I recently received two very common questions about businesses and social media. Here are my answers:
1) What are the top social media skills every business executive should possess?
The most important social media skill that every business executive should posses is the ability to connect with their target audience. This involves being able to write well (and succinctly) as well as the ability to drive conversation. Knowing how to pull audiences to deeper levels of conversation builds a relationship with a brand in a way that few other mediums can do. While this isn’t exclusive to social media, it is a fundamental skill that is ultimately more important than learning how to use the newest trending social site.
2) What are the top mistakes businesses make on social media?
The biggest mistake that businesses make with social media is that they treat it like any another platform or channel to broadcast – they make announcements, they brag about themselves, they talk about their own innovation. If you think about social media as a giant cocktail party, this is the equivalent of the person who only talks about their own accomplishments. It’s annoying. Social media is a two-way conversation. Businesses should treat it more like a telephone and less like a megaphone.
Another mistake is that businesses often forget who their target audience is; they’re too busy trying to be all things to all people when they really just need to focus on their core market. Finally, many businesses waste time and resources chasing trends – they move from one social media channel to another simply because it is popular, trending, or just launched an IPO. The reality is that none of those things matter if their target audience is not using those channels. They need to focus on where their main audience is.