The 10 Big Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

Leave a Comment (0) ↓

social media marketing

As a B2B digital marketing specialist, I talk to many firms where there is skepticism either about the value added by social networks to their business: or about the role of external social media management services. To those people I say, success in social media application is as much about what you don’t do wrong, as what you do right – and unless you get the ideal digital media partner at the right price, you will not avoid all of the following pitfalls. Here, then, are my ‘Don’ts of SMM’…

1. Don’t expect huge volumes

A B2B company rarely does generate hundreds of thousands of responses or achieve the elusive viral status. It’s actually all about quality, not quantity – people who engage with likes, shares, retweets etc. They are the ones who are most likely to do business with you or influence others to do it.

2. Don’t expect instant results

Social media management takes time and continual application. Strive to be consistent in your communication: and constant in your output. You are unlikely, for instance, to keep up the required number of tweets unless you have external help. If you do have a well-crafted campaign, then look for steady growth in your response numbers.

3. Don’t hide your light under a bushel

A blog must not just be confined to your website: spread the word on social networks. This is the way to get more responses, more views and achieve a bigger Google listing effect. Newsletters and email campaigns will also extend the reach of your articles.

4. Don’t ride for free

You can’t rely on other people supplying material. Create valuable input and your potential audience will value you. ‘Give to get back’ should be your principle.

5. Don’t copy others

Be original: and if you do see a good article by someone else, don’t be tempted to rip it off. Give the subject your own original spin and point of view, graciously acknowledge the initial author and include a link – and above all, add constructively to the conversation.

6. Don’t turn your back

When people write to you negatively, it’s tempting to ignore them – but don’t. Be generous and respond, quickly. A good digital consultancy will ‘have your back’ on this and will alert you to comments that come in, 24/7. Reach out to those who bother to get in touch, for whatever reason.

7. Don’t just transmit

If all you do is broadcast unselectively and boastfully, that’s old skool marketing. Whatever you do in social media marketing has to be as much about listening and having a genuine two-way conversation where you sensitively receive as well as transmit. Consider also using live chat on your website – encourage people to call you.

8. Don’t overstretch yourself

Not every social network will work for you. Concentrate on those that do. Test by all means but if it doesn’t look promising, dial out. For instance, if you have a mostly older, predominantly male clientele and your B2B operation is not very visual, Pinterest probably isn’t worth your valuable time.

9. Don’t be a cheapskate

You could try to do it all yourself but you need to value the ‘opportunity cost’ of all the hours you spend in doing it – in other words, how much value is being lost that you would otherwise add to your business? And if you think that hiring an in-house Social Media Manager is cheaper than using an external consultancy, then I’ll show you how that need not be true.

10. Don’t be predictable

The best B2B companies have taken good advice from their digital specialists and have got creative – think about GE and their ‘Badass Machines’ campaign that got tremendous online responses for their industrial products. Using visual communication is one great way of surprising people positively – using explainer videos and infographics generates more response and makes people stay longer on your pieces of digital real estate.

If any of this has struck a chord, then let me explain how my agency has broken the mould, in offering London-based customer contact and a top-notch end-to-end social media management service for less than the cost of just one in-house hire. And if we talk, then I’m sure you’ll be taking the first steps away from the above 10 Don’ts…

Colm Hannon is the founder and CEO of Hannon Digital