Pitfalls of Using Social Networking in Internet Marketing

Social networking is a very important aspect of your Internet business and marketing mix and one that cannot be avoided any longer. However, as fun as it is, and as good as it can be, there are some pitfalls that can not only destroy your social networking but also your reputation and your business.

1. Automation — While some automation is necessary you must realize that if you do not answer questions, respond to people, and do not seem human on your social media platform people will notice.

2. Direct messages– Sending direct messages to strangers to tell them about your product or service without their permission should not be done. If they did not ask, don’t send a direct message to them. This is no different than emailing people who have not opted into your list. Just because they follow you or friend you does not mean they want unsolicited direct messages.

3. Spamming — People feel used if every last Tweet or share is something you are selling or making money off. Don’t do it, be less transparent than that.

4. Not reading — Read what people say to you, and respond if is appropriate. Even if you can only read once a day and respond directly then, do so. You could miss a very valuable relationship by not reading what your followers or friends are saying.

5. Going nuts — Don’t send out messages, especially the same message, 56 times a day. Also, I’m not real sure if your entire list of followers and friends needs to know that you just walked from your living room to your kitchen to get coffee. (or worse, went to the bathroom)

6. Addiction — Avoid being obsessive and getting addicted to reading every last tweet or status update all day long because you will fall behind in your work. Set aside specific times to deal with social networking and get back to work the rest of the time.

7. Being negative — Unless you run a review site and are telling people about a review that happened to be negative, try not to be negative on social networking sites. No one likes a downer when they’re trying to socialize and network.

8. Not target marketing — Even within social networking there is much room for targeting your market. Try to separate your business identity with your personal identity as soon as possible so that you do not offend people when you finally realize that you must protect your business followers from your crazy uncle Ned.

9. Not doing it yourself — It is perfectly fine to outsource some aspects of your social media, but the truth is, no one can be “you” as well as you can do you. Save the personal comments to do yourself, let your virtual assistant do some of the other tasks.

10. Making useless comments– Going around making useless comments on message boards, on blogs, on Facebook, Twitter and other avenues will not endear you to your people. So just don’t do it. If you do not have a truly useful thing to say about something, say nothing at all.