One of the perks of being a monthly contributor to Windmill Networking is that I get to observe the amount of interest topics generate among the readership. A recent post I wrote, 4 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Mixing Social and Marketing, appeared to resonate, so I thought it might be of interest on our company blog as well.

Check out the full post when you have time, but I’ll give you the highlights here. estimated more than 50% of companies on social media will fail to manage it effectively and could potentially drive customers away.

It can get pretty interesting, researching inadvertent mistakes and careless silliness that has surfaced on social media platforms. Like this example of poor use of social media by an England hospital in 2009, doctors and nurses engaged in a Facebook lying down game that put their jobs in jeopardy.

It’s one thing when you’re reading about someone else’s filibuster, but entirely another when the error occurs in your domain. We’d all rather sweep our mishaps under the rug. But as painful as the process may be, it’s important to learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others.

4 Common mistakes companies make when mixing social and marketing:social_marketing_mistakes

1. Lack of a Strategy or Plan

2. Broadcasting – Too much talking not enough listening

3. Ghost town- social media assets exist but there is no one home.

4. No Social Media Guidelines or Contingency Plan

Mixing social and business ups the opportunities, as well as the stakes – it has the potential to affect the entire organization, from stakeholder to customer.

While you want to be careful not to make common mistakes, you also want to be proactive in managing your social media strategy. Today’s all-encompassing world of social media magnifies our mistakes to a degree that most of us are probably uncomfortable with…perhaps that’s the reason there are more “lurkers” who’d rather silently observe and “listen in” to chatter, without being an active participant in the conversation.

But Marketers can be empowered with information, instead of shrinking back in fear. Enhancing relationships with customers and stakeholders is the goal of mixing social and marketing.  According to Social Media Examiner, 51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.

There are many tools available, like our 4-phase questionnaire that can help you develop your social media action plan. Download the social media plan now to get direction for your company’s social media vision.

What are you doing to avoid the mistakes…and just as important, how seriously are you engaged in a customer-centric social media strategy?