Don’t get burned by short-term social-media decisions

Don’t get burned by making bad decisions in the online marketing game. Have a read over some of my observations of what to look out for when choosing who to trust with your brand’s online presence.

Everyone has realised that a shift to newer and more interactive forms of marketing is inevitable, and its for this reason that so many graphic designers, web developers and experienced social-media users have re-branded themselves as ‘experts’, or ‘gurus’ if you will, in social-media to try and capitalize on this shift in attention.

In Cyprus, we are happy to see that this shift is happening too, allowing us to ignore the stereotype that Cypriot businesses are 50 years behind the rest of the world.

This happiness is riddled with fear however, as we see the same signs we saw back in 2005 when we launched our first network, OnThisIsland.com.

In order to explain our fear, we need to give you a brief history lesson on the state of the ‘internet scene’ back then.

The Scene in 2005

To put it simply, clever students who had studied overseas had noticed the initial shift of companies across the world to having websites and purchasing advertisements on other websites. This led to what we can compare to an offline property boom. More and more sites were being created. More than could possibly be used by our small internet population at the time.

A few clever sales pitches and the dropping of certain keywords and marketing departments were hooked. Across the island they wanted… no, they NEEDED, to advertise online. Pouring massive amounts of funding into the acquisition of banner ad spots.

The inevitable then happened and many sites closed, leaving marketeers out-of-pocket and with a bitter taste from their online marketing experience.

OnThisIsland.com was born into this environment in April of 2005, but was built for a purpose and that was to provide information to those who wanted it, for free forever. With no funding available, the marketing of the site and it’s brand had to be taken down new and exciting paths.

From having the first Facebook application on the island, to being the first to incorporate a social-media login system, to being behind the first ever online social-media competition platform in Cyprus, the site went from strength to strength to where it is today. The site is now a distribution point for any event that needs to be promoted island-wide, via their distribution network which includes a widget on VisitCyprus.com’s event sections.

The Scene Today…

Now, with renewed confidence in the internet and the rapid growth of social-media as a marketing tool, we see a second ‘property boom’. This time, people are not building up sites and selling ads, but instead promising to be able to provide a way to capitalize from the social networks to excited businesses.

The problem arises when you think about the experience and in-depth knowledge these ‘professionals’ actually offer. Social-media involves a lot more than designing a pretty ‘profile’ (and yes I use the word ‘profile’ loosely since some companies STILL refuse to let go of their personal profiles under business names).

The next problem I’ve noticed is the disregard for long-term planning shown by many of these gurus, in respect to providing a beneficial return on investment to their clients. Examples vary from badly built applications, to competitions that blatantly go against the social networks’ marketing guidelines and could lead to fan-pages, profiles and accounts being removed without notice.

The third problem with these ‘professional solutions’ is that they offer a quick fix to the current trends, which once again is for the short-term, with no knowledge for what is just around the corner, they are in no position to best advise you as to which path should be taken.

Check back soon for another article on another short-term mistake that is big enough (in my opinion) to get its own full blog post. Follow ektagon on twitter; like ektagon on facebook or add me to your circles on Google+ to be informed when it is published.

If this article has been useful to you or you have a friend/colleague that is thinking of marketing through social media, please like this article or share it with them.

Agree or disagree? Drop me a comment below.

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