Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Practices That Should be Avoided

First let me be clear. This list of Social Media marketing tips and techniques that should be avoided doesn't apply to everyone. In fact, it probably directly involves very few businesses and online marketers. However, if you've spent enough time on Twitter, Facebook, or any Social Media platform as I have. Largely due to the fact I own an SEO Social Media marketing and market research firm. You've experienced first hand many of the practices I'm going to outline below. Practices that amount to anti-social Media or even worse. If not, you will soon enough.

Practice number 1- The link of no escape.

Nothing is more annoying than clicking on a link to an article that sounds promising only to find that it contains capture coding. Screen after screen asking "are you sure you want to discontinue? Click Yes to leave page or No to remain." This is like inviting people to dinner at your home and then giving them a bill before they leave! It's annoying, it's bad public relations and it creates an air of desperation. If you're content is so good, why do you need to force people to stay?

Practice number 2- The Pop-up ad that can't be popped.

Very similar to practice 2. However, instead of making you jump through multiple screen hoops you end up with multiple pop-up ads or videos that just keep multiplying. Do people actually think that if you didn't like the first pop-up that you'll change your mind by the second or third replicate? Where's a digital dart when you need it!

Practice number 3- Affiliate Marketing bait and switch:

Okay, so it's been established that you can make a living off affiliate marketing. I think that's great. However, please don't disguise your attempt to sell an affiliate marketing program by using a misleading headline. Trust in your product or service, because if you don't, what makes you think other people will?

Practice number 4- Lofty promises that amount to do what I say but not what I do.

Again, if you've spent any amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media platform you will have witnessed this phenomenon. A recent example, and this isn't a direct knock on the product or service, was an article that promised 1,000-100,000 Twitter or Facebook followers for a fee. First of all, the organization making this offer didn't have anywhere near even 25,000 followers by a long shot. Which raises the question- If it's not good enough for them why should it be good enough for anyone else?
Practice number 5- Un-intellectual property theft.

This might be my favorite for personal reasons. You're surfing along Twitter, Facebook, or reading a Blog. And lo and behold. You find an article that you published that's been:

A- Plagiarized word for word.

B- Copied almost in it's entirety with the exception of a few paraphrases with no credits.

C- Quoted, given credit to you as the source, but then paraphrased incorrectly. And not only incorrectly. But in a manner that totally distorts the original article and can actually harm your business's reputation!

I've got news for the above companies and individuals. Eventually your attempts to gain traffic at the expense of other people's articles or material is going to backfire. Especially when the party you offend reports to Google's TOS violation team and other Internet monitoring entities.

All of the above have one thing in common. They are short term solutions to longer term and much more prosperous ways of doing business. Oh yeah, and they also fail to embrace the essence of Social Media Marketing. Which is sharing, caring, interactivity, viral marketing, expediency and real time results.

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