1. Money
Susan Ward

The Biggest Mistake a Company Can Make Using Social Media

By February 23, 2013

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This is a question that the Managing Editor of BusinessNewsDaily, Jeanette Mulvey, asked Sherrie Madia, professor of social media and communication strategies at the Wharton School of Business and author of The Social Media Survival Guide (Q&A: At the Crossroads of Business and Social Media). Ms. Madia's answer is illuminating:

"Businesses who ask, "What's the best social network to be part of?" are missing the important first question. This space is about researching your target groups (are they on Facebook? LinkedIn? A niche community?), then determining how best to engage them. Will you need to create a new group or community? Engage with them where they are? What content forms will you use: Video? Blog posts? Photos on Flickr?"

In other words, social media marketing is like any other marketing; you have to spend the time identifying your target market and researching their habits first.

(How to Find and Sell to Your Target Market is a good primer on how to do this. Or see How to Do a Market Analysis, part of my Writing a Business Plan series.)

Otherwise, you're just socializing, not marketing.

And of course, effective marketing always starts with a plan. How to Create a Social Media Plan.

Social Media Marketing Starter Pak

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