Do you like pushy salespeople in stores or on the car lot?
Do you enjoy people who only leave you feeling foolish and used?
Do you like brands who take over your inbox and inundate you with promotional material?
Yea, most people don’t.
In the world of communication, everyone can agree that communicating via text can be tricky. We can easily be misunderstood, confuse the message receiver or upset someone without ever trying to.
That’s why it’s SO important that we are purposeful in everything we do with social media. We can either be negligent and alienate our audience or we can endear them to us.
Obviously, this article is focusing on the former with the 5 ways we tick people off on social media.
But let me start with – this isn’t meant to be judgmental or condemning. My focus is to educate you and make you aware of what you may be doing to push your audience away. And just to smooth things over, I offer ways to do them correctly, IF you want to incorporate these practices into your social strategy.
1. Auto DM’s
Automatic Direct Messages on Twitter are my social pet peeve, and have been since the beginning of my personal Twitter history. They’re the bane of Twitter and irritate me almost on a daily basis.
I remember back in 2009, following someone and receiving an auto DM, getting all excited they had spoken to me only to realize it was automated. Talk about a bummer! I felt like an idiot.
Auto DM’s represent everything that social media isn’t about – they’re impersonal, rude (especially when pitching something), and assuming. You would never appreciate someone who just walks up to you and pitches their product without knowing who you are or if it would even benefit you.
And that’s exactly what auto DM’s do.
While it has been debated that one can receive a small percentage of outcome (usually about 2%) of response or action from auto DM’s, it’s from the folks who are auto DM’ing themselves.
People do not follow you to receive the latest part of your book, to have you ask them to tweet something or to be used for whatever reason that benefits you most, WITHOUT building a relationship. It’s rude, plain and simple.
Do It Right:
IF you want to participate in the auto DM game, simply say hi, introduce yourself and explain what the follower can look forward to (i.e. VALUE, not sales), or ask a question. BUT if you go the question route, be prepared to be on hand to answer all those questions in real time. Replying to an answer a day later shows you are NOT present and will leave a bad taste.
2. Pushy promotions
Pushy promotions – oh hey, LinkedIn, here’s looking at you!
What really drives me crazy are the social marketers who spam me about products or services that my agency offers. Why would I need them? And why would my agency hire a social agency?
Did they even LOOK at my website? Heck no.
My favorite story of recent spam. A company contacted me on LinkedIn multiple times making their pitch seem somewhat personal by requesting an appointment with me. By the third message, I replied and let the CEO know that I own a social agency and am not interested in their product. In addition, I advised him to use a different avenue besides spam to get business. He arrogantly informed me that it worked for him, that I needed to mind my own business (he contacted ME!), and that a certain percentage of people set up calls with his company everyday.
Let me know just say this once – if you have to stoop to spamming people to get business, you may want to rethink what you’re selling.
Nobody appreciates feeling manipulated and bull-dozed about ANY product. I LOVE Express, but I opted out of their email newsletter within two weeks because it was taking over my inbox.
Do It Right:
Build a relationship – say hi, comment on their shares, start a conversation. Take the time to do your homework and find out who can actually benefit from your product/service before reaching out to them. Get to know their business online – check out their website, look at their social channels, and then construct a personal message that points out how you can make a difference.
3. Explosive Updates
Oh man.. If you aren’t familiar with explosive updates then I’ll explain it for you – this is MULTIPLE updates all within a minute or two (IF you are lucky).
It can happen on any social network, and will drive you crazy within minutes.
My current example is of a photographer I recently followed on Instagram. He’s incredible, takes beautiful pictures and adds interesting captions. BUT he posts 5-10 pictures at once. It took over my IG stream and I found myself just scrolling through his pictures and being annoyed.
The upchuck of content isn’t making anyone happy – it’s why automation became a thing because people couldn’t be around all the time to spread out their status updates.
And no brand is cool enough to take over someone’s stream!
Do It Right:
Use a scheduling tool to share your content and make sure it’s spaced apart adequately. Research the social channel you plan on using and find out how many updates are acceptable and what is considered normal. For instance, posting on IG 3-5x/day is typical for brands with a lot to say. Personally, I think 5-7x/week is sufficient. But experimenting and finding out what works best for YOU is key. Just space it out, folks.
We ALL know what spam is, and unfortunately, we are becoming more and more accustomed to this nasty little word thanks to marketers who have ZERO ethic dilemmas about pushing their messages in your face.
But what is spam – it’s content or promotion that have absolutely nothing to do with you or isn’t something you asked for.
And let’s be honest, WHO likes receiving spam? No one. So why spam others?
Spam can be those pointless pitches on LinkedIn, the crappy content on Facebook, the annoying pictures on Instagram, or dumb tweets on Twitter.
Do It Right:
Do NOT spam!! End of story. My philosophy is to “post with purpose.” Make sure EVERY single post has a purpose or is relevant to the audience you are seeking to build. Add value to their lives, make them laugh or educate them on the industry. Spam is for lazy people or those without direction – you’re WAY better than that.
5. Constant self-promotion
Now I don’t know about you, but anyone who’s constantly marketing to me is uh, turned OFF. I don’t care how much I adore your brand, how cool your product/service is, or how fantastic your customer service is.
If you are constantly pushing your message in the faces of your online audience, you will tick them off SO fast they’ll be running in the other direction.
It’s fascinating to me that businesses wonder why my agency focuses on sharing valuable content with online audiences instead of just promoting. But hey, that’s what OLD marketing was, right? We made one commercial or did magazine spreads or newspaper ads, and they were all about promotion!
But that’s old school – this is social media, and if you aren’t building a relationship and sharing a wide range of content with your audience that isn’t directly promoting your brand, then you’ll find social media to be a lonely place.
Do It Right:
I like to stick to the 80/20 Rule with content sharing. It’s sharing 80 percent content that isn’t directly related to your brand, and 20 percent that is. The unrelated content should be informative, funny, or educational – value, not spam. And the 20 percent of direct promotions or can be pictures than humanize your brand, a video tutorial or a free download. The bottom line, current social etiquette dictates that we serve and add value instead of being pushy car salesmen. Promise!
What is YOUR social media pet peeve?