Social Media Marketing: What Not to Do

Social Media Marketing: What Not to DoI’ve written a lot about the subject of what you need to do to be successful in social media and pull marketing.  The other side of this coin is a list of things that are harmful or counterproductive – in other words, stuff you should refrain from doing.

  1. Don’t become a nuisance.  Communicating with people who have opted-in to receive your messages is a privilege. Don’t abuse that privilege by constantly badgering your audience. Or to put it another way, don’t wear out your welcome.
  2. Don’t constantly sell. A number of marketers offer a thin veneer of informational content, then immediately launch into the sales pitch. You get the impression they care a lot more about selling you than they do in helping you.  If you feel this way, it is probably true. The idea is to be seen as a source of valuable information, not a pushy salesperson.
  3. Don’t insult anyone. Irvin S. Cobb said, ‘Whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.”‘ I suggest that when you feel the urge to insult a group or individual publically, you lie down until the urge passes. If you don’t like what’s going on politically, remember that you may be turning off a large portion of your potential prospect base by stating your opinions in a negative way. And for goodness sake, don’t insult your boss or your company in social media. It can cost you your current job as well as future employment opportunities.
  4. Don’t present yourself in a negative light. Remember that everything you say, and every photo you place, in social media, can and will be used against you.  It is difficult to overcome a negative online reputation. Remember that there is a difference in a medium like Facebook, which is essentially a social networking tool, and LinkedIn, which is primarily a business networking site.  As an example of what not to do, a friend, who is a consummate professional at the office, posted a photo on LinkedIn where he was holding up a beer at a party. That’s not something you want a potential employer or business partner to see when they check out your LinkedIn profile.
  5. Don’t wander off topic. Those who opt in to your messages are intrigued by what you are currently offering or providing to them. This does not mean that they want to hear about your recent trip to Spain. Think before you post – remember it is as easy to “unlike” you as it is to “like” you.

You put a lot of time and effort into positioning your company as a leader in the industry and keeping your personal reputation clean. Don’t lose your momentum by incorrectly utilizing social media and don’t waste precious time generating trivial, mundane, or superfluous material. When in doubt, keep it clean and keep it relevant.

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