Oftentimes, we focus on what we should do when it comes to social media marketing. Listen, engage, share, etc. Put others first. Produce great content. That’s all find and dandy, but shouldn’t we also look at what not to do?
In this post, I’ll show you four things that you should avoid doing regularly via social media, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, not-for-profit organization, or just an individual promoting your own personal brand.
To make these four things memorable, I’ve created a simple mnemonic, PEST, which stands for “Promotional, Egotistical, Sporadic, and Tiresome.”
So, (say it with me) let’s try not to be a social media PEST!
This one is a no-brainer. While yes, social media can help us sell stuff, we have to be tactful in our approach as marketers. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or elsewhere, don’t go in thinking you can start selling your wares right off the bat. Social media is more about building awareness around your brand for a later sale, than it is for making a sale right then and there.
But yet folks are still using social media as a sales floor. We’ve all see them. These are the people who are just begging to be unfollowed and unliked. You know, the brands that keep posting boring promotions that don’t pertain to us, the folks who just don’t know when enough is enough, and the real estate agents who repetitively post their listings again and again. So while it’s okay to promote your products and services every once in a while, try your best to avoid becoming overly promotional. It’s not helping anyone.
Being egotistical goes hand in hand with being promotional. Try to avoid doing both to extremes. Nobody wants to be friends with the braggart. It might very well be that your product or service is phenomenal, and people love talking about it. That doesn’t mean you have to keep adding to that conversation. Let your customers be your strongest brand advocates, not you. It’ll not only sound more authentic if it comes from your customers, but it won’t make you look like all you care about is yourself.
As famed social media marketer Gary Vaynerchuk says, “When someone says something nice about you, and you retweet it, you’re bragging!” Is that who you want to be defined as?
Oh, do we see this happen often or what?! A social media campaign starts out great, and by the third week, you can hear the crickets chirping on their Facebook page. Yes, social media takes continual effort, so don’t give up if you don’t get the result you’re looking for within the first couple months (yes, I said months).
Moreover, being sporadic has two meanings here. First I’m talking about being consistent in maintaining your social media presence, by posting content on a regular basis. The second thing I’m talking about is being consistent in your level of interaction and your voice. If you’ve become known as the brand that responds to every tweet, then keep it up. People will expect to have their tweets answered. If all of a sudden you stop caring, and just start pushing out your one-directional messages, that’s not consistent at all. Consistency in both what you say, and when you say it matters more than you can imagine.
Finally, we arrive at tiresome. You know these folks. The boring ones. The robots. These folks might not be talking about themselves, but they certainly aren’t saying anything worth sharing either. They just don’t get it. Maybe they post the same 10 ideas over and over again, like a broken record. Or worse, maybe they stick with just one type of medium, such as text posts and you never see them use an engaging image or video.
The bottom line is that we all have a responsibility to use social media in a way that is exciting, whether we’re talking about toaster ovens or the latest movie. There’s always a way to spin a concept and make it interesting. Be creative. Use some humor if it’s appropriate for your brand. Show your personal side at times. Get off topic every now and then. If you’re not doing these things, you’re just contributing to the noise rather than adding value.
Well, that brings us to the end of this post, on how not to become a PEST (Promotional, Egotistical, Sporadic, and Tiresome).
It was a rough one to write, because I don’t like being negative. I’d much rather talk about the things to do than the things not to do. But this was necessary. You’ve heard enough from me about what you should be doing on social media. This was one way for me to switch things up (how’s that for not being tiresome?).
If you found these tips helpful, or even if you didn’t, I’d love to hear from you. And if you share this post with others, it would mean the world to me. Until next time, have fun out there!