Seven Deadly Social Media Sins to Avoid
Amazon-exclusive content from author Scott Stratten
The thing that makes me shake my head the most in the world of social media is the fact that we try to over-complicate it. Although the tools may be new and virtual, nothing has changed.
People do business first with those they like, know and trust. Social media is as simple as looking at it as a networking event without the need to drive there or the chance of getting cornered by the "creepy guy with scotch." It's about connection and conversation. Even if you don't believe that, it's a heck of a listening tool to see what your target marketing/customers/competitors are talking about. If I offered you a tool 10 years ago that allowed you to do what social media does today, you would have paid $20,000 a month to access it and today it’s free.
So just try to avoid these seven deadly social media sins, and you'll do just fine:
Everyone wants a truckload of followers, a mass-amount of Facebook fans, and a LinkedIn rolodex of thousands. But, especially if you're just starting out, trying to be everything everywhere at once will only dilute your presence and not allow for any momentum. Pick one social media platform and live there first. Build up your presence. Once you get comfortable and feel you have a good audience, then expand to a second one.
Checking your Twitter account once a month won't cut it. Trying to have presence on Facebook without being present is a surefire way of having your page taken over by spammers. If you're going to jump into the social media pool, you need to have consistent presence. If you only can commit five hours a week to it, it's better to spend it 45 minutes every day than 5 hours once a week. If it takes you longer to reply to a tweet than it would to mail a letter, you're doing it wrong.
Social media isn't a new medium to try to push ineffective old marketing messages. It truly is a different world. People are there to build relationships, not buy your stuff (initially). Setting up an automated Twitter program to tweet for you and automatically add followers is a great way to say to people "We don't actually care what you're saying, just buy from us." It would be like sending a mannequin to a networking event with your company logo on it. Yeah, creepy.
One of the nice things about social media is its casual, conversational nature. The problem is sometimes people let their guard down and remove their filter. Never say anything in social media that you don't want to see on a billboard with your name, logo, face, and phone number attached, with your client/boss/mother driving by. Google never forgets and social media updates are indexed rather quickly. This has nothing to do with "free speech" but more "what do I want my brand to be associated with."
I know last weekend in Vegas was "the bomb" because you made out with a "hottie" and you were "so drunk" you threw up in your shoes, but I'm not sure we all need to know that. And inviting me to your Facebook group on how to tone my buns is flattering and all, but remember to try and be professional, at least when it comes to a topic like this. Being human is awesome, being perverted isn't.
Looking at Lady GaGa having millions of Twitter followers is not going to help your self-esteem when you only have 40. Don't compare your fans/followers/connections count to other organizations. You don't know how engaged they are with them (the more important trait) and you don't know how they got to that number. Focus on creating quality connections, make great content, and your audience will grow organically.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of your upcoming teleseminar that may be a disguise for a pitch fest. There is something wrong when you post the notice about it on my Facebook wall, my company wall, and send it as a direct message. It's social media spam and it needs to stop. Even worse is tagging people just so they'll think it's about them and they will come look, or inviting your entire Facebook network to your event in San Jose tomorrow night when most live so far away, they would never come. Take a little bit of time and target event invites.