5 Ways NOT to Use Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for marketing, but with so many options of how to harness its energy, it’s sometimes hard to known just how to optimize your use of social media. Optimizing means making sure you’re not falling into social media traps. Here are five that you should stay far, far away from.

1. Money making schemes

Although big celebrities with huge Twitter followings might be drawing in some dollars thanks to advertising related tweets, when you’re trying to brand yourself, your company or your cause, these kind of updates quickly become annoying and can cause you to lose followers. Stay away from money making schemes and stick to real updates. Seriously – this stuff is worse than a telemarketer on a caffeine buzz.

2. Becoming a product RSS feed

If you’re a company that’s working on branding in the new media age, applications like Facebook and Twitter are invaluable tools, but no one wants incessant feeds of the latest product is currently on sale. Make updates provocative and interesting. What are you up to that your consumers are interested in? Who are you working with? What news article did you read this morning that got you thinking? Consumers in the social media realm want to know more about who you are and less about what you’re selling.

3. Documenting your wild nights out

Trust our friends over at Matador: the internet is not the place for your drunken escapades. That morning hangover will be even worse with a side of Tweet Regret.

4. Sharing stories that no one cares about

So you ate a burrito for lunch… cool [note the sarcasm]. However, if the burrito cart that you bought your lunch from runs on bio-diesel, uses local and organic products and makes a delicious wrap at a nice price, they’d probably appreciate you spreading the word. So tweet about the important stuff: where, what, why. That’s what people want to hear.

5. Mistaking your Facebook friends for actual friends

Facebook is an excellent networking tool, but it doesn’t replace real conversation with real people. Friend as many people as you want on Facebook, and round up a plethora of Twitter followers, but remember to keep up with your actual social life as much as your social media one.

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1 Comment

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One response to “5 Ways NOT to Use Social Media

  1. 1) is rife, and in particular a major problem for Twitter trying to claw some credibility towards itself after the inevitable media backlash. People log on, they see the adverts for getting 900k Followers in 10 seconds (only $99!), or how many times Mom’s White Teeth is mentioned…and away they g0, their minds made up. (‘Social media is another word for spam’). And I don’t blame them. That side of things is ugly, depressing and ever-increasing. (Stumbleupon is now starting to get quite spammy).

    Socal media works when it’s a dialogue. When it’s merely broadcasting (“Well I went to the shop got 3 oranges, one was off, oh well c ya!”) it’s barely media and it’s certainly not social. Self-obsessed Twitterers, j’accuse. 😉

    I like 5) a lot. And related to it is…Be Yourself. Be who you *really are* when you’re on social media. Have a voice, and don’t invent it. Don’t hide behind formality or stuffiness. Give people a glimpse of the real you, so they want to bridge that gap in real life – and make the effort when they do the same.

    When you have a true voice, it gets heard and it can really make a difference – a perfect example being Passports with Purpose at the moment, promoted and driven by people who have spread the message with their own distinctive voices. If that’s not the right way to use social media, I don’t know what is.

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