Worst Social Business dvice MO eople ollow
If you own a business or work for one, I’m hoping it’s a social one. I’m hoping you’ve embraced at least
one social media platform and are working hard to engage and connect on it. If not, go do that. If you
already are, you should appreciate this list of the worst advice out there for social businesses.
Try it All
Some businesses are so excited about every social platform that they get out there every time a new
shiny object shows up. Vine, My Space, Eons, and Orkut appreciate your efforts.
(Sorry, a little social media humor.)
Find sites that your ideal customer is on or ones your client demographic matches. Then be present.
Share and comment on content consistently and you’ll see the same happen to yours.
Our Widget Works for Everyone
This is not traditional advice but it is something most owners will say to their marketing person when
pressed with the question – who are we selling to? “Everyone” is not an answer. It’s the old question of
can and should. Can you sell mini skirts to 80-year-olds? Yes. Is there a large market and will young people
want to wear the same things they see their grandma wearing? No.
Narrow down your demographic and speak just to that person. You can have more than one demographic
but you should be communicating differently to each.
If You Build It, They Will Come
In social media showing up is not enough. I can spend every day in the arena stands of my favorite sports
team and I’ll never get drafted. “Being” on social media is not enough to get discovered and shared. Sadly,
it happens on occasion and that makes everyone think they can be viral sensations just by pushing their
own content, but there needs to be a back and forth between you and your audience.
Show up, share, and engage. That’s the only way. Creating a profile, online community, or group and
waiting won’t get you’re the interaction you desire.
Don’t Put Price on the Website.
This depends largely on your industry but if you’re not putting price on your website because you’re afraid
your competitors can see it; I assure you they probably already have. The benefit of putting price on your
website (if it’s something that has a set price like software) is that a lot of people can self-disqualify without
tying up your sales team.
Many businesses are under the impression their sales department is so good that when people with a small
budget call, they can talk them into their pricey product. But you’re wasting everyone’s time. Even if they can
be talked into it, your product’s price will make the buyer uncomfortable and eventually they will cut ties. Instead,
move the question away from price by providing it on your website surrounded in value.
Be a Thought Leader
Becoming a thought leader is wonderful but being of value is better and most people don’t have it in them to truly
be a thought leader. It takes a special kind of person to speak broadly of their industry and trends. But everyone can
be of value. Anyone can produce content their audience needs. Everyone can analyze their data to derive what’s
important to their target demographic. If you can be a thought leader, great. If that’s not for you then be a thoughtful
leader and help your audience with the things you share.
A Final Piece of the Worst Social Business Advice People Follow
In the early days of social media, I was working for a tech company. I was the first person to claim their social sites and begin
engaging with their audience. I asked my boss at the time, the head of marketing, if I needed my own personal profiles on
these sites. He said he didn’t see the point. Like all good employees who would eventually start their own businesses,
I did it anyway.
If you are sharing on social for your business, don’t neglect your own personal brand. Build on that as well. Think about large
brands that use people (real and characters) to advance their brands. What would Apple have been without Jobs?
The power behind the business should be nearly as well known as the business. Some people don’t want to connect with
companies because they’re afraid you’ll sell to them. But they will connect with other people. Build your social business but
don’t neglect your personal brand. The two will bolster one another.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect to their audience through content
for higher conversions and greater loyalty. Her articles have appeared in Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of
Association Executives’) Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com
and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina’s an introvert who loves presenting and working with groups to help improve their storytelling and content marketing,
yet she feels incredibly awkward at cocktail parties.