Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you the tips and tricks you need to be your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about some of the most common mistakes I see people making on social media and how to avoid them.
Social media is like anything else: there’s etiquette involved, but the rules are unwritten. There are some things people respond to really well, and other things that will prompt them to block your messages from their feed, but they won’t necessarily tell you which is which. So I’m here to tell you about 4 things you should never do on social media.
1) Buy My Thing!
So many people have heard about how being on social media can boost their business that many of them sign up for an account and immediately start promoting whatever it is they’re selling.
The problem with that is it comes off looking and feeling a lot like spam. Social media marketing is not necessarily about selling your stuff directly – it’s about engaging with your audience. Letting them know you’re there, you know your stuff, you care about them, oh, and by the way, did they know you also sell this awesome service/product they just might be interested in?
Letting them know about whatever it is you’re selling should feel just like that – an afterthought. Not the main reason you’re trying to contact them.
2) Only Talk To Potential Clients/Customers
Social media is all about engagement, not just with your potential customers, but with others in your industry, not to mention potential referral sources.
Few things look more like spam than a new social media account without any followers. It takes time to build a following, but one of the best ways to do that is to start connecting with other people who do what you do, or work in a related field. See what they’re talking about. Repost their stuff (they’ll see it when you do). See who they’re following and who’s following them. If they look like someone interesting and/or relevant to what you do, follow them. They’ll see that you followed them, and while they won’t necessarily follow you back, they might.
Don’t be obnoxious about it, but by putting yourself out there and seeing what other people are doing on social media, you’ll learn the ropes and make them aware of your presence in a way that’s much more natural and welcoming than posts that pressure people to buy your stuff.
3) Be Desperate
There’s just something about desperation. We can sense it through phone wires, text messages, and yes, even the internet. If you’re desperate for more customers/clients/investors, etc., they’ll be able to tell and they’ll start running the other way before you even get a chance to finish.
We all have tight times, but that should be the last thing on your mind when you’re trying to market yourself and/or your business. Instead, focus on all the awesome things you do for your clients. What problems are they facing? How can you help them solve those problems? Lead with that, then tell them how you can help. Again, don’t make it too salesy. Think of it as a conversation with your target audience. Make it clear that you’ve listened to them, you’ve heard their problem, and you want to help them.
4) Publish Long Posts
Twitter started the short post movement with their 140-character limit (now 280-character limit), but it’s a good policy to maintain on all the social media platforms. We are constantly bombarded with an increasing amount of content from all directions. As a result, our attention span is shrinking, and if we don’t think something is worth our time, we won’t hesitate to move on.
It’s better to keep your message as short as possible and provide a link to your website. If people want to learn more, they can always click on your link. But if they’re not interested in what you’re selling, trying to drown them in information about this thing they don’t care about will just irritate them.
Have more questions on what not to do on social media? Let’s chat.