“The Fine Art of the Social Media Dance”
Moves and Steps to Avoid
Engaging your customers and audience via Social Media is a valuable means of expanding your influence in today’s increasingly digital marketplace.
Both consumers and the competition are talking to you and about you. Are you listening and interacting in a manner that will grow the viability and exposure of your brand?
Are you navigating the online world of social media with moves and strategies that will help your business increase the know, like and trust relationship between your brand and today’s global audience? Or, are you making Social Media faux pas that will hurt your business?
The evolution of Social Media is moving at a quick pace, and many find it challenging to keep up. I invite you to join me as I speak to what moves you must avoid on Social Media Platforms as I offer in place, steps that will bring your brand into the daily and global conversation!
Leaving the SOCIAL out of Social Media
If your goal is to increase your brand presence, you must get SOCIAL and build RELATIONSHIPS on social media. You must become aware of the social norms and expectations within online communities and platforms. Mistakes are often made in the area of relationship building and marketing.
The most successful relationship builders on and offline are those who listen attentively to others and engage with genuine interest and respect. People are attracted to those whom they know, like and trust and this is core to any marketing strategy. Therefore, relationship building is critical to your social media strategy.
Do not forget; social media is REAL life ~ the only difference is that it is happening online. Engage with your social media connections as you would in all off line professional and social relationships. Compare your conversations that you have via social media to those you have at an offline networking event, dinner party or perhaps a golf outing.
Million dollar deals are made during golf outings each day. Such business interactions are made very socially while those involved are relaxing, enjoying friendships and connecting on an emotional level. The” know, like and trust” factor is present which makes the business “pitch and sale” comfortable and easy.
You represent your businesses and brand best. If the individuals you engage with are left with a positive feeling following an interaction on social media, they will assimilate that feeling of likability to your brand easily.
Inadequate Profile Information
Your social media profile can be compared to the nametag you wear at a networking event and your initial introduction, handshake and elevator pitch.
Creating a high quality profile that you use consistently on all social media platforms will allow others to get a feel for who you are, what you do and will attract like -minded business professionals and consumers.
First impressions are significant. Complete your social media profile completely, including your real name, business information and a small amount of personal facts as well.
Make your “name tag” interesting and fun. Give someone a reason to say, “Wow, this person/brand sounds interesting and fun, I think I will connect with him or her!”
Using a logo/brand for your Social Media Profile Picture/ Name
People connect with faces and individuals not logos or brands. With few exceptions such as Facebook Brand Timelines; to use your brand logo in place of a professional picture of you and your real name on social media platforms is often a costly mistake.
When we initially meet someone socially or on a business level, the first thing we do is look them in the eye and offer a hand-shake with a with a greeting. If you are not using your real name as your Twitter handle and it is not listed on your profile, the online introduction and handshake becomes very uncomfortable and many will avoid connecting with you.
Would you go into a networking event, dinner party or other social function with your logo on a stick, which is missing your real name and covering your face? Your audience and connections want to engage with the person or people behind the logo. They do not want to talk to the building where you work; they want to talk to the people within the building. You represent your brand when you are being social. Be YOU.
Your audience will recognize your profile picture first. The ability to recall your name, brand or business appears to only be recalled after a great deal of interaction and following the establishing of a true relationship. Leave an impression with a friendly smile and you will have more success at building relationships.
Using Multiple Twitter Accounts
As discussed, YOU are your brand. To use multiple Twitter accounts will dilute your brand, audience and message.
Many make the mistake of using several Twitter accounts and post the same tweet from all accounts at once. This multi-handle broadcasting will confuse your audience at best and decrease your likeability immediately.
Keep your social media strategy simple. Having one Twitter account will keep your message clear, personable and likeable.
Connecting ~ Not Engaging
As a professional, your main goal while interacting within social media platforms is to connect to like-minded business professionals and possible consumers. Just as you would offline, you must acknowledge those who take the time to say hello or follow/friend you.
On platforms such as Twitter, where you simply hit the “follow” button to begin the connection process, take it one step further allowing the new connection to become a relationship by engaging via conversation.
On social media platforms where you must send a request to connect with an individual, keep in mind that attaching a personalized note sent with a request will set you apart from the crowd and increase your likeability at hello.
Be sure to personalize your conversations and never send an automated thank you that includes a request to visit your website, sales page etc. You certainly would not shout out your website address while shaking the hand of someone you were just introduced to at a networking event. Do not do this on social media.
Broadcasting without Consideration
Would you pull out a megaphone at a networking event and announce your sales pitch to the entire crowd? Do not broadcast unwanted promotions, invitations to groups/events and other sales “pitches” via tweets, posts, links, and bulk direct messages.
