Unlike other forms of online marketing, social media marketing has no stone-set right and wrong behaviors; no cost-per-user statistics, and there is, by no means, a code of conduct or behavioral plan that must be adhered to. While pay-per-click advertisers and SEO experts are inundated with information on what is and is not effective, social media marketers are left without dedicated and accurate information.
That certainly does not mean that social media is not governed by some form of assumptions and expectations. It is social, and is controlled by collective opinion and user discussions. These four social media faux pas are unlikely to get you thrown off social media websites or banned from the discussion altogether, but they are best avoided for social media marketing success.
Using deceptive affiliate tactics.
Back in 2004, MySpace was the king of the social media stratosphere and spam was out of control. Hidden comments, fake “friend me” requests, and endless blog posts all led to shady affiliate offers and utterly deceptive advertising banners.
There has since been a transformation within social media, one that has fought back against these tactics. The new social media environment accepts promotion and commercial influence, but dislikes being aggressively marketed to. As long as you keep your social media marketing tactics soft, value-filled, and useful, you will be rewarded with success. If you end up using an outdated and selfish strategy, you are likely to be rejected.
Blogs are part of the social media realm and are held to the same standards of behavior as any other service. They are treated as an outlet, yet at the same time neglected by users that could contribute. More than anything else, blogs are abandoned when they offer nothing beyond commercial use. Remember that, while your blog can be a money-maker, it may mean significantly more to your audience than it does yourself.
Thin, fake, and generic conversation.
Marketing expert Seth Godin has often asked his readers whether it’s truly worth engaging in social media if your message is dry and generic. Many have seen the light, realizing that his suggestion was not to give up social media entirely, but to change their approach to become more unique and influential.
Social media communities can and will ignore you when you have nothing interesting to say. Join the conversation, but do not treat it as something you can’t change. Offer information and value beyond what is currently available and you will be embraced, appreciated, and financially rewarded; share the same old information and you will quickly fall out of favor.
The “friend everyone” approach.
The “friend everyone” approach is normally seen much like the affiliate strategy used by thousands of marketers in an attempt to reach a large audience in little time. It is a classic spam tactic, and it is one that is rarely successful for social media marketers.
The top Twitter users are not necessarily those with the most followers, just like the most popular Facebook pages are not those with the most likes. Build real relationships and you will be rewarded with loyalty; friend everyone that comes your way and you will end up with weak and utterly worthless online connections.