I have to admit it, I’ve had enough. Social media has been around the block. Millions of “how to” posts and books have been written, yet so many people are still getting it wrong. I’ve mentioned quite a few of these don’ts in previous posts over the past three years, but somehow, the message still isn’t getting through.
Social media is personal, but too many people (and companies) are treating it as an impersonal advertising platform. Fail.
There are people on the receiving end of your posts. People who want to connect and engage. It’s called social media for a reason.
1. Don’t connect Twitter to Facebook. Two different social media platforms, two different languages. Your Facebook Timeline looks ridiculous with a one-sided conversation and all those @ and # signs. Just stop it. Check out Hootsuite instead, and choose which posts go where.
2. Don’t send an automated DM to new followers on Twitter. It’s impersonal and makes you look like a spambot. You do realize that I’m aware every single one of your followers is receiving the exact same message, right?
3. If I don’t know you, please don’t send me a personal message on Facebook, asking me to LIKE your fan page. Seriously, I’m not a fan.
4. Stop sending event messages through Facebook to your entire community. If we haven’t had any previous interaction or engagement, how do you know I’m even a prospect – or interested for that matter. If you and your event are in Des Moines, why would I attend when I live in Los Angeles? Do your homework, otherwise, you’re just a spammer (see #2).
5. Don’t drink and tweet. That’s right, don’t tweet anything that you wouldn’t want your mother or your ex-boyfriend to see. Tweets are archived in the Library of Congress, so once you hit Enter, it’s out there forever.
6. Don’t be a narcissist. Seriously, enough about you already. Stop broadcasting your products and services and start listening to what others are saying and engage. Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean it isn’t a real conversation with a real human being on the other end.
7. Don’t tweet the same thing over and over again. One particularly guilty coach I know has tweeted the exact same thing at least 20 times in the last month alone. You might think it makes your social media marketing a little easier, but really, you’re b-o-r-i-n-g us.
8. If you don’t have the bandwidth to manage multiple social platforms, then don’t. If you are too busy to get social, it is better to be present and engaging on fewer platforms, then absent from or overly automated on too many. You are judged by the frequency with which you update your accounts and contribute to conversations where you can provide value. If the light isn’t on, people will forget you.
9. Don’t be all business all the time. First, you’re boring us (see #7), and second, the only way we’ll really connect with you is if you show us your personality and heart. Share your interests and passions so we can find common ground.
10. Don’t be overly negative. The social space in general is extremely positive, with collaboration, conversation and helpfulness being the order of the day. No one likes complainers and whiners. And don’t forget #5: any vitrol you happen to spew will be out in the ether forever, for all to see. Even your mother-in-law.
What’s your #1 social media don’t? Please share with us in the comments below.
©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders