Putting the “Social” Back in Social Media

Social media is a big deal in the marketing industry. It provides an avenue to network with like minded people, share quality content and can even build a customer base for buying your products. There seems to be one major problem occurring on social media venues lately, however. That problem is lack of socializing with your following!

socializing-with-followingMy biggest annoyance is on Twitter. There are three things that people continue to do that will cause me to immediately unfollow a person:

  1. Sending me automated direct messages (DMs): These are so impersonal and unfriendly. The worst is when you attempt to reply and there is no response because they send DMs, they don’t check them. To me this is the equivalence of email spam. Or worse, calling to speak with someone and hearing that robotic voice on the other end of the line!
  2. Follow/Unfollow: This is particularly annoying and a waste of my time. This is when a person follows me and immediately unfollows me once I follow them back. I understand this a method of building your personal Twitter audience, but I think it is shady business. Especially, if you are a marketer with goods, products or services to sell. Why would you expect me to buy anything from you or read your blog content, when you don’t extend me that same courtesy?¬†There is an awesome app to find you and unfollow you quickly called¬†Crowdfire and I use it. As well as everyone I know, who are also irritated with this trickery. I am not suggesting I expect everyone I follow to follow me back; however, if you initiate the relationship with a follow only to gain my following for your audience, consider yourself gone.
  3. Never retweeting me: If you don’t like a post I have shared that is fine. However, when I retweet (RT) you or engage conversation with you, be courteous and retweet me. The worst is when people thank you for being retweeted, especially after they ask for RT but don’t retweet you! Extend a retweet from time to time.

engage-with-peopleHow do we fix this issue? Engage in actual conversation with people! I think too often, we are working on our social media followings, content publications and marketing plans, that we forget to treat our followers like people, rather than dollar signs. If you have a Pinterest account, do you spam it with all your products and blog posts without ever following your followers, pinning their pins or commenting on pins they have shared? Stop that! Do you realize how awesome it is to have someone make a point out of repinning your pin or following your boards? You absolutely do because it is awesome when you experience that activity as a business.

Do you have a Facebook page that you are constantly soliciting people to like, but never like or respond to any of their comments? Stop that! Respond to all messages and notifications. Be a real, live, human being. Post other things on all social outlets besides your business. Show your personality. Share an inspirational quote, a humorous meme or photo of a workshop dinner you are attending with coworkers. Make yourself known, get to know your audience and put the social back into social media.