Social Media’s Public Enemy Number One

3 Telltale Signs Your Social Media Has A Problem

Social media has a public enemy number one. Unlike the old time movies where the good guys wore white and the bad guys wore black, on social media platforms it’s not always clear. Further, there’s no ominous music to give you a clue that the bad guy just entered the ecosystem. Has your social media been affected by public enemy number one? If you’re not sure, here are three telltale signs to check.

  1. Are you only concerned with your own content and messages? Social media runs on content in a variety of formats from blog posts and videos to conversations and twitter chats. Do you only blast self-centered content across various social media platforms? Do you have auto-responders and auto-DMs set up to make you look responsive and interested in others but they’re really about you? You don’t respond or re-tweet other people’s tweets, post on colleague’s Facebook pages, or comment on other people’s blogs.
  2. Is your voice the only sound you listen for on social media platforms? Social media is a conversation that takes place one-to-many, one-to-one and many-to-many. Of course, to have a discussion, you need more than one person interacting.  Are you only talking at others? When you engage others, is it what they think of you and what they’re going to do for you? Do you only hear is your own voice? Then this could be an indicator that you’ve a problem or are on you way to having one.
  3. Are your social media actions the only ones that matter to you? Social media is about community and the greater good. As an active participant, you should think about paying-it-forward. In other words, help other people without thinking what’s in it for me. It’s about putting the community ahead of yourself.

Social media’s public enemy number one

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s a good bet that public enemy number one is you or whoever’s your organization’s social media lead. More specifically, it’s your ego! The reason that’s often difficult to find social media’s public enemy number one is that you (or your social media representative ) look and act like you’re trying to expand your social media footprint. The difference is that public enemy number one  must control everything. The notion of letting go, which is at the heart of social media, is liable to cause him to break out in a cold sweat.

3 Steps to rehabilitate your social media efforts

Here are three steps to help get your social media on track.

  1. Share information your audience wants and needs. Think beyond promoting your own content. Provide information that helps your customers and the public. Give them news, education and entertainment related to your specialty. Distribute ten messages about other organizations and people for every one about your firm. No one wants to be bombarded with endless ads.
  2. Listen and respond to others on social media platforms. Have conversations and exchanges with individuals and groups of participants. Answer their questions and concerns. Participate in forums such as twitter chats.
  3. Contribute to the social media community. Start by showing that you care for the people you interact with. Feel alone on social media platforms? Join a group on Facebook or a chat on Twitter. The #UsGuys on Twitter is an inviting community with a 24/7 conversation (they even get together in real life!) Your aim should be to be a part of something that’s larger than you are.

Social media is about sharing content and engaging in community building conversations. If you or a member of your organization is only egotistically focused, then you’re missing the point. To socialize your activity, slowly take baby steps to share, listen and contribute.

Is there anything else that you’d add to this list? If so, what is it?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Capone

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