31 Signs You’re Still Not Serious About Social Media

Are You Just Horsing Around on Social Media?

As social media marketing matures, it’s time for marketers to get serious about their social media efforts. Social media marketing can no longer be a test on the side where no one’s paying attention. The bottom line is that social media marketing must be part of your marketing plans with strategic goals and related  metrics.

Here are thirty-one signs that you’re still not serious about social media.

  1. You still think social media’s only for kids. Maybe you haven’t seen the latest data that show social media’s fastest growing age group is the over 55 set. Maybe it’s time to reach out and connect with someone.
  2. You treat Twitter like another distribution channel for your promotions. As a result, you only tweet when you have a new product or promotion. While a deal-of–the-day is acceptable, it shouldn’t be a constant diet. Only one promotion about your firm for every ten tweets about other content.
  3. You only tweet updates about what you’re doing, such as what you had for lunch. Get over yourself! Even your mother and girlfriend don’t want to know that much about your life. Provide useful information for your followers.
  4. You’re still an egghead on Twitter. Show who you are and that you care about interacting by branding your Twitter page with your avatar.
  5.  You don’t pay-it-forward on social media. Social media isn’t about you or your business. It’s about the community. How can you help without expecting anything in return.
  6. You take credit for other people’s content, whether it’s rehashed blog posts or other people’s tweets. There’s no other way to say it. This is wrong. It’s unethical and stealing. If you don’t have anything new to add to the conversation, then just share the original with the appropriate attribution.
  7. You never share other people’s content via social sharing buttons. At it’s heart, social media is about the community. If you’ve read an amazing article or blog post, share it with others where it’s relevant.
  8. You never respond to mentions on Twitter. While everyone loves to have people talk about them, it’s important to use social media and Twitter in particular to engage in exchanges.
  9. Your Facebook page is an extended ad. Again, here’s another case of using social media as another distribution channel. Facebook is about the engagement, not your promotions.
  10. Your blog hasn’t been updated in two months. Your Facebook wall can tell the same story. You haven’t had the time or willingness to engage on social media. Effectively, your message is “No one’s home!”
  11. You only blog when you have a sale. Again, you only use your blog to bring traffic to your sales. The reality is that blogs are highly effective in providing sales related information and driving traffic, especially if you have a call-to-action and a special link or promotional code.
  12. You never engage with readers who comment on your blog. While blog comments, especially ones that are more than “Great post!”, take time and effort, at a minimum, give your readers some acknowledgement.
  13. You never leave comments on other people’s blogs. You view blog comments as a one-way street, bloggers should visit you and comment but you don’t need to interact on other people’s forums.
  14. You never engage in Twitter chats. These many-to-many conversations focus on business and personal interests. It’s a great way to broaden your social media network. (Here’s how to be a Twitter Chat Champion.)
  15. You only connect with people on LinkedIn when you need a job. Did you really think that people wouldn’t notice that you’re suddenly trying to build lots of connections? Instead, use LinkedIn to connect with people every opportunity that you have.
  16. You never recommend staff or colleagues on LinkedIn. You want others to recommend you but never return the favor. Take a moment to consider how that reflects on you and your social media engagement.
  17. You only check LinkedIn to update your resume. While the numbers show that people use LinkedIn less than Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr, it’s useful to participate in LinkedIn discussion groups and answer questions to build your following.
  18. You haven’t completed your Facebook, profile. You figure that one of these days you’ll have time. Just find a consistent time every day to engage with your friends and fans. Maybe you just kick off a conversation.
  19. You’re still waiting for your Google+ invite. Hello! Google Plus opened its doors to the public last week.
  20. You only setup your social media profile for a special business campaign or school assignment. Since social media requires an investment of time to yield results, think about how you can incorporate social media engagement into your daily schedule.
  21. You share photos that include other people without asking their permission. Others have their right to privacy. Respect their boundaries and don’t thoughtlessly post photos or videos. This is particularly true for children.
  22. You react to someone’s comment or tweet as if it’s all about you. Social media is about the community and being supportive. Bear in mind that thoughts often move from fingertips to your computer screen without thinking. Before you post, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  23. You only like or plus one something if there’s a defined benefit attached such as a coupon. Understand that social bookmarking or sharing is about help others discover new informative and entertaining content. It’s not just another way to get discounts.
  24. You only use social media to rant about things you think are wrong. Social media isn’t just for complaining. It’s about having meaningful and personal conversations and exchanges. While an occasional rant is okay, no one wants to hear a steady stream of negativity.
  25. You haven’t cross-promoted your other social media profiles. This is a quick, easy no brainer. Just include your URLs and handle to your other online profiles.
  26. You check in on LBS (location based services) but never leave any tips, reviews or comments for others. Remember that social media is a two way street that requires your proactive engagement.
  27. You don’t help anybody in interest groups or forums. You view social media as being there to help you achieve your personal goals. In reality, you help yourself and your organization when you contribute to the conversation.
  28. You’ve never connected with social media connections in real life. One of the benefits of social media is that it extends online and offline, most notably with Meetup. I’m not recommending blithely meeting strangers in deserted areas. What I mean is meeting people in public forums and engaging in conversations so that you get to know each other.
  29. You never send birthday wishes to family, friends or colleagues via social media. Face it everyone likes to be remembered on their birthday and other days of the year.
  30. You never tweet or live blog events and conferences. Why not share the wealth if you’re at a conference? It can be an easy way to generate new content.
  31. You would never be on Facebook at all if it weren’t for Mafia Wars and/or Farmville. Social media doesn’t just exist for the games. Social media is an extension of our social engagement.

At its core social media is about community, sharing and paying-it-forward. It’s not another promotional platform. To this end, you need to ask yourself, how can I help make the community better, without being concerned about your personal or business activities. Think about how you can give back to the social media community without wondering what’s-in-it-for-me.

What other points would you add to this list and what is your rationale for doing so?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Icelandic Horse – Don’t Call Them Ponies © 2011 Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved

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