Last week I reviewed an online audio created by some self-proclaimed “inspirational” dude who goes around the country giving talks on social media and how it can help your association or business. It was almost physically painful to listen to him discuss all of the shortcuts to use to “automate” your relationships and “push” content to friends and followers. He so misses the point. And worse, he’s running around the United States spouting off this drivel. (Can you tell I’m irritated??)
So…thought I’d share our top 10 list of things you should NOT do – even if you hear it elsewhere. And, I think when you see the list and the business reasoning, you’ll agree, too.
10) Don’t jump into social media without a strategy. Please see our previous posts about planning to illustrate this point. You started your business with a plan. You make calculated decisions based on concrete, written goals and objectives. This should not be any different.
9) Don’t focus solely on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. The social media landscape is rapidly changing, with new applications launching every week. Despite what you might have heard, not every application is for every business. If you need a strategy, a once-a-month mentor or just some initial planning help, call on us.
8 ) Don’t forget to observe and monitor BEFORE you leap. Rushing into social media without understanding how your brand is perceived is just plain dumb. Monitor your brand before you start conversing. Determine who the influencers are and what your customers/prospects are saying. That will help you get the lay of the land.
7) Don’t focus only on quantitative metrics. Alas, there is a component to social media that many businesses just don’t understand – the, uh, social component. Consider qualitative metrics that can help you assess the quality of the dialog and conversation.
6) Don’t forget to prioritize. You cannot do all things well. It is much worse, as many of you have heard me say in our workshops, to launch multiple social media initiatives only to have them die a slow and painful cyber-death due to lack of nourishment. Choose wisely based on what you need to achieve and do ONE well first. Collect your data, then move to the next initiative. Rinse. Repeat.
5) Don’t try to buy your way in. Despite what many self-proclaimed “gurus” say, it is less about the number of followers and fans and more about the quality of interaction. You cannot achieve your goals by purchasing followers, buying your way onto Twitter lists or engaging in other nefarious activity that promises quick returns. If you approach your social media strategy this way, you will not be successful in building the kind of robust, word of mouth relationships for which social media is known.
4) Don’t grab the latest intern and stick her on the project. This is a no-brainer. Understanding the technology is NOT the same as understanding the business strategy and the purpose behind the initiative.
3) Don’t hesitate to look for outside assistance. Don’t you reach out to mentors in your business community? Have a once-a-month call with your finance or tax expert? Make sure you’re on the right track? This is no different. It’s a fallacy that since the platform is free, you shouldn’t seek customized assistance. Mojo offers monthly calls, group mentoring, online workshops and a suite of content-generation services.
2) Don’t automate your efforts. I am also disgusted with folks advocating automated software and bots that will tweet or post for you or writing a single tweet that populates everywhere. That is not conversatiion. That is not dialog. It will backfire. Do not engage in social media if your sole purpose is to spam and push propaganda out. Please.
1) Don’t make it all about you. You knew this one was coming after reading #2, right? It cannot be all about your business. It must be about what you need to achieve and what your community members will receive in return.
Ahhh, I feel better now that I’ve cleared the air a bit. What are your top social media no-nos? Feel free to share.