Social media may not be optional moving forward, in the sense that your customers and buyers search online with increased frequency and want to find your brand where it's convenient for them to browse, share, buy.
And as mobile technologies and networks get better, you need to be where all of those things are happening.
When this awareness is part of the processes and practices of a strong business, they end making it more resilient.
When they're not, they become the reason why customer service in social is not fair.
Which is why, what, when, where, and how you do it makes a big difference.
8 social media behaviors that won't win you customers
(1.) you have a blog, or a Twitter account, or a Facebook fan page and still don't understand that the Internet or the world wide web is the context, not your brand
(2.) you're pushing your message at specific users without a connection — one thing is being syndicated by people who want to pull your feeds, the other is pushing to them, do you understand the difference?
(3.) you're not prepared to address potential issues in real time — visibility and connections in a two-way medium come at a risk
(4.) you're all over the place, yet there isn't a coordinated effort behind it — seeing what sticks wasn't a marketing strategy in 2010, it's definitely passe' in 2011
(5.) you're not looking for your fans and evangelists — or you want to make them conform to your idea of social
(6.) you focus on changing what people say by talking at them, locking them out, or positioning them as crazy when they aren't, instead of looking inwards and changing your business practices as appropriate
(7.) you want to interact with customers, when all customers want from you is a great transaction — put shopping carts everywhere, and support those transactions
(8.) you fail to learn from the feedback people provide on social sites
We watch each other when making decisions. Your reputation precedes you and changes upon your behavior. Know where your customers are and what they share. Show up, but know why you're there, and bring good content with you.
[adapted from the archives]