Focus on sales
Sales representatives say “If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense,” and they’re right. The problem is that social media is not about direct sales–it’s as if you start selling your product at a networking event. This is what brands tend to, posting only special offers and discounts on social media. As Michael DiLorenzo, VP of Audience Development at Rue La La, says in his post at the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX), “I do believe that brands that build high trust and authority through delightful content earn the right with their readers to insert relevant transactional opportunities at cautious intervals. But relevance and high value are the key.”
Poorly identified audience
Many brands have a social media target of 15-22 year-old girls. While it’s their biggest demographic, it’s not the only one. Companies still have stereotypes that people over the age of 30 don’t use social media much. It’s a huge mistake, and more importantly, a very costly one. People ages 30-50 and up like to use social media too, and are much more likely to buy things online.
Hubspot recommends using the 50/50 rule when it comes to social media: spending half of the time talking about your company, and the other half providing relevant content that interests your target market. And it makes sense–you can’t be a successful socialite if you talk only about yourself. But I don’t know many brands that follow this rule–most boost their own image and product as being the “best of the best.” It sounds arrogant and boring.
Many brands use strange language when posting on social media, sounding like TV and radio commercials. For example, on DKNY’s Facebook page it reads, “Jackpot! Play our exclusive game to receive style steal deals from DKNY and a chance to win $1,000 on DKNY.com.
On the other hand, many luxury brands prefer a more “intellectual” image, and tend to sound a little too much like a novel. For example, Moncler’s Facebook page reads, “Going beyond worn-out approaches to set new limits and confines. The only rule is giving free rein to the imagination.”
Well, how should a brand sound on Social Media? The most well-known fashion blogs are the best examples–not too eager, not too boring, but completely natural.
Lack of communication
Social networks are places where brands interact with their customers and followers. So why do so many brands skip that part? By “interact” I don’t mean communicating with a “PR girl” who is responsible for Facebook updates; I’m talking about communication between customers and brand designers, store managers, delivery personnel, and anyone who stands behind the brand. Where are you? Your customers are here, and they have questions for you.
Have you ever see someone share a social media update from a brand? It happens rarely, if ever. The reason is clear–brands rarely post something new, original, or funny that you would want to share with your friends.
Most brands publish updates every day, and read something like, “Happy ski season!” Well, that ends up being 30+ messages a month from a single source. And when people follow several brands, they get bombarded with upwards of 200 messages a month on only one social network. It’s a way too much.