In the last few years, more and more companies have been actively increasing their web presence in order to be where their customers are. Major social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have become almost a necessity for staying afloat in the business world.
Time and time again, I see Facebookers and Twitterers offering products, information, software, or coupons if they “reach 500 followers” or “increase their fan page by 200 ‘likes’.” As a general rule, pretend that gaining friends and followers using social media is like asking someone to a middle school dance: If you seem desperate, they will be uninterested. (And, they may even talk about you behind your back!) Just remember, it is a privilege simply to go to the dance with you.
In fact, be careful how quick you are to begin trying to emulate the bigger brands or competitors within your niche. Just because they do it, and it’s successful for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. And, sometimes it can be counterproductive. For example, it’s effective for HubSpot to require e-mail addresses in trade for content; however, it’s more effective for me to offer it free! (You can check out my Freebies here!)
Taking the term “friend” too literally.
Be careful when managing your company’s social media pages not to misinterpret a “like” or “follow” as an “I love you” or an equivalent. You need to know why your customers are joining your online community and avoid coming on too strong. Engaging is good, but it might be best if you let your new friend make the first move. (Do I need to reference middle school dances again?)
Secondly, understand that the “like” or “follow” is only the first step: You still must earn credibility–by sharing quality content and posts–before asking anything of your audience. (So, go turn off that automatic direct message!)
Getting in over your head.
Building a social media networking campaign takes time. While your coworkers may be easily intrigued with your plan to sign-up for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all-the-while maintaining your company blog, you may be biting off more than you can chew. To avoid the humiliation of having to spit something up (this is such a good metaphor), do your research and pick one or two of the most proper channels. Besides, building one up effectively will give you a quick audience boost when you transition into another.
We all know what it is, and we all dislike it. Do not do it! Publish fresh and quality content. Cautiously.
Quantity or quality?
It’s true, having thousands of followers on Twitter is a great thing; however, do not center your social media strategies on the numbers. Everyone has trouble with the KPI’s of their web presence. The worst thing that can happen is for your team to see an increase of 2,000-some followers on Twitter without any increase in sales or web traffic. There goes all your hard work, down a drain of impatience and misunderstanding. (Plus, the almost-nay-sayers might start believing that social is worthless.)
Social media networking plays a huge role in the awareness of your brand. Make sure that social media networking is working for, not against you or your company.