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Published February 15th 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media Marketing

Today’s article is edited by Joel Windels and written by Pedro Cardoso, writer at Slices Of Life, who has created a helpful guide on the perils of social media marketing.

Congratulations! If you’ve already realized the importance of building a business presence on the social media, you’re right on track.

However, don’t picture the task ahead as a matter of throwing mud pies at the wall and hoping they’ll stick. Nor should you assume that it’s all about setting up accounts at multiple social media channels to simply use as outlet for your promotional material.

In the physical world, as in social media, there are rules and even if they are often unwritten they are still altogether important. By failing to acknowledge such principles, you will undermine your efforts and bring about your own gradual demise.

That’s why we must urge you to be attentive not to commit the seven deadly sins of social media marketing; and if you’re not quite sure what that means, this article will keep you in the loop.


Going nowhere fast

The most common way that most newcomers to social media fail to get worthwhile results is by failing to take proper action. There’s no point in setting up social media channels unless you plan to use them diligently to convey your messages and build your audience.

This is something you should do gradually; dedicate 30-60 minutes each day to this task and you will be on the right path.

Should you allow procrastination and laziness to get in the way of your social media engagement, don’t be surprised if nothing good comes out of it.


Too much, too soon

Another extremely common way to fail at building a reputable social media presence is when people attempt to be instantly omnipresent.

You set up your social media channels, and get utterly obsessed about using them, to the point it starts diverting your attention from other responsibilities.

Saturating your platforms with content and updates is unhealthy and will dilute the quality of your posts. Careful planning and pacing of your social media output are essential practices when building a healthy community for social media marketing.

You should know that peaceful persistence trumps sporadic agitation in terms of building a positive reputation. Try to favor the former, and resist the temptation of over-doing it.


A synonym for egomania

There’s a fine line between letting people know who you are and getting on people nerves because you’re excessively self-centered. If all your interventions across the social media tend to focus on yourself, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Resist the temptation of using the social media as a self-promotional tool; that should be a natural end to your efforts, rather than an artificial beginning.


The internet is full of traps and trolls

Understand that social media users come with all temperaments and tolerance levels. Some people are nice and easy-going, some are fanatical and annoying; most are somewhere in between.

Fail to realize this and you’ll routinely lose your temper and let anyone get on your nerves. This also means that you’ll lose credibility to your potential audience who catch sight of your tantrums.

Be courteous and patient while using social media. Don’t engage with people who are obviously just looking for an outlet to their frustrations.


The grass is always greener

There’s nothing wrong with a little envy, provided it makes you work harder. There’s everything wrong with envy, if all it does is source negativity and rudeness.

If you spend more time criticizing people who are better known than you, rather than building a positive impression on your own, make no mistake: people will be able to tell that you’re actually jealous, and they will look at you as a really small person.

Stay focused at building your own popularity, rather than obsessively attacking others who have already succeeded at building their own.


Humping the legs of the bigger boys

Another good way to make a fool of yourself in social media involves stalking opinion makers and agents with large audiences, then compulsively praising them and going all the way down to licking their figurative boots, hoping they’ll somehow reciprocate your subservience.

This kind of attitude will not sit well with the people that matter, and instead will project a really poor, negative image of you.

There’s no problem with occasionally expressing your admiration about someone, provided it’s genuine; but if all you do is praise others, you’ll never have anyone look up to you.


It comes before a fall

So you always act like you know what you’re talking about, even when you don’t? Do you never admit you were wrong, even when you happened to be? Do you make a point of always showing off your wits and brilliance?

If so, we’re sorry to let you know that people are probably starting to look at you wrong. Nobody likes a smarty-pants, even if the person tends to be relevant in their interventions.

Humility is a great quality that will open many doors for you during your social media endeavors. Arrogance and pride are sure-fire ways to raise conflict, rather than instill order.

Does that help you put things in perspective? If you realize you’ve been getting caught up in some of the cardinal sins of social media marketing, that’s great news! Because it means you can now start threading a temperate path, armed with that newfound awareness.

If you liked what you read here, there’s plenty more on the Brandwatch blog and at the Slices Of Life blog, where you can find upbeat and informative articles about positive living.


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