In the last post, we talked about getting to know the social networks your marketing on. In this article, we are going to go over a few important social media marketing rules for proper engagement.
With the massive popularity of social networking it’s no big surprise that every marketer on the planet has flocked to them in hopes of enhancing their bottom lines. This is because they understand what a powerful tool they can be and that they offer a world of opportunities for smart business owners and organizations that take the time to learn how to utilize them effectively.
A majority of business owners will follow the rules and utilize social media with only the best intentions, however, you will still find some who behave unethically in hopes of exploiting consumers for their own personal gain.
While these unethical practices may bring in some “fast money”, they can quickly go south and end up hurting or even destroying a business just as fast. That’s why it’s important to follow the rules and play nice when promoting your business, products or services on social media.
Let’s go over a few basic practices you should follow:
When using social media marketing as a tool to promote products and services it is important to participate in the community. This is not an open invitation for you to start contacting everyone within the community with your marketing message or hard-sell sales tactics.
Randomly contacting them and sending them private message before taking the time to interact with them publicly is considered spam, many will consider it as a personal invasion of their privacy, which will end any possibility of converting them into a paying customer. If they report you, which many people are happy to do, it may even end up getting you banned from the network.
To utilize social networking sites effectively as a marketing tool it is vital that you be professional, honest and courteous when interacting with other members of the community. The key to success with social media marketing is taking the time to get involved in the conversation, so you can position yourself as an “expert in your field”. Never misrepresent yourself or your business and always treat people with respect.
Contribute, contribute and contribute!
When it comes to achieving bankable results with social marketing campaigns, it is important that you take time to contribute to the community. Avoid the temptation of continuous marketing to fans, followers and group members on social networks, instead publish quality content, be helpful and encouraging engagement.
Trying to push your products and services in this type of social setting will ultimately backfire when not done correctly and, more importantly, you should never deceive, mislead, exaggerate or provide less than accurate information about your business or the products and services you are promoting.
Now I’m going to share a few examples of unethical practices in social media so you can avoid making critical mistakes.
A prime example of a common unethical tactic is misleading the public by pretending to be just another customer leaving a comment in hopes of boosting the popularity and sales of a product. Unethical marketers will set up multiple social profiles on various networks and create fake conversations designed to dupe the public into believing their products and services are better, more effective or more popular than they really are.
While this may be tempting, chances are you will be discovered and it will end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Besides, as we discussed before its can ruin your reputation, damaged your credibility and literally destroy your business.
Another critical mistake is publicly criticizing your competitors in hopes of making your product look more desirable. Bashing other people’s products and services, trying to make them look bad in the eyes of consumers often backfires and can have adverse effects. You may end up losing more customers than you gain. Instead, point out what makes your products and services different and potentially better than the competition.
While there are no set guidelines on ethical practices when it comes to social media marketing, it is very important to educate yourself as much as possible in regards to the networks terms of service as well as their advertising guidelines.
Make sure you look for our next article soon. We will be talking about getting friendly with your consumers for better social media marketing results.