There has been a tremendous amount of hype the past few months about social networking, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.com and dozens of other websites designed to connect socially. One primary item lacking is a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis to determine if the social marketing is a fad or truly valuable to a business. In terms of the messages being shared they range from “I am selling something” or “I am writing an agreement” to perfectly valid news and information about business, websites, marketing and life.
Next there are the groups of people working together who all connect with you and share the SAME message at the same time bombarding people with an endless ongoing stream of Tweets and Facebook updates and annoyances. The people and companies using social media marketing to just throw anything up and hope it helps are doomed to fail. Nobody wants to be sent the same message from 10 different people within 20 seconds; never have your entire company or marketing agency send the same message out within any short time. If there is a valid observation, business idea, success story (not that you are writing a contract, that is narcissistic and not going to impress anyone) then be sure to Tweet away.
Consider posting ideas that improve the lives or business for customers and friends. If you have a business and personal account try to keep them somewhat separate; it is ok to be friends with clients but not ok to bombard either with inappropriate photos or messages. A friend in the computer industry recently published his Facebook profile and connected with numerous clients and new prospects online only to realize later he has place ‘I LIKE BEER AND WOMEN’ as the only interest listed in his profile. It was an oversight where he was being sarcastic rushing through the profile setup but it came across as unprofessional, he changed it.
No Matter What…restrain the urge to post or publish junk or useless information or things that do not apply to your target audience or company just because you have nothing else to share. There are days that need no social media marketing, it is better to share pertinent interesting information that people will read than to just post something to say you did. Twitter is great for entertainment and shopping, there are MILLIONS of people following actors and public figures who share all types of random thoughts from bathroom breaks to drinking coffee that some people apparently find interesting. Rather than posting similar items without any potential for ROI consider linking social networking accounts so they all update at the same time.
Cross linking the accounts permits the sharing of valid interesting information (and some junk, we all do it) without spending every day logging into dozens of websites trying to remember username or password hoping someone might find what you shared worth reading. Since I setup and began to actively post valid information I have had two new legitimate (paying) business customers come from Facebook. Checking the hundreds of followers on Twitter I noticed most of my x-girlfriends, a few people I fired, some other local website companies hoping they might learn how to get a website listed on search engines and dozens of other people I am sure will become stalkers in the near future…no paying customers yet but what the heck it’s free!