“If you’re not pissing people off, you’re doing it wrong.” - This quote has been floating around the online marketing community for a while now. While I get the premise, I think it’s easily misunderstood and ends up creating more negative results than positive ones. As an inbound marketer, my ultimate goal is to create value added solutions that make people's lives better. To connect them with the products and services they need, but in a way that makes them feel valued, not annoyed. Content publishing and amplification through social channels is a large part of what I do for my own agency. So if I am constantly annoying people, I will hurt my content and more importantly my brand. While we can’t please everyone, there are a few things we can do to make sure we are connecting with our audience instead on pushing them away.
Social media is an amazing tool that connects people across towns, cities, states and countries. Marketing using social media can be very powerful and we need to respect it and the people we are marketing to. To quote a great philosopher, Uncle Ben Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Below are 3 ways to engage your followers, without being annoying.
Effective social media marketing begins and ends with your audience. What you have to say and sell isn’t for everyone. Being able to narrow your focus, determine your audience and share your story in a clear and effective way is a must for success on social, or any other marketing channel for that matter.
Start by looking at your current base. Who are your customers? What do they do for a living? How does your solution solve their problem? Asking questions and writing down the answers will force you to start creating a mental picture of your buyer persona. Then take it a step further. Write out a “day in the life” of your persona. When do they get up? What social media do they use? What do they do before, during or after work? The more detailed you get, the better you’ll be able to frame your story.
Every social media channel is different, very different. So approaching them from one frame of mind is dangerous. If you post to Facebook like it's Twitter, you’re going to annoy people. If you use LinkedIn like it’s Facebook, you’re going to look unprofessional. Below are some guidelines for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We are leaving Google+ out on purpose as that platform is in transition and I don’t want to mislead you with old data that may not work on their new platform.
Make sure that you are mixing up your content as well. Don’t sell, be social. Share your content and other people's content as well. Be you and let your personality come out. A rule we follow for social posting is 10-4-1. For every 15 posts we make, 10 are other peoples content, 4 posts are promoting own content and 1 is a direct offer. We don’t follow this strictly, but use it as a guideline to make sure we are adding value.
There are some things you just shouldn’t post, especially on your business accounts. Social has blurred the line between our personal and work lives. I treat my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts with the same respect as my “business accounts.” I am an extension of my brand and what I do on social is out there for people to see no matter how “private” my settings are. Here are a few things you should never post.
Every Thing You’re Feeling: While being authentic is important, there are some things better left unsaid. We need to find a balance between being open and being too open. Overly emotional posts, a lot of the time, come off as whining and that will annoy your followers. Be you, just keep some things between close friends.
The Same Content Over and Over: We aren’t saying don’t promote your content, just do it with taste. A great way to get unfollowed is to post the same blog article 5 times in a row. This is where the 10-4-1 rule really helps out. It makes sure your posts are diverse and add value.
Vague Statements: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being vague creates confusion. Confusion destroys trust. Once you break trust, you have to work extremely hard just to get back to where you were, and even doing that is questionable. When you post, be direct. Don't leave room for incorrect interpretations.
Social media is a great way to get your message out to the right people at the right time. Use it to add value, not tick people off. Know your audience, know the channels and how to use them and make sure that what you are posting is what your community wants to engage with.
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