Are marketers ruining social media? That is the question posed in a really great article I came across on Forbes.com in which Shel Israel points out all the things that marketers are doing wrong on social media – and thus corrupting the experience of what social media should be.
Here’s what Israel said marketers are doing wrong, along with my suggestions on how to get it right:
1. Marketers are starting to view social media as transactional, rather than conversational.
Tip: Keep your focus on sharing, not selling. Yes, it’s good to talk about your company every now and again, but when you do, make sure you’re sharing something valuable that will spark a conversation.
For instance, when I announce on my Facebook page, “Hey everyone, Company A just launched a new website that I wrote the content for!” I can offer a tip on writing a call-to-action for your contact us page. Tooting my own horn AND sharing something that is useful – score!
2. Marketers are turning social media into a marketing tool at the expense of other uses – like product development, recruiting, customer support, etc.
Tip: This is why you need to put together an editorial schedule. If you want to keep the content you share a nice mix of topics, plan it out, because it’s so easy to get stuck in a one- or two-topic rut (just like you do when it’s time to make dinner and you decide it’s omelet night – again).
Simply make a list of all the topics you’d like to cover. For me, that would be marketing, social media marketing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn; finding an intern when need be; sharing info on an online marketing tool that I love; posting photos from events I attend; answering FAQs in the form of a tip – I could go on, but you get the point.
3. Marketers are posting messages that are more corporate than individual.
Tip: Keep your messages personal. Use “I” instead of “we.” And if you use “we,” define who “we” is. Be honest and straightforward – be you. Always keep in mind that your target market is made up of people, and people like to do business with people they like.
I always write the way I talk, so focus on doing that and resist the urge to write and re-write your Facebook status update. Otherwise, you could find yourself spending 15 minutes trying to get one sentence perfect – so perfect, it sounds like a robot wrote it.
Have you noticed a change in the social media content that brands are posting?
Image courtesy of when-is-now.comGoogle+