The other day I received an auto-follow message from someone I had "followed back" on Twitter. I usually ignore auto messages, but this one had a link to something that looked interesting to me, so I clicked on it. The link was bad. I messaged the original sender and asked if there was a mistake. He replied with the correct link, which I opened. I was fascinated by the offering, which was a business SaaS product that I have been meaning to look into but haven't yet. Talk about a perfect social marketing pitch by this guy.
Rule #1: Be ready for prime time before you tweet
So what's the "fail?" Well, it turns out that the website is either under development or having a problem, because when I went to check into pricing, the link didn't work, and when I went to the contact form there was a message under the form that said (not kidding) "The submit button doesn't do anything, so stop clicking it."
Because I was so interested in this product, I actually made the effort to get back in touch with the guy who sent me the link, to let him know I was interested in the product but having problems with the website. His response? <crickets chirping>
Rule #2: Be ready to follow up and follow through
If you are going to use social networks for marketing, it can't be a half-baked effort. Taking your prospect half-way down the path and then leaving them hanging is worse than never reaching out to them in the first place. If you are going to foray into social media you need to be prepared to follow-up, follow-through and check your account religiously. Anything else is just a fail.
If you don't have the resources to support a full-time online community director or some such other fancy new media title, there are plenty of social media freelancers who will lovingly foster your presence in online communities. (I am not one of them, but if you want to get in touch I can send you some contact information.)
Have you had any remarkable (good or bad) marketing experiences with social media? Share them here!