10 Lessons 2013 Taught Me About Social Media Marketing

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2013 was a year of the good, bad and ugly of social media  networking. It was the year I learned that the tweet is mightier than the sword. If you don’t check and cross-check your tweet for the 10th time before posting on your personal or corporate account, be prepared to face the consequences that comes after that.

With that being said, here are 10 lessons I learned from social media marketing in 2013. I hope you learn a great deal from it and use it to improve your social media marketing strategy in 2014 and beyond:

LESSON 1 – Tweet Carelessly and lose your job: Yup! Millions of twitter users around the world saw how a top PR executive, Justine Sacco lost her top job this month. It was due to a careless, idiotic and offensive tweet from her personal Twitter account while on-board a plane to South Africa:

What 2013 Taught Me - Justine Sacco Offensive Tweet

Her tweet spread like wild fire on Twitter and started the infamous hashtag – #HasJustineLandedYet.

Has Justine Landed Yet - Donald Trump

To cut a long story short, her company fired her just like that. What’s the moral of this story? If you are a professional, be extremely careful what you share on social media. In other words, if you don’t have anything nice to tweet, don’t tweet anything at all.

LESSON 2 – Social Media is NOT free: 2013 was the year most of the social networks woke up from their slumber and realized that it’s time to make money. All of a sudden, Facebook decided to reduce the number of times fans sees marketers’ updates. Marketers got the message, they have to pay to play. If they want more fans to see their product offers, they must spend money on advertising. Same goes with Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest. So, if you thought social media marketing was free, think again! No more free lunch.

LESSON 3 – Valuable Content = Social Media Revenue: 2013 was the year of educating your customers. Social media users suddenly had the power to decide which brand was telling them the truth. Through the quality of content the brands posted on their blogs and social media channels. If you want to become a go-to expert in 2014, share valuable content regularly with your audience and watch the revenue grow.

LESSON 4 – Good and Swift Customer Service is King: I learnt that if you are not swift in responding to your customers’ request online, don’t be surprised when they go telling the whole world about your negligence. Too bad for your brand’s reputation online. So my advice is to be quick and courteous with your unhappy customers. You don’t to be like these restaurant owners who went on a ‘war of words’ with their Facebook and Twitter followers. Not cool!

LESSON 5 – Multi-media Content is King: I discovered that not all social media users like the same type of content. Some loved reading text, while others loved images, slide presentations, videos and/ or infographics. Therefore, your 2014 social media strategy should be to re-purpose your content into different formats for different audience. Invest in good quality photos and videos; hire a photo-journalist, graphic designer or video editor to create your professional videos and images. It will help you in the long run.

LESSON 6 – Make Google Analytics and Other Social Media Metrics Your Best Friend: If you don’t measure your social media marketing campaigns, how will you know if you are going in the right direction? How will you know the mind of your audience and what makes them take action? No way! I recommend that you use these tools: SumAll, Google Analytics, Bufferapp, Hootsuite Analytics, Facebook Page Insights, LinkedIn Analytics, etc.

LESSON 7 – LinkedIn Is A Money Maker:  LinkedIn brought me numerous job offers and clients in 2013. After updating my LinkedIn profile, I noticed that certain kinds of people were checking out my profile every month. They were either potential clients and talent hunters. Furthermore, I started receiving phone calls and emails with job offers. That’s when I knew that LinkedIn is not a social network to joke with. You should update your LinkedIn profile regularly too. You never know when someone might want to hire you.

LESSON 8 – Listen and Learn from the Gurus: 2013 was my year of learning from the social media gurus. I never stopped reading their blogs, attending their webinars, buying their ebooks and practicing what I learnt. I advice you to do the same too. You can’t know everything. Therefore you need the help of others before you. To get started, you can download my ebooks and social media resources.

LESSON 9 – Social Media Never Sleeps: Why should your own marketing sleep? Every day, billions of tweets, videos and photos are being posted. People are hungry for more information that would make their lives better, entertain them or educate them. Is your message helping them? Don’t be lazy in 2014! Go out there and start sharing your expertise with the world.

LESSON 10 – Social Media Tools Come and Go: 2013 was the year I saw so many valuable social media tools shut down or get acquired by bigger companies. This got me thinking that I should never rely on tools but my skills. Today’s cool app could become obsolete tomorrow. However, there will always be better apps to replace them.

Did I Forget Any Important Lesson? Share it in the comments below.

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