Social Networking Tips
Monday, January 16th, 2012
I’ve always believed that there’s no one right way to use social media. Use it however you want, and if your followers respond well, then keep doing whatever works for you. However, I do believe there are wrong ways to use social media. In particular, being a spammer is a wrong way to use social media.
Unfortunately, some people don’t even realize they’re social media spammers. They genuinely think they’re doing a good job of connecting with their target audience and building their brand.
So, how can you tell if you’re a social media spammer? Here are 5 warning signs.
- Everything you post is self-promotional—Take a look back at the last 10 things you posted. Of those, how many of them are self-promotional in nature? If everything you post is basically an ad for your products or services, you’re going to have a hard time building any meaningful relationships with your audience. Instead, everyone is going to view you as a social media spammer.
- All links that you share point back to your website—Sharing useful, entertaining links is always a good idea. It’s also okay to share links to your blog and various pages on your website. However, not every link you post should be pointed back to your website. There’s great content all over the web. Find interesting content on other websites, and share that too.
- You have multiple profiles on each social media site—Are you one of those people who has 5 different Twitter profiles, all Tweeting out content promoting your company? If so, you’re probably a social media spammer.
- You use a program to autofollow others—You see this a lot on Twitter. People use certain programs that connect to their profile and automatically start following people. You can always spot these spammers because they’ll be following tens of thousands of people. They’ve convinced themselves that quantity is more important than quality when it comes to networking.
- There’s no real interaction—Social media is based on interaction. Whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or any other social media outlet, the whole point is to interact with others. You build relationships by having meaningful interaction and great conversations. If there’s no true interaction taking place, you’re probably a spammer.
What are some other signs that one might be a social media spammer?
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
A new study by NM Incite has uncovered the numerous reasons that Facebook users decide to remove friends. This information is important for anyone trying to build a strong community on Facebook. By understanding the reasons people delete friends, you can take steps to prevent yourself from becoming a casualty in one of your fans’ friend cleanup sprees.
According to the study, the top reasons people remove friends on Facebook are as follows:
- Offensive comments
- Don’t know well
- Sales messages
- Depressing comments
- Lack of interaction
- Political comments
- Don’t like them
- Update profile too often
- Add too many people
- Don’t update often enough
When you boil all of this down, it really is about the quality of the content you share with your audience and the level of engagement you create. If you’re sharing content your audience has no interest in or you’re constantly bombarding them with advertisements for your products and services, they’re eventually going to delete you.
Likewise, if you don’t interact with your fans and start building meaningful relationships with them, they’re going to delete you because the “don’t know you well” and there’s a “lack of interaction.”
I highly recommend you take the time to read more about this study, and use that information as a guide when building your Facebook presence.
What are your thoughts about the findings of this study?
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Think you can just create a Facebook page and instantly attract a captive audience? Think again. Building a strong community on Facebook takes a lot of work. It also requires constant maintenance. Just because you have a strong community today doesn’t mean that you’ll still have one in a month from now.
What can you do to start building a better community on Facebook? Here are 5 tips to get you headed in the right direction.
- Don’t hide the negative—The great thing about social media is that everyone gets a voice. The consumer has equal opportunity to speak as the big company. Of course, this means that your customers might occasionally have negative things to say about your brand. They might post complaints on your wall, and your first reaction might be to panic and hide the negative feedback. Don’t. As soon as you start censoring your customers, you’re going to lose them. Rather than shying away from the negative feedback, tackle it head on and be proactive in trying to create solutions.
- Don’t be a spammer—Nobody is connecting with you on Facebook because they want you to advertise to them all day every day. In a recent study, 39% of respondents said they removed friends on Facebook because they were always trying to sell them something. Keep the sales messages to a minimum lest others think you’re a spammer, and instead, focus on starting discussions with your fans.
- Mix up your link sources—There’s nothing wrong with using Facebook to drive traffic to your website or blog, but you need to mix things up. Every link you share shouldn’t be pointed back to your website. Mix things up to keep it interesting. The web is full of interesting content that your audience will love. Find this content and share it.
