I have been working on the Internet for more than a decade both under my own byline and as a corporate writer/copywriter. I help small and large businesses achieve their goals via writing, editing and advertising services.
I have seen the evolution of online marketing firsthand. As quickly as the Internet has grown, many tactics and techniques become outdated. In trying to keep the upper hand in this industry, you must remain one step ahead of your competition and on the cutting edge of the latest technology.
If you are not already using social media to market your business online, you are behind the curve. However, a targeted social media marketing plan can launch you into the scene successfully.
Goals For This Post
- To help you identify social media spam
- To help avoid spam when conducting your own social media marketing plan
Marketing with Social Media Today
Social media is a simple and affordable way to market your business. It involves using social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more to advertise your business and build brand awareness. It’s an excellent way to boost a new business or create a social media presence for an existing business. The biggest problem with building successful social media marketing strategies is to avoid looking like spam to the people you are trying to target.
Spamming is a serious problem with many phony accounts established solely for the purpose of scamming or spamming others. Then there are those who have good intentions but just don’t know how to perform the tasks properly and they think blasting out their links and info anywhere and everywhere will help them build business. The large amount of spam found in social media means that many of the people you are trying to target will already be turned off by anything that even resembles advertising or spam. To properly avoiding spamming, you need to understand what it is.
Definition of Spam
Spam is prevalent all over the Internet but spotting social media spam is not very hard at all. Usually it comes in the form of a social media account that does nothing but automate posts all day and night that link to a website, product or service. There is no interaction, no response and little to no indication of an actual human being behind the account. Sometimes the human behind the account will post “see my site”, “visit my page” or “Like my stuff” with these messages or on the walls and accounts of other members of the site, again spamming others for personal gain without giving anything in return.
“Spam” is loosely defined as any message that’s disruptive to the receiver but this covers a wide field. If you send out too many messages or updates to your followers or if you send them too often, it can be considered spam. So, how much is too much? How do you know when you’re providing followers with information they want and when you’re sending out spam?
Spam threatens the existence of this type of marketing by making it hard to trust businesses, especially new ones. This will make it difficult to encourage followers or to get anyone to sign up to receive information from you. So there is a delicate balance between advertising and interaction that you need to meet in order to succeed in your social media marketing.
So how do you find that balance?
Tips on Social Media Marketing Without the Spam
The first step to social media marketing without spam is to know that social media is a two-way street. It’s about interaction. For every link you send or promotional post you make, you need to balance this out with useful information, communicative posts and other interaction with your followers.
Learning how to be a part of the social media marketing without spamming your followers and friends is vital to your business and the future of social media marketing. It will sometimes seem like a fine line between keeping your business in the forefront of their minds and spam. Effective social media marketing is that which puts the target reader first. Selfish campaigns will have little gain. Instead, think about what your reader wants to hear, see or talk about. Engage the reader, ask questions and encourage reposting/shares.
Here are some tips:
Interact with Others
One of the first things that you have to realize is that you can’t just promote and sell your own services or products. It’s vital that you interact with others. After all, that is the main reason for joining a social networking site to begin with. Your goal is to reach others so you can get your business noticed and build up a client base.
You need to be willing to talk, take part in discussions and listen to others. You have to follow others and provide your comments if you want to have followers. You need to interact on a regular basis so others will want to follow you. This also helps build your reputation as a trustworthy site. The key to success is to socialize.
You might offer a help desk or customer service through social media. You might post surveys, questionnaires or feedback forms. These are all great ways to interact with your clients/ customers and also to gain valuable feedback about what you’re doing right with your company and what needs some extra work.
A consistent brand is essential to your social media marketing campaign and to the reputation of your business. You want to post fresh, relevant content often. Don’t post something just for the sake of posting it or to gain attention. Try to make sure every post is related to your target market and contains something they will enjoy seeing, reading or sharing. You also need to be consistent in your posting and not allow a long time to go by without posting or interacting with your fans/followers.
Log in daily and comment, like, share and answer posts and questions on your social media platforms. This activity and interaction is what shows you are a real person/company that responds to their social media accounts rather than a service set up to automate links.
Social Media Marketing Does Work
Social media marketing is perfect for the small, independent businesses looking to boost their brand awareness and interaction with clients/customers but without a huge marketing budget. It’s also very useful because it targets the people where they are already- in a social media community that they enjoy. With the right techniques executed properly, social media marketing does generate results. Just don’t expect that you can sign up for accounts in your business name, spam a bunch of links and then see miracles happen. Social media marketing is a process and the more you put into it, the more you can gain from it.
Your turn: You get what you give. How much are you giving your network today? What do you consider social media spam and what do you do to avoid it?
Lisa Mason is a freelance writer and social media marketer who uses her writing skills to help clients advertise, build brand awareness and make sales/find new clients via copy, content and marketing online as well as offline. She also provides other business solutions such as social media management, consulting and ghostwriting or editing services.