Unlike other forms of online marketing, standards for social media marketing are not black and white. There are no clearly laid out right and wrong behaviors, and there certainly are no statistics on cost-per-user. There is also, by no means, a universal code of conduct that is adhered to by marketers. While pay-per-click advertisers and SEO experts are overwhelmed with information on what is and what is not effective, social media marketers are, for the most part, left without reliable information to serve their craft. Instead, they are forced to work via trial and error, and rely on relatively soft data.
That being said, social media is not completely ungoverned by assumptions and expectations. It is social, after all, and like any other type of social interaction it is influenced by collective opinion and user discussions. These four social media faux pas are unlikely to get you thrown off social media websites or banned from public interactions on the internet, but they should best be avoided if you are in pursuance of social media marketing success.
Using 'thin' Affiliate Tactics
Back in 2004, MySpace ruled the social media world and spam was out of control. Hidden comments, fake friend requests, and endless repetitive blog posts all led to one direction: questionable affiliate offers and nefarious advertising banners.
Since then, there has been a transformation within social media, one that has attempted to counter against thin affiliate tactics and desperate promotion. The social media environment of today accepts promotion and commercial influence, but pushes back against aggressive marketing. As long as you keep your social media marketing tactics soft, value-filled, and genuine, you will be rewarded with success. If you end up using an outdated and selfish strategy of spam or dishonesty, you will likely be rejected by any community you try and target.
Blogs are part of the social media arena and they are held to the same high standards of any other social media platform. They are accepted as commercial entities, but at the same time resented for their success. They are treated as an outlet, yet neglected by users that could contribute. More than anything, blogs are abandoned when they become commercialized above all else. Remember, while your blog may earn you money, it could likely mean significantly more to your audience than it does yourself.
Thin, Fake, and Generic Conversation
Internet marketing expert Seth Godin has often asked his readers whether it's truly worth engaging in social media if your message is dry and generic. Realizing that this suggestion is not to give up social media entirely, Seth’s followers consciously chose to change their approach and become more unique and influential when engaging with the world.
Social media communities can and will ignore you when you have nothing interesting to say. Join the conversation, but do not treat it as something you cannot be changed. Offer information and value beyond what is currently available and you will be welcomed, appreciated, and compensated; parrot the same old information and you will be brushed aside.
The "friend everyone" Approach
The "friend everyone" approach is normally seen alongside the thin affiliate strategy used by thousands of marketers in an attempt to appeal to a large group of people in little time. It is a classic spam tactic, and it is one that is rarely successful for social media marketers in today’s highly competitive and scrupulous internet world.
The top Twitter users are not necessarily those with the most followers, just like the most popular Facebook pages are not those with the most fans. Build real relationships and you will be rewarded with loyalty; friend everyone that comes your way and you will end up with a large list of thin and utterly worthless online connections to bot accounts and trolls.