Social Media No-No’s: A Top 10 List

Social Media No-No's

Mojo's List of Social Media No-No's

Last week I reviewed an online audio created by some self-proclaimed “inspirational” dude who goes around the country giving talks on social media and how it can help your association or business. It was almost physically painful to listen to him discuss all of the shortcuts to use to “automate” your relationships and “push” content to friends and followers. He so misses the point. And worse, he’s running around the United States spouting off this drivel. (Can you tell I’m irritated??)

So…thought I’d share our top 10 list of things you should NOT do – even if you hear it elsewhere. And, I think when you see the list and the business reasoning, you’ll agree, too.

10) Don’t jump into social media without a strategy. Please see our previous posts about planning to illustrate this point. You started your business with a plan. You make calculated decisions based on concrete, written goals and objectives. This should not be any different.

9) Don’t focus solely on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. The social media landscape is rapidly changing, with new applications launching every week. Despite what you might have heard, not every application is for every business. If you need a strategy, a once-a-month mentor or just some initial planning help, call on us.

8 ) Don’t forget to observe and monitor BEFORE you leap.  Rushing into social media without understanding how your brand is perceived is just plain dumb. Monitor your brand before you start conversing. Determine who the influencers are and what your customers/prospects are saying. That will help you get the lay of the land.

7) Don’t focus only on quantitative metrics.  Alas, there is a component to social media that many businesses just don’t understand – the, uh, social component.  Consider qualitative metrics that can help you assess the quality of the dialog and conversation. 

6) Don’t forget to prioritize. You cannot do all things well. It is much worse, as many of you have heard me say in our workshops, to launch multiple social media initiatives only to have them die a slow and painful cyber-death due to lack of nourishment. Choose wisely based on what you need to achieve and do ONE well first. Collect your data, then move to the next initiative. Rinse. Repeat.

5) Don’t try to buy your way in.  Despite what many self-proclaimed “gurus” say, it is less about the number of followers and fans and more about the quality of interaction. You cannot achieve your goals by purchasing followers, buying your way onto Twitter lists or engaging in other nefarious activity that promises quick returns. If you approach your social media strategy this way, you will not be successful in building the kind of robust, word of mouth relationships for which social media is known.

 4) Don’t grab the latest intern and stick her on the project. This is a no-brainer. Understanding the technology is NOT the same as understanding the business strategy and the purpose behind the initiative.

3) Don’t hesitate to look for outside assistance.  Don’t you reach out to mentors in your business community? Have a once-a-month call with your finance or tax expert? Make sure you’re on the right track? This is no different. It’s a fallacy that since the platform is free, you shouldn’t seek customized assistance. Mojo offers monthly calls, group mentoring, online workshops and a suite of content-generation services.

2) Don’t automate your efforts. I am also disgusted with folks advocating automated software and bots that will tweet or post for you or writing a single tweet that populates everywhere.  That is not conversatiion. That is not dialog.  It will backfire.  Do not engage in social media if your sole purpose is to spam and push propaganda out. Please.

1) Don’t make it all about you.  You knew this one was coming after reading #2, right? It cannot be all about your business. It must be about what you need to achieve and what your community members will receive in return. 

Ahhh, I feel better now that I’ve cleared the air a bit. What are your top social media no-nos?  Feel free to share.

Are Your Social Media Eggs in One Basket?

Are your social media eggs in one basket?

Are your social media eggs in one basket?

Finally. The craziness surrounding all things social media has died down a bit, and businesses are finally getting down to the task of evaluating platforms and evaluating results in a disciplined way.  Those of us who are not new to this rodeo and have grown businesses are elated to see this change in the climate. 

Part of the discplined approach to planning is investigating all platforms to see a) who their users are b) how the users actually use the platform and c) if the technology supports your business objectives.  Over the last several months, all the attention has focused on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Yes, yes…those are the big dogs, but there are other platforms that may be of use to you. Before you put all of your social media eggs into one basket, do your due diligence.

Check out FastPitch!FastPitch!: FastPitch! focuses less on the social aspect of networking and more on the actual business of business.  Some of the unique aspects of FastPitch! is its ability to distribute press releases, classifieds, newsfeed, letters and more.  In fact, I would characterize it as more about your business than about you.  The new look and feel, which was just unveiled, gives you better control over your social media assets, too.  Like most networks, there is a subscription fee to get to the cool stuff.
What about Ning?

Want to create your own social network?

