Like many other human activities, social media offers many opportunities for businesses to completely foul up what they are trying to accomplish. To add insult to injury, some social media “gurus” espouse some of these counterproductive activities. It is important, therefore, to remember that you can overdo even a good thing with detrimental results. Here are our top five ways to foul up your social media efforts.
1. Include a sales pitch in everything you write or post. Remember, people are eager to buy; but they do not want to “be sold.” Even if you believe everything published on the Internet must include a call to action, keep in mind that “buy now” is not the only possible call to action. “Learn more” or “download free now” are much more appropriate calls to action in the early stages of relationship building with new prospects, especially with the complex sale.
2. Automate everything on social media. Automation can save a significant amount of time. However, if it makes every post on every social media platform identical and mechanical sounding, it is counterproductive. Remember, the first rule of social media interaction is to be real. Automation – in our strategies – is great for scheduling the posting of messages later in the day. We do not use automation software to create posts, to re-post the same messages to other platforms, or to repeat a message on any platform.
3. Always post marketing messages that “push” information about your company or your products/services toward your market. “Push marketing” is mostly dead, especially online. The goal of Internet marketing is to engage the market or to “pull/draw” your target market to your website. If your message is always about you or your products, people will stop listening.
4. Protect your company’s collective knowledge and insight. Adopt the attitude that what you know sets you apart from the competition and that if you share knowledge people will not buy from you. In fact, people will turn to your business because you share knowledge and insight (1) that is valuable and helpful to them and (2) that demonstrates your knowledge and competence.
5. Ignore questions, comments, and responses to the content you publish. By ignoring your audience, you can drive them away and get them to stop making all those annoying comments and stop asking questions you don’t have time to bother to answer. The name of the game in social media is relationship!
½. Not listening to your dog. Remember that dogs are eminently social beings. If your social media plan requires you to do something your dog would not do, you are about to foul up. Listen to your dog.
By moving beyond the top five ways to foul up your social media efforts, you can develop a social strategy that results in relationships with customers and prospects and moves people from curiosity to commitment and purchase.
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