As you may know, we manage the social media accounts for businesses. Over time we have managed multiple accounts with varying degrees of success.

In the beginning I used to beat myself up over every account that stalled and didn’t seem to get anywhere.  I felt that it was my fault that these few accounts didn’t reach the dizzying heights of social success that the owners wanted.

Over time I have come to realise that it wasn’t my fault.  What actually happened is that the clients didn’t listen to what I told them in the first place.   I have a few ‘rules’ when we take on social media clients and those rules were broken.

Let me give you a few examples of how NOT to use social media.

 1.  I’m going to sell lots of products.

Some people see social media as a way to get their sales message out to lots of people very quickly. Yes, it can work that way but people won’t buy from you if they don’t know you. Build a connection first and let the sales come.

2.  I’m going to leave it all up to you to do.

Uh-uh.  No one can truly represent you on social media as well as you can.  While we can follow your vision and values and chat with people as you would, we can’t give potential clients any real idea of your business and how you work it.  No matter how much we do for you on Facebook or Twitter, you have to be present sometimes.  Your presence is the ring of truth.

3.  I don’t need to research.

Did you realise that one of the main reasons that you can’t get a conversation going with clients and potential clients is that they aren’t there?    Why spend your time and money developing a presence and presenting a message in a place that is empty?  That is what you’re doing.  If your market doesn’t use social media then why would you?  Go and find out where they really are.

4.  Limit the time you spend connecting.

Yes, social media can chew into our time and that is usually why businesses need our help.  If you are going to do it, do it properly.  Don’t expect that one post a week is going to bring you any attention or interaction.  You need to be seen regularly so that you become a trusted and comfortable figure to be around.   I agree that you need to set limits but be realistic about them or accept that you won’t get the results you want.

5.  Everyone else is doing it.

“It must be right because all my competitors are using social media.”  The number of times I have heard that from businesses!  If you don’t know what you want to achieve then don’t do it.  Work out your outcomes, first.  Your competitors might be aiming for something that doesn’t match your needs and you really can’t tell what results they are getting anyway.

We manage social media so that we can help business owners save time.  We cannot become them.  To be truly authentic and to build real relationships we insist that our clients monitor what is happening in their news feed and that they participate as and when they are able to do so.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we no longer work with clients who break the rules.  

 AND I don’t have to stress any more.

2 Thoughts on “How not to do Social Media”

  • Lindy, that is so true. It then becomes the ethical dilemma – do you do as instructed by the client despite your advice to him/her or do you tell them to find someone else to take over? The client should know the target market more intimately than I do so it’s possible that they are right. No matter how it goes, I think it isn’t right nor is it likely to be successful without some client involvement.

  • Good advice. For businesses starting with social media, and for anyone working with businesses. If you have rules about how you work, it makes sense to stick to them.

    It’s interesting how people look to work with advisors who know what they don’t … then want to tell the advisor how it will be done.

    Not worth the stress.

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