Social Media Advice
Steps for Committing Social Media Suicide
A message to those ruining it for the rest of us.
In case you missed the memo social media has taken off, its not longer an early adopter technology. Millions of people around the world have jumped into the social media pool building profiles and distributing content across a plethora of sites.
Unfortunately, every time a good thing comes along masses step in to exploit, abuse or otherwise mar something cool.
So if you're determined to ruin the experience for the rest of us I've developed this handy step by step process for becoming a social media reject. Or in case you're just getting on the social media train, think of it as a loose code explaining what not to do.
1. Get a Myspace or Facebook account and contact random people to buy your products.
Just like you would to any random stranger on the street, be sure and jump in do not introduce yourself and implore them to buy something. Strangers love it …
Sure .005% of your messages will get a friend back but ultimate conversions for your product or site will be dismal. Bonus – if you do it enough people will deface you comments section or out you across various social media speeding up the social media reject process.
What you should do: Connect with people you have something in common with or belong to your shared niche. Introduce yourself, be friendly and save your pitch for the right moment. Sidenote – your pitch should be in the form of desirable content or something people will actually be interested in.
Rule: Apply the same common sense and courtesy that you would in the real world to the online world.
2. Steal other people's content and never give credit.
This is a surefire way to kickstart your bullet train route to social media rejection and its SO simple. Just find really awesome content that someone else extracted over, use the handy dandy cut and paste feature and post. Be careful to remove any trace of their name or link as to properly brand it as your own. If you can not be cool, steal someone else's coolness.
What you should do: If you really like someone's content integrate it as a part of a larger work or remix it. Just like in college where using one source is plagrism and using many is research the web feeds off hubs of compelling content. If you really like someone's top 10 list, find 9 other top 10 lists and invent just 1 of your own and wa-la you have a top 101 list. (People love to link to 101 lists).
Rule: Develop your own content, cite multiple sources or remix something your like.
3. Open multiple social media accounts and carry on conversations with yourself.
If you do not have friends just invent your own! This is just like when you were 4 and had an imaginary friend named Funnyface. The beauty of this tactic is that you'll do this all from the same IP address and webmasters and many users will see through your cheap trick. They will then immediately ban you, out you or otherwise see you.
What you should do: Be patient and develop a network of legitimate contacts. Produce cool content that people actually want to comment on or promote. Subversive tactics such as the above only provide minute social media gains and most often deface your brand.
Rule: No cheap tricks
4. Spam blog comment forms
Oh this is a goodie. Be sure and contribute nothing to the conversation or limit your post to "Nice post" along with your anchor text and site URL. Bonus – add 10 or more urls to your signature file to set of warning bells that you are a spammer. Also by a t-shirt that says "I am a Spammer" and wear it to social functions. Its likely when you're tracked down with zaba search that you'll be tarred and feathered.
What you should do: Again, be a part of the meaningful conversation. Stroke the authors ego with relevant comments. List some key additional resources and join the blog community by being an active participant. Help promote the site and let the author know you did. The true power of comments is in developing the contact not in the typically worthless comment link. This practice is quickly being taken away by Google so its a waste of your time anyway. You do do better getting a Top Commentor link from a blog and getting site wide publicity.
Rule: No blog spam
5. Post, comment and tweet like its going out of style
Be sure to provide tons of worthless noise to the conversation. The key contacts you gained love it when you flood their inbox and create lots of short useless content. By all means, feel free to avoid your niche and always make it a goal to be overlooked and ignored. This kicks the rejection process into overdrive.
What you should do: Have a purpose and focus. Keep clear silos between personal and business social media activities. I can not say this enough add value to the conversation. You know that guy at parties that will not shut up talking about himself and all of the stories are lies, boring or unremarkable? You do not want to be that guy. So make targeted contributions and promote your content appropriately.
Rule: Quality not quantity.
6. Abuse my contact information
This is the key to it all if you want to have a stand out social media reject, rivaled by your peers. When you're fortunately enough to get my contact information, misuse it in every way. Add me to mailing lists, send me junk mail and telemarket to me. People love having their trust betrayed. This is the best way to get hated and abused by your social media contacts. Better than that you'll know you've done an outstanding job when all you hear back are echoes as every method you have of contacting people is blocked. Better than that you might get sued.
What should you do: Prize personal contact information. Only get in touch with information they would want. Never sign someone up for a newsletter or add them to mailing lists without permission. Only promote your service and products when appropriate. You only get one screwup.
Rule: Hold contact information sacred.
And a special note for businesses: The theme to social media is an ongoing conversation. You can not start a blog and only contribute "hello world". You will not see ROI without putting resources into the game. As with all marketing, you need to focus on execution and follow the rules first. Social media is a new way of doing things and the 3rd evolution of the internet (Amusement, Purchase, Interaction) will require a shift in business philosophy and tactics.