4 Ways to Screw Up Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

22 Apr

There is no doubt that B2B social media par­tic­i­pa­tion is grow­ing at a rapid rate. In fact, accord­ing to a For­rester Research study released last year, B2B mar­keters’ social media spend­ing is expected to increase by 490% by 2014.

That’s a sig­nif­i­cant jump and it’s cer­tainly jus­ti­fied by the returns that some B2Bmar­keters have reaped from rel­a­tively min­i­mal investments.

But while social media is great for dri­ving web­site traf­fic and round­ing out your online mar­ket­ing strat­egy, that doesn’t mean it’s a mistake-free medium.

After all, in the social space, with more fol­low­ers comes more scrutiny. That inevitably opens the door for mar­keters to do things that are guar­an­teed to alien­ate their fol­lower base and sab­o­tage their social media strategy.

Hub­Spot pub­lished a list of B2B social media marketing’s biggest blun­derslast year and I’ve got a few thoughts of my own. So if you don’t want to find your com­pany on a list of B2B social media fail­ures, then make sure youdon’t do the following:

Be incon­sis­tent

What does that mean? Tweet once and then never tweet again. Or, worse yet,estab­lish a group on LinkedIn, invite all of your con­tacts to join in, and never update it.

Social media is all about own­ing and main­tain­ing your pres­ence in the online space, so be sure to do it in a mean­ing­ful way on a recur­ring basis.

Be over­bear­ing

If you invited users to your Face­book group more than once, you’re over­do­ing it. The beauty of social media is that your audi­ence or fol­lower base is always grow­ing, so you don’t need to harass the same group of peo­ple in order to force growth.

If you’re pro­vid­ing mean­ing­ful con­tent and infor­ma­tion to your audi­ence, your group will grow organ­i­cally. And, if you do feel like you can boost growth with an invi­ta­tion, be sure to send it only once. There’s noth­ing worse than a des­per­ate invitation.

Be self­ish

There are numer­ous good rea­sons to estab­lish a social pres­ence and one is to share the most rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion with your fol­low­ers. There are a few excep­tions (for exam­ple, if you’re Apple, you really don’t need to share infor­ma­tion on any­thing but Apple), but we should all be con­scious of act­ing self­ish with our updates.

Be sure to pass along rel­e­vant links that don’t drive traf­fic directly to your web­site. Your fol­low­ers will appre­ci­ate the var­ied infor­ma­tion and won’t feel like they’re inun­dated with con­tent that’s only about YOU.

Jon Mor­row of KISS Met­rics addressed this issue on his blog last fall, chastis­ing mar­keters who use social media for their own self­ish gain. That self­ish­ness isn’t just bad busi­ness strat­egy, it’s also a sure­fire way to send your social media fol­low­ers run­ning for the hills.

Be child­ish

In the online space, you can find review sites that cater to nearly any busi­ness. Whether you’re a store­front or a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm, vis­i­tors can rate a site and review the ser­vices you provide.

But reviews aren’t always pos­i­tive. As Mash­able con­trib­u­tor Josh Catone points out, they can some­times be down­right harsh. He lumps those neg­a­tive reviews into four cat­e­gories (Straight Prob­lems, Con­struc­tive Crit­i­cism, Mer­ited Attack, and Trolling/Spam) and dis­cusses how to respond to each one.

Of course, respond­ing to a neg­a­tive review in a child­ish man­ner is never the way to go. In fact, it’s a really easy way to lose your cred­i­bil­ity. While neg­a­tive reviews are upset­ting, a reck­less and emo­tional response will do more dam­age to your rep­u­ta­tion in the long run than that one neg­a­tive write-up.

So, instead of los­ing your cool, use those reviews as a way to bet­ter the com­pany at every turn. As hard as it might be, respond­ing gra­ciously to neg­a­tive feed­back can go a long way in endear­ing your­self to your followers.

Have you been guilty of those social media mar­ket­ing mis­takes in the past? I hope not, but you wouldn’t be the first.


It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that social media can be a double-edged sword. While it pro­vides instant access to a large pool of poten­tial cus­tomers, allows you to quickly spread your mes­sage and helps pro­mote thought lead­er­ship and brand aware­ness, it can also wreak havoc if you slip up.

So, as your fol­lower base grows, make sure that the effort and atten­tion you com­mit to social media mar­ket­ing strat­egy does too.

This blog originally appeared on the OpenView Labs site: http://bit.ly/fjtUz5


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