This is the latest in a series on social media marketing by consultant Sophie Bujold.
Normally, I encourage my clients to experiment with social media in order to find their own voice. However, there are a few “conversation killers” that have become far too common and which must be stopped.
If you recognize any of these practices as your own, it’s time to kick them to the curb once and for all.
1. Counting fans, followers and readers
Would you rather have 10,000 fans who totally ignore you or 500 loyal fans who sing your praise, use your services and spread your message to others?
The number of people you speak to is less important than your level of engagement with your existing crowd. So, stop counting your fans like you do loyalty points. Focus instead on fully engaging your current audience. Your growth will come organically if they like what you have to say.
2. Not showing up
Did you know that more than 90% of Facebook page comments get left unaddressed? That’s not conducive to making a sale, is it?
If the idea of talking to people and networking turn you off, you might want to reconsider whether social media is the right fit for your business. What’s the point of using a medium where engagement and discussion is key if you can’t be bothered to interact with your audience?
3. Talking our ears off
Conversely, businesses that talk too much can also be a huge turnoff. You know the ones I’m talking about. They post something new every few minutes and overrun you with information.
No doubt the offending party feels they’re encouraging conversation and offering useful information. But those being bombarded with posts will want to ban excessive posters from their news feeds – pronto!
4. Publishing sloppy posts
You wouldn’t attend a meeting in your sweatpants, would you? In that same spirit, you need to ensure that the information you provide is of high quality.
This means paying attention to the images you use, your spelling and grammar, as well as the quality of information itself. The pride you show in your online interactions says a lot about how you like to do business. Never forget that.
5. Thinking it’s all about you
Your audience is motivated by one thing: “What’s in it for me?” Forget about what you want, it’s all about what they want from you. They expect you to give them something valuable in exchange for their time and attention. Remember that when you’re wondering what to post next.
6. Blatant self-promotion on other accounts
No one likes an endless self-promoter, whether online or offline. That means it’s not OK to promote your page, website, blog or Twitter account in someone else’s space without being invited to do so.
Instead, aim to participate in discussions with meaningful information or insights. If people like what you have to say, they’ll soon click on your profile and connect with you there.
7. Not using your team
If you work as part of a team, take full advantage and get your teammates to help. It will save you time and make your message more personal if everyone is involved.
Some people may not want to be active on social media, and that’s OK. They can still contribute to the company effort without actively posting. Get them involved in providing photos, writing up blog posts or shooting short videos. Let them work within their comfort zone and their skills, but make sure they are contributing something.
8. Relying on your 20-something intern
Think about it: how much business and marketing experience did you have as a 20-something entering the workforce?
While the 20-something generation has grown up with social media at their fingertips, they’ve used it to chat it up with friends, not to promote a business. So, before putting your social media strategy in the hands of a young intern, keep control of the plan and get their help executing it. It’s a much better use of both your skills.
Sophie Bujold is a social strategist who helps travel professionals achieve online success. She is the creator of Take Flight With Facebook, a social media fam trip program. For more insights from Sophie, visit her website and sign up for free weekly email tips.