Social media is almost like the vital elements to survive for digital marketers.
But some of us tend to get carried away by its core concept and only end up getting things messier for ourselves as well as for the audience. After all, like any successful exercise or diet program, a few do’s and don’ts go a long way.
Keeping what to do as a focus on the upcoming article, today we are focusing on what not to do.
1. Sending unsolicited messages
Of course, we use social media to foster promotions for our brand, but that does not mean sending those long chain emails, to unsolicited direct messages, shoving the sales pitch through to your customers.
Social selling is more about social than selling. The audience on social media is already smart enough to identify a genuine user looking to build a relationship and the one who only wants to drag them through to the sales funnel. And who loves being sold to? Not you, not us – no one.
Hence, it is the high time you stop sending undirected messages to your followers. A “long shot” approach of trying to get me to buy over Linkedin is doomed to fail. What’s worse is that you will ruin your reputation, which will exclude you automatically from future conversations.
If you don’t know them well enough, go for a small sales call, communicate, and foster a strong relationship between the buyers and brand. Identify your target market, select the target executives, recognize their issues, be careful and craft a personalized message. Keep pushing creative content often and give them a platform to engage. Share insightful posts, build your reputation, and encourage engagement.
2. Stop being all about yourself
It’s your brand’s social page and of course, it means to promote you. That said, if all you do is only talking about yourself, you need to stop right now. It is only helpful to a buyer to know more about your products and services if they know they will need you ever in the future.
Sharing content online allows you to craft an online persona that reflects your brand’s values and professional skills. Whether you create occasional social media posts or do it regularly, the content you create, share and engage with feeds deep into the public narrative. If it is all about yourself, you will end up as nothing but a self-proclaimed expert.
Find out the content that will best resonate with your expertise. Refrain from being a Mr./Ms. Know-It-All. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but don’t make yourself appear desperate. You can also opt for curating content from others. Share news by the industry leaders. Take a backseat once in a while and let your audience communicate.
And last but not least, try to frame the argument in the form of a business problem you know I have (the need for better user experience, for example). Since social media posting is democratic, you will need to insert these arguments in most everything you post or risk being viewed as a spammer by your network.
3. Avoid being a self-proclaimed selling pro
Given the name of social selling, brands often confuse the notion of social selling as a method of selling on social. But is it that true? Well, being an industry expert, we can tell you it is certainly not.
Social selling is, rather, a method to bring in more leads. Ever looked at the profile of a salesperson who is trying to connect with you and boasts of sales mastery and winning selling techniques? By the time you are done with the interaction, you are already on defensive mode. Instead, use your profile to explain how you have helped other customers with similar business problems, and you will have my undivided attention.
What you can do instead is be strategic with your content. Go above and beyond to exhibit your expertise, but make sure not to overdo things. Take the approach we discussed in the first point, and you shall have results very soon.
4. Don’t keep hopping from one trend to another
Brands are busy looking like each other on social. And in the same vein, they often end up doing what’s hot and happening currently, coming off as trendy and thoughtless. Rather than representing yourself as a brand that keeps up with the world, you end up messing it all up and appear foolish by jumping on the bandwagon for a hot topic.
Stay relevant to you. Add value to social media, not noise. Make sure you can find an affirmative answer by asking yourself, “Am I doing enough to make the conversation worthwhile?” If the answer is “No,” take some more time to switch tactics.
If a trend best fits your audience and your market demands, make sure to incorporate it into your social selling plan and content strategy.
5. Posting the same message across channels
Arguably, we are all leading busy lives – social sellers included. But there are better ways to save time rather than blindly publish the same social copy across all the channels without considering their uniqueness, or the demands of the audience. You simply exhibit yourself as a lazy brand and often foolish.
Various networks support different content types (and different audiences, too). Your followers across these channels will simply get bored and annoyed at seeing the same thing repeatedly.
Instead, build and use a distributed content strategy to create unique messages. That way, you will be able to show your brand as a real and interesting one. Once a visitor lands on your content, they make their way through a lot of noise; don’t lose them with a diluted, overly-repeated message.
Take Home Message
Knowing what not to do on social media is as important as keeping yourself updated on what to do. The points mentioned here outline the same. Make sure you avoid them, and in case you have been doing them too, stop right away.
Milan Ruzicka is passionate about helping sales and marketing teams discover the opportunity of social selling. He uses his 15+ years of B2B marketing and management experience and founded ReadyForSocial together with Sander Biehn. He is passionate to keep making the Thought Horizon social selling method better and better by fact-based, data-driven improvements. Milan loves technology, gaming, skiing and books (non-fiction and military sci-fi as a guilty pleasure).