Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What NOT To Do On Social Media

Social media marketing is all about providing value to our respective audiences. Typically, I am recommending tips on what business owners should do, but in this post I want to go over a few things that could be a turn off without realizing it. Please do not feel bad if you have done any of these. Most of us have done them (I know I have), so let's learn from them and move forward. These are the DON'TS of the social media world.

1. Don't add people to email list without their subscription: Have you ever gone to a networking meeting, meet some great contacts and then get flooded with auto-emails from those same people? This is annoying because it may not be anything we're interested in.  At least send an email to invite them to subscribe instead of just adding them without their consent.

2. Don't direct message people with your offer: One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is going through each of their contacts and sending them a direct message with how great their product or service is and why they need it.  Could you imagine a single person trying to get a date this way?  Going through their LinkedIn or Facebook contacts sending a message to EVERYONE that they found attractive and letting them know why they should date them? That would be nuts!'s the same when we do that in business. A relationship take time to build. Post valuable content and people (that are actually interested) will approach you.

3. Don't make it all about you: Let's take the dating analogy a step further: Ever heard of the nightmare date where one person just talked about themselves the entire time? Didn't ask any questions or engage the other person. Just went on and on about their lives and blah blah blah blah...That's exactly what audiences are thinking when business pages just post about their services or how great they are every day.  Instead, mix up your content with posts that would resinate with them and have a 2 way conversation. Be social. :) Again, could you imagine one of your single Facebook friends posting everyday about how great a catch they are and to call them today?

4. Don't get involved in polarizing topics: There are a lot of hot topics out there right now. Explosive debates on gun control, gay marriage, border control, abortion, religion, etc. My advice is to touch NONE of them on social media if you are a business owner, even on your personal profiles. It can be difficult because we all naturally have opinions on these subjects, but having an argument (or even a sophisticated conversation) on such topics on social media can cost an owner a sale.   Keep in mind, this includes liking posts that are polarizing as people can see that information as well. If you wish to debate these topics, I recommend a phone call.  If it's online, it exists forever (even if deleted because someone can screen capture an emotional outburst).

These tips are meant to be helpful and not to say that anyone is a bad business owner for doing these things. Again, I learned what should be done by making mistakes (listed above).  Omitting these actions will only help a business owner as they build their social media following.  Are there any social media "Don'ts "that you have noticed that I did not mention?

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