5 Mistakes to Avoid in eCommerce Social Media

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On Tuesday I hosted two roundtables at the Catex DCA Spring Conference. Each round table was focused on “Social Media in eCommerce”, a key topic in each of the roundtables was the mistakes that have been made and that should be avoided.

So here’s my top 5 mistakes to avoid if you’re running social media for an ecommerce business:

  1. Don’t commit to it.
    A social media profile where nothing’s happened in a while reflects badly on any brand. If you’re going to use social media you need to fully commit to it, it’s not just a project for the intern or work experience kid to do (just look what happened to Habitat).
    Not only do you need to commit to do it properly, you need to dedicate enough time to it – it can take 6-12 months to build the followership and interaction that will make it worthwhile. So don’t enter into social media half-heartedly, you’re either in or you’re not.
  2. Ignore your customers.
    Possibly the worst thing an ecommerce business can do in social media is to ignore their customers. If your customers ask questions, query orders etc – you need to respond. And you need to respond in a timely fashion – within a business day.
  3. Only do Social Media for the SEO benefit.
    Yes, we all know that Google is using activity on social media to work out what site appears where in the search engine results. We know that Google+ is going to be an important part of any SEO strategy. But they will only work for SEO if you’re using them properly for Social Media – because it’s about conversations and interactions, not just about what you post.
  4. Kick it off without a strategy.
    If you haven’t researched your customers and social media, if you haven’t worked out how you’re going to use the tools, if you haven’t worked out what content you’re going to talk about – then you need to do all of that before you start.
    As the old saying goes, “fail to plan, plan to fail”
  5. Kick it off without a social media policy.
    The biggest mistakes happen when silly things are done. A tweet containing the F-word and insulting the people of Detroit is sent out on Chrysler’s account, a comedy news-story tie-in goes far outside what’s acceptable. And when this happens on social media it’s usually out there before you’ve realised – and then beyond your control.
    To avoid this you need to make sure you’ve got a clear social media policy, and also thoroughly train everyone involved in managing the content.

Hopefully that’s a useful checklist of things to avoid – please add more below!

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