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Avoid the Top Five Mistakes of Social-Media Marketing

Pam Lontos and Maurice Ramirez Comments

As a self-storage owner, you already know the importance of using traditional advertising outlets—print, radio, Yellow Pages and TV exposure—to keep your name circulating in the market. Now, however, there's a new avenue in which to become familiar. It's called social-media marketing (SMM), and when combined with your traditional PR efforts, it can help you penetrate the marketplace with your message quicker and easier than ever before.

With this type of marketing, you use various social-networking sites to enforce your brand and market your business. A social-networking site is simply an online meeting place. Think of it like an eHarmony or for business people. On such sites, people can post a profile with the hopes of meeting other like-minded professionals for business reasons.

According to the Nielsen Research Group, social networks and blogs have moved ahead of personal e-mail among the most popular online activities in which people engage. Additionally, USA Today reports the time spent on these sites is growing three times faster than the overall Internet rate. More than two-thirds of the world's online population now visits social-networking and blogging sites.

Knowing this, it's clear that if you haven't yet engaged in social-media marketing, the time to start is now. But before you do, you need to be aware of the top mistakes businesses make with this PR outlet so you can avoid them and get the biggest return for your marketing investment.
Mistake No. 1:Having More Than One Face on the Internet

When you're engaging in social-media marketing, you're really building your image from the ground up. The goal is to virally spread parts of your image across the Internet. The word “parts” is important.

Basically, you're starting with a holographic image of yourself in the virtual world. You then need to break that hologram apart and find the appropriate places on the Internet where you can frame certain pieces of that hologram.

When someone looks at all the pieces on the various sites, they should be able to put them together to see a cohesive whole. They should not see multiple images of who you are, as that would ruin your credibility. Therefore, if you have multiple Facebook accounts, for example, your personal one has to be hidden and by invitation only. You don't want that other image out there confusing people and possibly diminishing your reputation.

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