing is that we, as a connected community of marketers, learn from these bloopers. The social web is just as useful for learning what to do with your brand as it is what not to do with your brand.

Key Takeaways

1.       Be choosy. A well-spoken Twitter or Facebook always reflects better than a hyperactive Twitter or Facebook. Many of the past year’s blunders stem from hasty, thoughtless posts that could have been avoided if an intern took more than a second to think about it. Plus, some reports even indicate that 80% of web-related crimes originate on from social media platforms. Be picky with what you share and how you share it.
2.       Be inclusive. Nobody likes a haughty brand. Take every effort to open your experience to customers of all stripes. So many of the past year’s slip-ups (see: Geoff Miller) came to light because of small-mindedness. Don’t be insensitive, don’t be elitist and most of all, don’t be a big jerk.
3.       Be truthful. Both to your brand and to your viewers. Nobody respects the marketing team that fudges its numbers or performance record. And don’t think consumers are too oblivious to sniff out exaggerations and inaccuracies. Show your customer base the respect it deserves, and treat them like the intelligent patrons they are.
4.       Be receptive. Everyone makes mistakes; your company is bound to make a few here or there. When customers and commentators give you feedback about your product or appearance, be receptive! They’re just about the only gauge that matters, after all.
5.       Aggregate. We lose time, efficiency and thereby potential dollars when we fumble through multiple accounts on multiple devices. It’s no secret that in 2013 social media has a firm grip on the marketing world, so why not utilize the tools at your disposal? Productivity is the predilection of every business owner, so there’s no sense in dawdling if you don’t have to. Naturally, I’d be quick to recommend Nimble.

2014 is just recently underway, and you’ve got plenty of time to get started on the right foot. Heed this advice, and make the new year all about learning from the mistakes of the old.

Stacey Waxman is a social media guru and freelance writer from Cleveland, OH. Stacey encourages your feedback via email.