Part 1 of this article yesterday talked about how your business could benefit from combining social media marketing (SMM) with traditional public relations efforts.

But it warned that there are five big mistakes you need to avoid to get the most out of your marketing investment.

To recap, the first two mistakes are having more than one face on the Internet and collecting friends.

Today’s article discusses the other three mistakes of SMM:



 Putting out the wrong messages

You’ve likely seen people put posts on Twitter or Facebook that say something like: “John Smith is watching a great movie and eating popcorn.”

Such messages may be fine for personal networks, but for business networks, you need to put out messages that are useful to your readers.

In other words, don’t talk about yourself.

You want to give valuable tips and advice so that the people who read your posts want to repost them to their own sites. That’s how your message spreads virally.

Remember that people are subscribing to various feeds in order to get your information. They are essentially saying that your message has value.

That is why you can’t do a series of sales tips and then post a couple of your favourite omelette recipes.

With that said, it is okay to occasionally have a press release type of message that says something like: “John Smith is speaking at ABC Convention on employee productivity today.”

Such a message does two things:

  •  It tells people they might not get a tip today or tomorrow because you’re busy; and
  •   It shows that other bigwigs out there think your message is important. It’s a positive reinforcement that boosts your credibility.



 Posting inappropriate information

Don’t allow yourself or anyone on your site to post anything online that you don’t want your most conservative client to see.

You never know where something will end up, especially since the nature of the Internet is for things to spread virally.

For example, a chief executive officer of a corporation had a picture of himself and his girlfriend on a topless beach in Mexico.

For some reason, he decided to post the photo on his personal invitation-only Facebook site. The only problem was that he was married. His wife (or rather, his now ex-wife) saw the photo.

How? Someone on his invitation-only Facebook account thought it was a great picture and decided to repost it on the public Internet. To top it all off, his board of directors got wind of the photo and fired him.

The moral of this story: Never post anything on any site that you wouldn’t personally show your grandmother.



 Assuming that it is better to have your message in only one place online

In the “old days” of the Internet, people believed they had to keep all their content on their own website.

The theory was that spreading it out ruined your credibility and diminished your reputation as being a unique business.

Not so today. In fact, with SMM, the opposite is true.

The more places you can get your message to appear simultaneously, the more effective your message will be.

Think of it as constructing a funnel. You want to lay several trails of information, all of which lead to your main site. That is essentially what you are doing with your tweets and other SMM messages.

You are putting out kernels of information. If people want the next kernel, they have to follow the trail. Eventually it funnels them to one website, which is where you wanted them to be anyway.

In other words, you are creating an environment where people see your message everywhere.

As a result, you now have their attention and you have the opportunity to sell your product, your services or whatever you are selling at that point of distribution.


Get noticed with SMM

The marketplace is changing, and you have to change with it. Your name has to be everywhere — in print, on radio, on TV and on the social networking sites.

Thanks to SMM, you can get your message out to thousands of people in an instant. And the results are greater credibility, more exposure and higher sales — all of which positively impact your bottom line.


Article by Pam Lontos, the president of PR/PR, a public relations firm based in Orlando, Florida, that specialises in speakers, authors and experts. Posted on, the website of Patricia Fripp, an award-winning professional speaker and executive speech coach.