How NOT To Promote Your Business Over Social Media
Posted by Talknowledgy
There are plenty of ways to use social media to promote your business and I’m not going to discuss them here because really the main advice I would give you is: if you’re serious about it, make it someone’s job! But I wanted to share a few tips on tactics not to use when trying to promote your business over social media.
Don’t spam other people’s social media channels with sale messages or advertisements.
Putting up links to your products on a page which doesn’t belong to you, be it a competitor or just someone in your target audience, is a bad idea. It’s the social media equivalent of walking into someone’s home or business uninvited and putting up your advertisements all over the walls. Ask before you post! Also, post one time or at least not more than once a week (depending on how active the page is). Posting four times in a minute looks spammy and most will assume you are linking to malware. It also makes you look like you’re either desperate or are spreading the message without permission. Finally, don’t make the posts in unrelated sections. Interrupting a conversation to insert your advertisement, or adding your post to a photo that has nothing to do with your business, is like marching into a party with a megaphone and bleating your sales messages. It doesn’t reflect well on your business and most will find it annoying. That last tip applies to website comments sections as well…most of the comments you see in there which are promoting products are placed by spam bots, and you don’t want to be mistaken for one of those do you?
Don’t send unrelated messages to your subscribers. (Example via @rmknuth: “Fox at one point promo’d an NFL game from their TV show pages. I like Family Guy, not NFL. Misuse of page.”)
Ryan’s example is a perfect one – if you manage multiple pages, it’s because you want to divide up your audience based on their interests. While it’s true some Family Guy lovers may like watching football on Fox, you have to assume those same people will find the NFL page and like it. Consider adding the page you’re trying to promote to your ‘Featured’ likes section to highlight its existence to your NFL/Family Guy fans and that way, you can avoid alienating the other part of your audience which only likes Family Guy.
To build on this point…
Don’t send the same message to all of your channels all at the same time.
Hootsuite is a great, free (well, to start anyways) tool for sending content to multiple different platforms at the same time. Use it! Each platform requires a bit of effort on your part but it will pay off. Or, if posting to so many different channels is too much hassle, consider reducing the platforms you operate. While it may seem like you’re throwing away a lot of work, it’s less harmful to your brand than leaving a page unattended and unused.
Don’t abandon your channels, or only use them when you have a message to share. (Example via @David_Hall: “The worst is when they start social media, then abandon their accounts. Also, bad customer service through social. #arg”)
Social media is a conversation, and is important enough to warrant a spot on somebody’s job description. If someone is responsible for it, then it won’t get abandoned (unless they’re doing a bad job). Frequent monitoring, regular content posts, and replying to customer inquiries is all part of that.
Don’t dump “Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter…” messages on every corner of your website.
Social media is, for some businesses, a new and exciting thing. But with so many networks and so many brand pages already out there, you need a reason for people to connect with your content other than the fact it simply exists. Read my blog post “Selling Your Customers on Social Media” for more on this topic.
Don’t use your business’ account as a personal account. (And if you’re high up in a company, don’t use your personal account as a personal account either).
As a child, you were probably told not to discuss politics and religion in polite company. Realistically, your personal views and opinions likely don’t have a place within your company’s social media profiles. It’s probably not something your customers are looking for, and it may alienate a part of your fan base. A great recent example is the Chick-fil-A controversy, when the CEO of a Christianity-based chicken restaurant came out against gay marriage and sparked a furor in the US. It sparked many to ask the question, “Why does a restaurant have an opinion on gay marriage?”
Don’t create sock-puppet accounts.
Speaking of Chick-fil-A…you will be found out if you make fake accounts. Whatever the reason (usually either make your page look busy or to have someone come to your defense), someone will discover what you’ve done and it is a big faux pas online!
Have anything to add to this list? Leave us a comment!
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Posted on 08/27/2012, in David Hall, Opinion, Talknowledgy News and tagged Advertising, Blog, Canada, David Hall, Internet, Marketing, Media, Opinion, Ottawa, Phil Gaudreau, Social Media, Social Media for Business, Talknowledgy, Technology, The Internet, Tweet, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.