- Promote your Facebook page everywhere you can—Just because you have a Facebook page doesn’t mean people will find you. Building a community requires work on your part. You need to promote your page everywhere you can. Link to it on your website, your blog, your emails, your other social media accounts, etc.
- Create content that appeals to the interests of your target audience—What is your target audience really interested in? What kind of content appeals to them? What kind of content do they tend to “like” and share with their friends? That’s the kind of content you need to be creating.
What tips would you add to this list?
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
I’ve started to get a lot pickier when deciding who to follow on Twitter. I’m tired of my feed being littered with nonsensical updates that I have no interest in. That’s why I’ve come up with a quick list of points that determine whether or not I’ll follow someone.
Here are 5 reasons I choose not to follow certain people on Twitter.
- They’re clearly a spammer—Twitter is plagued by spammers, and I’m not just talking about the obvious bot accounts. There are plenty of real humans out there using Twitter in a way that I feel is very spammy. It’s usually pretty obvious to spot the spammers. They follow tens of thousands of people, and their Tweets are typically promotional in nature.
- They don’t share anything of value—I could probably sum up the whole list with this one statement. Quality is really what it all boils down to. If the person doesn’t Tweet anything that I find interesting, useful, or entertaining, why should I follow them?
- They clog my stream—We’ve all come across this person on Twitter—the incessant Tweeter. If I’m following a few hundred people, there’s no reason that one person should be clogging up 95% of my Twitter feed. Posting dozens of times each hour is just too much for me to handle, so I won’t follow someone who does this.
- We don’t share the same interests—Social networking is about connecting and interacting with people that share your common interests. In my case, I follow people on Twitter who are interested in a range of topics: marketing, SEO, sports, entertainment, local news, etc. If someone is Tweeting about a topic I have no interest in (say, gardening), there’s no reason for me to follow them.
- They refuse to engage in conversation—If someone isn’t going to be “social” on a social networking platform, there’s no reason for me to follow them. I connect with people on Twitter because I genuinely care about their opinions, and I expect to be able to interact with them in some form or fashion. I understand that you can’t expect to have a conversation with a major celebrity on Twitter, but they have to at least put forth an effort to interact rather than just Tweet a bunch of one-way, promotional messages.
What are some of your reasons for not following someone on Twitter?
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
According to a recent report from Bain & Company, customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20 percent to 40 percent more money with those companies than other customers. They also demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to the companies, granting them an average 33 points higher Net Promoter® score (NPS®), a common measure of customer loyalty.
With that in mind, here are 7 ways you can increase engagement over Twitter.
- Retweet others—Whenever you Retweet someone, it shows that your company is paying attention to the conversation. It lets your followers know that you’re interested in more than just sending out one-way, promotional Tweets. Furthermore, it will catch the attention of the individual who you Retweet, which can help you build a relationship with that person.
- Thank followers for Retweets—It’s one of the simplest things you can do, but it goes a long way to showing followers that you’re grateful for their support. Any time someone Retweets you, take a moment to thank them. It just takes a second, so there’s no good reason not to do it.
- Ask open-ended questions—Initiate the conversation with your followers by asking open-ended questions. You can ask anything from customer opinions on your products and services to your followers’ thoughts on a popular TV show or sporting event. The goal is to start a conversation so you can increase engagement and strengthen your relationships.
- Take part in at least one conversation daily—Make it a point to take part in at least one meaningful conversation on Twitter each day. You might not have a ton of time to Tweet, but this is a good way to make sure you’re doing something of value each time you use Twitter.
- Give props to your great followers—You don’t have to wait until Follow Friday to spotlight your best followers. Give them props from time to time. Tell others to follow them, and Retweet interesting content that your followers post.
- Tweet photos and videos—Tweeting pictures and videos adds more personality to your company’s Twitter profile. It lets your followers get to know you on a deeper level, adding more authenticity and boosting engagement. Tout is a cool tool for sharing short video updates.
- Share useful, interesting content—Above all else, you have to share content that your followers actually care about. If your Tweets suck, you won’t be able to engage with your followers. It’s really that simple.
What are some of your best tips for increasing engagement on Twitter? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.