Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Learn From (Others) Failures

The best part about watching someone else fail is learning what you yourself should avoid to do in the future.

If you're walking down the sidewalk and the man in front of you steps in dog poo you are unlikely to follow in his footsteps. And for good reason.

There is a wealth of knowledge in every failure if you know what to look for. It is one thing to revel in the failure of a competitor; make light of their dismay and gloat over how much smarter and better your company is than theirs. But how do you know you won't make a similar mistake in the future? have you dissected their failure, found its root cause, tracked the system break down that allowed the process to spiral our of control?

More importantly, have you taken all the steps required to help your company avoid a similar fate?

In the realm of social media marketing there are a number of cases studies involving what you should NOT do: everything from failing to respond to a customer complaint on Facebook to mounting a social media campaign against your striking workers has been tried, and each time a valuable lesson was learned.
These mistakes may not have been made by a competitor to your business, or even within your own industry, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lesson to be learned.

My best advice to you is to study every social media marketing failure, look for a similar set of circumstances within your own industry and apply the corrections right now to your company.

The only true failure is failing to listen, learn and apply what you know. Everything else is just feedback.

The fault doesn’t lie with the liberal working of social media but the lack of clarity and foresight in those who are trying to communicate a brand’s message. Making a social media campaign people-centric and helping it engage positive interaction also needs some degree of planning, adept handling and crisis management. Basically, it needs to be handled in conformity with the benchmarks set for any other type of advertising campaign.

In fact, social media marketing needs more management since this niche is still being explored. There are no set benchmarks and the trends seem to change every week. The liberty of expression on social media means that a brand can be clobbered to its nemesis if its communicative strategy on social media mediums is flawed.

The other issue with social media promotion lies in the inability of popular social media forums, including Twitter, to curb falsely-pumped opinions that are an attempt to bad-mouth a brand. There have been complaints about guests who have threatened some hotels with horrible reviews on popular travel sites like TripAdvisor unless they weren’t promised freebies or better services.

Click here to read more about social media marketing failure.

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