Social media marketing has become a big way to make an online presence for you and your business. But there are several things that can make your presence online negative and cause your marketing efforts to FAIL! These approaches can be tempting because they are easy and we as humans like to take the easy way, even if it isn’t always the best way. Hopefully, by warning you about the way these efforts work out, you will find yourself on a different path on your social media marketing journey.
The Classic Approach to Social Media Marketing
So what is the classic approach to social media marketing? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Whether we’re talking about Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you need to only “follow,” “like” or “friend” people who are interested in your niche.
You connect with all these people, and then after you have followed them, a lot of them would actually follow you back. For example, on Twitter, for every 100 follows, don’t be surprised if maybe 20 to 30 people follow you back.
Now, this is where it gets really bad. Classic social media marketers would then spam their followers. They would just send all sorts of unrelated garbage, and then they would unfollow. Do you see the pattern? Follow, get followed, spam, unfollow. And I wish I could tell you that they do this sporadically, but instead, these self-professed “professional marketers” use all sorts of sophisticated software to do this, so it happens all the time.
Up until a few years ago, this worked like a charm. This was a great way to get a lot of Twitter traffic. But not anymore. This pattern, instead, can get you banned.
More importantly, whatever traffic you do manage to get using this tactic is not going to be any good. Why? There’s no targeting. You’re not pre-qualifying these people who would follow you.
The only reason why they followed you in the first place is because you followed them first. Where’s the selection there? Where is the targeting there? Now, you can make wild guesses, but ultimately, it’s a volume game and it leads nowhere. The return on effort is not there.
I’m not saying that you can’t make any sales doing this technique. I’m not claiming that. But what I am saying is that whatever rewards you get are not offset by the wasted time, effort and energy as well as opportunity costs involved. You’re better off using a quality-based approach.
Audiences are Looking for Quality
The bottom line to modern social media marketing is to use quality content. Your content will speak for you. Your content will do the pre-sales job regarding your brand.
In other words, your content is your representative. It speaks to the values you want your brand to be associated with.
The Sad Reality
Even if the “follow, get followed, spam, and unfollow” technique still works for some people, the rules have changed. Social media platforms will reward or punish you based on engagement. If you want an extreme example of this, just look at Facebook. Facebook used to be a traffic goldmine. Not anymore.
You need a really high level of engagement to preserve your reach on Facebook. If you get normal levels of engagement, good luck. That’s how bad things are, and that’s why it’s important to take this time to spell out why this “classic social media marketing” no longer works and show how it has evolved with the times.
Other Failed Methods
I would be remiss in my duty to educate you on failed social media marketing strategies if I don’t also mention other failed techniques.
- First, hashtag hunting no longer works. This technique involves marketers finding hashtags that are trending. They basically would publish niche-specific content, but use unrelated or irrelevant hashtags and pair them with their content.
They do this because they want to “hitch a ride” on the upward trend of those hashtags. They know people are searching for those hashtags. They know that these hashtag trends are hot, so they want to poach as many eyeballs as possible.
Unfortunately, the traffic that you get is not going to be any good. People are looking for specific types of information, and when they see that your content is so obviously unrelated, they’re not going to click through. You might even get reported.
- Another failed method you should stay away from is influencer spamming. There are many influencers in almost every niche. If you want to see this in action, go to Facebook or Twitter. There are many specialized pages and specialized Twitter accounts.
Constantly mentioning those influencers on your content is not going to help if your content doesn’t really add any value. There has to be a reason why you are engaging with these influencers. And drawing their attention is not enough. Getting them to look at your content because you think your content is hot is a lousy idea.
Instead, you should focus your engagement tagging based on what they did. For example, if an influencer was talking about recent trends in athletic shoes, then that person would be fair game for an article I post regarding the latest trends in athletic shoes and what they mean in terms of the bottom line of large footwear apparel companies.
That influencer would be directly interested in what I have to say because I am sharing content that is not only high quality, but is directly related to stuff he or she is already talking about. Do you see the specificity here? Do you see the direct link?
Now, compare this with an influencer who talks only about Forex and I tag that influencer when I’m talking about Bitcoin. That person is going to be annoyed. Do you see the difference?
- Finally, automated publishing with no outreach is not going to work. Basically, what you’re doing is you’re throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something sticks. If you’re just publishing content on an automated basis on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other platforms, it’s anybody’s guess whether people would actually engage.
In the end, you have to do some outreach. You have to draw eyeballs to your content. You have to find existing pools of highly qualified audiences and get your social media account in front of their eyeballs.
Use your very best content. If you do this right, your automated publishing on social media will be greatly rewarded. Use a shotgun approach or any of these other “easy” approaches and you’re probably going to get the same results as other failed social media marketers.