 Ning: Ning is an online social networking service – with a twist. Unlike MySpace or Facebook, where you join one huge network, Nings networks are “independent” and you belong just to that social group.  You can create your own social network that other folks can then join. Additionally, Ning allows users to customize their social network, as well.  If you wanted to created your own, private network for customer service, internal communication or even based on your product or service, Ning could be an interesting choice.

There are a number of options in the marketplace, so take your time and make wise choices about which technology will give you the results you desire. It’s all about your business.

If you are using either FastPitch! or Ning, leave us a comment and let us know how you’re using and if it’s been effective for you.

Unsure about your next step or would you like to update your marketing to position your organization for 2010? Consider the Monthly Mojo Mentoring Package. It’s a cost-effective way to get a once-month reality check on what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better. Contact us for more information.

Facebook: Top Questions Revealed!

Professional Mojo answers your top Facebook questions

Lee & Rachael answer your top Facebook questions.

I’m proud to say that we’ve trained hundreds of folks who prefer the do-it-yourself route when it comes to social media.  Yes, we have other clients, too, with whom we develop a strategy, build or upgrade their website…but there are those independent spirits out there who are determined to tackle the social media universe on their own.  It is in their honor that we reveal what Professional Mojo has found to be the top Facebook questions (both non-techy and techy).  Enjoy!

Top Non-Tech Questions

5)  Isn’t Facebook for youngsters?:  Nope. In fact, if your current prospects/clients/vendors/partners aren’t on Facebook right now, they will be soon. The fastest growing demographic is the 35+ crowd.

4) How much should my personal profile and the business stuff overlap?We routinely recommend that you keep your personal stuff private. Trust me, posting pics of you or your spouse on vacation in Bermuda will do more harm than good – no matter how good looking you think you are.

3) Isn’t Facebook a big black hole sucking up all my and my employees’ time? Well, that depends on if you think developing relationships with prospects and customers is a waste of time, too. Remember, it’s not about the platform, it’s about how  you use it, track it and monitor it. If you think your time is wasted…honestly, friends…you’re not doing it correctly.

2) Why can’t I get any fans/members to my page/group? You need to see #3 because you’re probably not executing on a good plan.  When we evaluate social media  efforts, we find that a failed Facebook presence is usually a symptom of these ills:
                  * Poor moderation/administration: Not asking questions, not responding to comments, not updating regularly, spewing unilateral sales-y propaganda
                  * Not reaching out: Not friending/fanning others, not commenting on other pages or groups, not asking your contacts to be your fan
                  * Poor or little integration with your site and other marketing: Treating Facebook like a stand-alone silo, not promoting it on your site (prominently), not promoting it in your other marketing efforts
                  * Bad content: making it all about you and your organization, not having fun, not being a resource for your fans, not giving them relevance and useful info

1) Do we even need to set up a Facebook page? Do you care whether or not you are left behind when your competitors reach more and do more? Then, yes, you probably do. NOTE: If you are unable to commit to it or create a plan that fully leverages Facebook, then don’t do it.

Top Facebook Tech Questions

5) How can I save time? Use both Facebook and third party applications to quickly and easily integrate your Facebook info into your site and your other social media assets (blogs, Twitter, etc.) into your Facebook fan page.

4) Can I set up a business page without a personal account? Yes, you can. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and choose your settings. At the end of the process, Facebook will ask you if you have a profile and you choose No.  Then, simply enter your email address and your birthday. That’s it. No profile set up. CAVEAT: you can do all regular admin tasks this way, but if you want to notify others to be a fan or search within Facebook, which we recommend, you will not be able to do that without a personal profile.

3) Can I customize my page with cool graphics? Yep, you sure can. Although Facebook is notoriously persnickety about customization, you can use various HTML and FBML third party apps to add links, graphics, and a general customized look and feel. Keep it simple, though.

2) I have a group. I want a page. What do I do now? This is related to #1.  Again, Facebook isn’t use friendly on this count, but you can follow these steps: a) create your biz page, populate it b) go to the group and begin messaging them to move over and fan your new page (I let them know that the group will be closing in X days) c) after your group members are fans of the biz page, then manually remove every group member. When you remove them all and then yourself, the group goes away.

1) Should I set up a group or a page? This is the #1 question and the answer really is based on your social media strategy (please tell me you have one). If you need a private, invitation-only, members-only area, then a group is for you.  Many NPOs have had great success with groups.   On the other hand, if your strategy is to promote, engage, and build community in a broader sense, improve your SEO rankings, use ads to promote your page, etc., then a business page is the way to go. 

What are your top questions?  Let us know and we’ll collect them for another edition of Top Questions Revealed! Starring Lee & Rachael.

Interested in online workshops, website design, social media monitoring and content creation? Then give us a ping.
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