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10 Steps to Avoid When Promoting on Social Media

10 Steps to Avoid When Promoting on Social Media

The marketer’s choice: social media pitfalls

I posted two articles I wrote to a community in Google+ with what I thought was good, helpful advice when starting a business. They were not from my personal website, but a website dedicated to entrepreneurs. This community was specific to a city, and being in a start-up in that city, I thought the advice was perfect for them.

I subsequently got kicked out of the group for posting material that I myself had written—apparently, it didn’t matter if the content was good or not, the taboo is that I looked like I was promoting my own writing. Being confused, I emailed the group organizer explaining myself but I got no reply. Clearly I had violated some social media etiquette, or at least, some Google+ etiquette.

After a little research and some personal reflection on the situation, I came up with a list of rules to follow so as not to cause any more exclusion from social media outlets.

social etiquette

    How do you avoid un-following, un-liking and exclusion online?

    This advice is given for the personal branding point of view, not the average socialiser.

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    Twitter

    1) Not following people back

    – Prevent un-following by following people in return. It’s up to you if you think they are worth following, but generally people will eventually cut you off if you don’t return the favour. There are services that offer auto-reply “thank you” messages, but Twitter discourages it as poor etiquette. Decide for your audience what works best!

    2) Having a spammy newsfeed

    – Try to avoid filling up your news feed with 20 tweets in a row of news articles or RTs. Your followers’ news feeds will get full of your messages and that gets irritating. Spread them throughout the day using a buffer. I would recommend three to six, depending on how hungry your followers are to hear about you and your recommendations. Huge names like Jeff Bullas sometimes post once an hour all day!

    3) Robotic messages

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    – Make your messages personalised. If you constantly send around links with no additional input you look like a spam-bot. This only works if you are a well-established blog/website/company with thousands of dedicated followers.

    Facebook

    4) Controversial posts

    – Prevent un-liking by not stepping on any political/religious toes. If collecting “likes” is a goal of yours, a message of mass appeal is least likely to garner a bunch of unlikes. You have a decision to make between the integrity of your message and pandering to the crowd.

    5) Not following through on promises

    – Follow through on promises. If the 1000th “liker” earns a voucher, they’d better get that voucher in a timely fashion.

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    6) Having a boring page

    – Make your page interesting and update it regularly. A dead, dull page is just going to de-legitimize your organization or brand. Based on your best assessment of the audience, find out the length of post they react most positively to, and if pictures and videos help or not with engagement.

    Google+

    7) Immediately posting your own content

    – Prevent exclusion by first easing into the community. Comment on posts, talk about other people’s work, recommend external sources of information. Then, start linking things from your personal feed. Once you become a respected opinion, you will have the freedom to share your content with the community.

    8) Emailing your circles everything you say and do

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    – Prevent exclusion by not emailing all your circles all of your posts all the time. Nobody likes an inbox crammed full of Google+ updates. Be selective and notify people of what’s great interest or importance.

    General

    9) Hiding your true identity

    – Don’t use a fake photo and fake name. “Batboy783” and a fuzzy photo of a Greek philosopher will make people mistrust you and suspect a troll.

    10) Contacting the public through a company profile

    – Until you are a massive established corporation, send your social media messages from your personal account and not the company account. Customers and the public need to feel that you are human. A successful brand needs a sensation of honesty, transparency and accessibility.

    Basic behaviour on social media for better branding

    • Fulfil a need: answer a question, offer humour, offer empathy
    • Clearly define your area of expertise and niche
    • Be positive or neutral, never negative
    • Always respond, preferably ASAP
    • Clean trolls and spam out of your feeds regularly
    • Keep your tone soft and your grammar excellent—nobody likes a truculent-sounding and badly-spelt “i woudnt do it liek that its not a nice design”. Try “If you imagine how a first-time visitor lands on this page, the first thing they see is a huge advertisement. This will probably not attract them to return.”

    What tips do you have on how to navigate the social media sea?

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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