There are many ways for a business to use social media correctly, and only a few ways to do it wrong. So why do so many businesses keep falling into the same traps? The answer is easy: human nature. As we all know, humans are constantly beset by all kinds of temptations. That’s what makes us human. Here, then, is a list of the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media that David Griner from Social Path put together:
Loving your customers is great, but take it easy. In the early days of social media – around 2006 – a business would sign up on MySpace and start “friending” everyone with a pulse. These days, lusting after fans like that will get you labeled as desperate – or even as a spammer. So take it slow and get to know the people who connect with your brand. In return, they might end up as customers for life.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Once a business decides to take a seat at the social media table, they often dig in with gusto. The downside: They want to be everywhere at once, spreading themselves across every social media network instead of being strategic and focused. You don’t need accounts on all of the social media sites – just the right ones.
It’s hard to shake hands when you are reaching for someone’s wallet. We all want to make money through social media, and if you have a good business, it will happen. But if all you do is spout off sales messages on your Twitter feed or Facebook page, no one is going to stick around. Be yourself. Be helpful. Be a good listener. Then the money will come to you.
Always avoid the temptation to “set it and forget it.” Starting a blog or creating a presence on a social network is easy. Keeping it alive takes hard work, adaptability and commitment. You would never open a store and then close it two weeks later because of a low turnout. Go for the long term and plan accordingly.
There are a lot of people out there itching for a punch in the nose, but you’re not the one to give it to them. Once you are active online, you are bound to get a few critics. Some offer valuable feedback. Some shout obscenities. Focus on the ones who deserve a response. And no matter what, never lash out. Many businesses get into a social media shouting match and guess what? In social media, the business never wins.
Don’t be dissuaded by other people who are doing it better than you. Someone will always have more followers, more blog comments, and more write-ups in Mashable. Focus on who you are and what your business has to offer – and not on what the other guy is doing. And when you have to steal an idea (hey, these things happen), find a way to make it better so no one will even recognize the original.
Stay humble, rock star. Successful social media marketing is easier than you think. If you plan ahead, pace yourself and listen more than you talk, you will strike a chord with existing customers and potential fans alike. It will open new opportunities and build your brand in ways you never imagined. But don’t let it go to your head. There is always more work to do.
Thanks David for the information. Here is his excellent website.