Sending links publicly on twitter is no different than approaching an individual with thousands of others watching, with a sales pitch. You take the person’s ability to decline you without embarrassment or pressure. Embarrassing your connections will quickly destroy your online likeability, not enhance your relationship building efforts.
The Facebook timeline of an individual or business defines the image, interests and message to their audience and should be respected. Think of the timeline as a business building or private front yard. A successful brand would not place promotional signs on the property of another business without permission. Putting links to your sales pitch on another’s timeline in this same manner is a very big breech in the social norms of acceptance within this social media community.
In addition, the same can be said for constant private messaging of your promotions to your entire social media contact list. Many see this as spam, and although it may not be breeching a legal code as in true email spam, it is breeching the code of effective relationship building. Think carefully before you bulk email your connections with information of any kind.
When you promote yourself without regard to respecting the social media platforms of a connection, or constantly send bulk direct messages and posts, many will simply remove you from their list. Hence, you will lose a possible connection that if handled more appropriately, may have turned into a powerful business opportunity.
Spamming Not Joining Online Communities and Groups
On all social media platforms you must be mindful of the integrity and mission of communities and groups. Such platforms are a powerful place to engage and connect with like-minded individuals and may be compared to the “breakout” sessions at the largest networking event on the planet.
Many make the critical mistake of intruding and offending communities and groups by broadcasting their links and sales information. In the offline world this behavior can be compared to one walking into a gathering of those whom you do not have a relationship with, leaving promotion materials and walking away. In most cases, this will not drive success to your brand, but away from it.
On Twitter, it is important to use one community hashtag at a time. The hashtag makes your post a part of the conversation. You would never stand in the hallway of a networking event and scream loudly in hopes that your one message will enter each breakout session. Don’t do this on social media. Enter one “room” at a time and have conversations.
Never promote your information using multiple community hashtags with the intention of broadcasting your promotion into several communities at once. This is very offensive behavior to those within a community and in most cases your promotion will not be received well if at all.
Focusing on The Number of Connections ~ Not the Quality of your Audience
The new buzzwords on social media are reach, impressions and influence. Be certain that you understand these statistical terms if you are going to gauge your brand power social media success. When it comes to social media and relationship building success know this; it is not the number of impressions you make on social media it is the impression you leave with your audience.
Many believe that they should mass follow people to build their list as part of a successful social media strategy. Random and mass list building via digital methods or purchasing methods on social media platforms is not an effective strategy.
Building a network and audience of quality holds far greater value then surrounding yourself with a high number of connections that do not listen, engage or offer you value. This is especially true as it relates to your success on marketing within your social community. You cannot effectively market to those who do not know, like and trust you and who may not be listening to you at all.
Grown organically, your social circle will increase outward to a greater number of engaged and active individuals. When future connections are made through social media introductions your target market will grow, not just your quantity of numbers.
Deleting Not Responding to Consumer Complaints
In the past, consumer complaints were sent via the mail and delivered to your office. Today, word of mouth has gone global and you must be a part of the challenging conversations with consumers who may not be happy with your brand.
It is a mistake when brands do not open their Facebook Timeline to outside posts and edit response comments. To close the door and censor your social media platforms is not transparent or honest. It is critical that your brand opens the door allowing posting to your Facebook Timeline and allow for both positive and negative comments while responding to all posts in a timely manner.
On Twitter the same is true. A successful brand will respond quickly to all tweets and offer resolution to consumer complaints immediately.
Reframe the outcome you fear. Allowing and responding to negative posts will not hurt your brand if responded to quickly. View it as an opportunity for you to show the world that you care and provide superior customer service.
Lacking Manners On Social Media
The posts, tweets and all engagement you have on social media are a representative of your brand. Your likability can be enhanced or destroyed in one negative or offensive social media post.
Take the time to assess your online social graces and manners and be sure you are including the many principles that you incorporate into your everyday, offline communication skills into your interactions on social media.
In the off line world, a successful businessperson would not verbally and loudly attack another’s opinions or ideas. It is critical to your success that you do not do this on social media. If you disagree with a post or tweet and wish to discuss it with the individual, take it to a direct message or email.
Never confront or talk rudely to a person in the public stream. Nor should you ever defame or slander someone on social media by posting your opinions of them on a public forum. As in any social circle, if you engage in such behavior, you will be seen as a bully and others will not learn to know like or trust you.
In discussions taking place off line, you may say something your regret, and hope that people will forget. On social media, you may not take it back. Be careful not to be impulsive when you send out messages and posts. Remember, what you say on social media will stay on social media forever!
I hope you enjoyed my post. Please let me know your thoughts. Let’s get SOCIAL and take this conversation further ~ Tell me YOUR tips and suggestions for brand success on Social Media! I can’t wait to hear from you!
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