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social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: What To Do, What Not To Do

Social Media Marketing is not so new anymore. It’s no longer a consideration but an integral part of one’s overall marketing strategy. Even with that being the case, it’s still new to many people. It’s new for those who are just starting a business or career, and it’s new for those who are late to the game.

Recently I had the honor of presenting on social media marketing at ICLE’s Probate & Estate Planning Institute with Terrence Quinn, Estate Planning Attorney. Terrence was presenting, “Marketing Matters” which discussed how to market your law practice. He brought me along to discuss social media. I thought it would be fun to discuss the Do’s and Don’ts.

Whether you’re late to the game or just new to business, you need to know a few rules. What better way to illustrate some of the most important rules than with a few “do’s and don’ts?” Here are 5 that I outlined at the presentation that I feel are key for starting off right and positioning yourself for many wins.

Let’s count them down!

5. DO SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERTISE

The content you share should help make your audience a more informed consumer.Click To Tweet Your content should be valuable and relevant. Offer tips, industry news and recommendations. Social media marketing can help to brand you as an expert in your field, and a thought leader. Take for example, my client, Attorney Terrence Quinn. When  Michigan’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act was announced, Terrence immediately wrote an article explaining what it meant and what you need to do. This is how you join in on a conversation that is relevant to your audience and establish yourself as an expert.

4. DON’T DO ALL THE TALKING

My friend Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media always says, “Think Conversation.” Not only should you be sharing relevant content but you should be having conversations. Take the time to comment on posts, reply, retweet, ask questions and share. Be present even if it’s just a short time but be consistent. Conversations build relationships. Relationships lead to business.

3. DO NETWORK LIKE YOU WOULD OFFLINE

Or, like you SHOULD offline. When you’re at networking events you’re looking to make connections. You don’t just walk up to people and start talking about yourself and your business. That is so not social. Think about how you feel at networking events and what you do or don’t like when you’re networking.

2. DON’T THINK OF IT AS A SALES OPPORTUNITY

Some professionals, like lawyers, are restricted from soliciting business under the Rules of Professional Conduct. GREAT! That’s doing it wrong anyway. People like a soft sell on social media. They like to do business with people they like and trust. This is achieved by developing relationships. Gain their confidence by providing value. Most people are tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Focus on making your audience more informed and having conversations.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Have you ever heard the saying you can do anything but not everything? This is true with social media marketing.Click To Tweet Do what makes sense for your business. Know your target market and where they are hanging out online. By all means, don’t try to wing it. You need a plan. Plan where, and plan how by doing your research. You could simply survey your customers or clients as one way of learning more about your target market and what their habits are.

On the flip side of research, do know that your audience is doing their research. It’s called Google. When they search, are they finding you or are they finding your competition? If they’re finding you what are they finding?

Keep these important rules in mind when beginning your social media marketing journey. Set yourself up for success.

auto direct messages not social

Why Automated Direct Messages Are So Not Social

I don’t like automated direct messages. I do not like them in a box, I do not like them with a fox. To me, they are along the same lines of publishing posts from FB to Twitter. It’s just so not social. I have to guess that it works for somebody out there. I just don’t see how. There are few things on social media more annoying to me than receiving an automated direct message from someone I just met trying to pitch me on something, or get me to do something. We just met! There’s a courting phase that has to happen before we get personal enough for direct messages, right? Besides, this is an automated message. You say this to everyone.

Here’s an example, I recently followed someone back who is also in digital marketing. Great. I like connecting with others in my field. I’m always interested in seeing content from a new source that I can perhaps share with my audience or just having someone to connect with that share the same professional interests. Then, I get a direct message from this person asking me if I am interested in social media marketing strategy services. What?? That’s what I do! I have to conclude that you did not even bother to read my profile, my tweets and probably send this message out to everyone regardless. That is so not social. The whole point of social media is getting to know someone. You didn’t even bother to do research on me before approaching me. Here’s another message I found odd, “great tweets, can we find 5 minutes to connect?” Nope. We can’t. I already feel like you’re pitching me. We just connected. It’s already weird.

I also find that some of these offenders, don’t do much engaging on Twitter. They’re simply broadcasting and firehosing. If I go to a profile and click tweets & replies, I’m hoping to at least see you thanking someone for a share, a retweet or chatting in a tweetchat with others at some point. Where is the conversation?

Automated direct messages come off as impersonal and self serving. With Twitter, and social media in general, you should show some interest first, genuine interest, in people that you are connecting with. Check out their tweets. Retweet what you find is valuable. Look at a person’s bio and see if you have something in common that you could start a conversation about. Visit their website, or blog, and share their content. Be a friend to make a friend. In all the automated direct messages I’ve received recently, I am very happy that it’s been a few years since I’ve gotten the direct message saying, “let’s take this beyond 140 characters” with a link to their Facebook page. Ugh. Gross.

I’m not saying direct messages are not okay. I am referring to the generic automated direct messages sent to the masses.

If direct messages are organic and natural, and have purpose, they can work.Click To Tweet Social Times lays out a few great examples of how direct messages can work with the purpose of introductions, getting feedback, testimonials, quotes or addressing customer service issues.

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making On Twitter

Every social media platform has it’s own culture. Some things that are acceptable on one platform may not work very well on the other. But one thing’s for sure is that you should always be SOCIAL. Sometimes, people get going on Twitter before really understanding the culture. And some of the things they do are pretty anti-social. Don’t make these Twitter mistakes:

1. Constantly Broadcasting.

If all you're doing is posting a tweet and you're never replying, or retweeting, you're definitely doing it wrong.Click To Tweet To only show up to talk and not listen or share, is a mistake. And it’s definitely not social. You should be having conversations. The people who you have decided to follow are tweeting too. Read their tweets and give genuine replies. Retweet content that you think is valuable, interesting or entertaining.

2. You’ve protected your tweets.  

There are few things more anti-social than protected tweets. How can you be social with protected tweets? It’s like being at a cocktail party and only talking by cupping your hands and whispering in someone’s ear. The whole idea behind social is to have conversations, to be open and participate. Protecting your tweets is anything but that.

3.  All of your tweets are automated from Facebook.

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see made on social media. If you want to participate in the conversations happening at Twitter. Be on Twitter. If your post from Facebook is an image, it will have no image preview on Twitter. If all of your tweets are automated from Facebook, you’re doing it all wrong. If you’re simply using Facebook to post to Twitter and never actually logging on Twitter, then you’re definitely not engaging. I dedicated an entire post to why it’s so not social.

4. You don’t have a bio.

If you haven’t taken the time to tell us a little about yourself, what you do, your interests, it’s hard to find a reason to want to connect and engage with you. If you’re in business, you certainly want to fill out your bio as well as include a link to your website. A bio is a great opportunity to drive traffic to your website from Twitter users.

5.  Tweeting like text speak.

Always watch your spelling and grammar on Twitter. If you’re finding it hard to say what you’re trying to say in 140 characters or less, that’s ok! That’s the fun challenge of Twitter. Don’t make Twitter a puzzle by spkg n txt lnguge. I don’t even text in text lingo. So for me, it’s even harder to accept. Be mindful of your grammar and spelling if you want to be taken seriously.

If ever you’re confused about what to do and what not to do, always fall back on social rules. Be considerate, polite, engage, share. Social rules always apply.

 

photo credit: life in the castro, san francisco (2015) via photopin (license)