Friday, September 21, 2018

Why Social Media Mercenaries Won't Get Far

Trading favors on social media has gone to the extreme. If you take a mercenary approach to social media, you could damage your online reputation. Learn how to be more helpful on social media.

How many times have you been asked to "like" a Facebook page, and felt like you were pressured or harassed into liking it? Social media has turned into a free-for-all, and those who demand attention on social media are being kicked to the cyber curb. For businesses and companies who sell their products and services online, ask yourself this important question: do you want brand loyalists or haters who write bad reviews about your company?

An online reputation takes time to build, and an aggressive sales mentality will only hurt and negatively impact your online reputation. Whether your business sells widgets to Fortune 500 companies or you're an author who just launched an ebook, social media is about authentically building trust with your fans and friends. It's not about pushing pitches down people's throats; that's the fastest way to turn people off and lose credibility.

Before you beg people to like your Facebook page or follow your blog, it's important to remember that social media isn't a popularity contest. Yes, you want to be liked...but for all the right reasons. It's all about being a valued resource to others - how can you help people solve their problems and make life easier?

Be less mercenary with your social media. Share information and don't expect anything in return. If you go into social media always wanting, then you don't have the right mindset. Don't take an "all about me" approach to your social media networks. This narcissistic attitude will only get you banned and disliked. Don't go into social media thinking that people owe you a favor, because they don't.

Here are three simple tips to make you more helpful (and less mercenary) with your social media marketing approach:

1. Share helpful articles and advice on your social media groups (LinkedIn, Facebook Pages, etc.). Set up Google alerts so you stay on top of late-breaking news and trends in your business and industry.

2. Don't demand people for back links. This is an outdated approach, and it's considered rude and annoying. If you write a guest blog for another blogger, it's okay to include a short bio with your website URL (but ask permission first). But don't "demand" they include your link. It's their blog, and they have control of what they publish and don't publish on their blog. Most bloggers are willing to reciprocate, and don't have a problem adding your link.

3. Do not spam or blatantly advertise on your social networks. People do it all the time, and it's considered amateurish and unprofessional. Social media is not about selling. It's about engaging in real and authentic ways with people. Don't be a show-off either. An overinflated ego won't get you far in social media circles.

About the Writer

Therese Pope is a copywriter and digital media buzz-icist. She owns Zenful Communications, a marketing communications company nestled in the foothills of northern California. She helps small to mid-sized businesses create a positive online buzz around their brands.
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