We hear daily news stories about the ‘evils’ of using the internet, whether it’s sick adults grooming children, trolls jumping on anything they can to provoke a reaction, or those being recruited to fundamentalist causes.
That said, social media can also be a brilliant place, connecting like-minded individuals, raising awareness about issues, spreading news stories that are ignored by major outlets, and even reuniting lost teddy bears with their erstwhile owners. It’s SOCIAL media, people.
So why on earth do people insist on using it in the same way as traditional marketing methods?
You know what I’m talking about – those people that follow you on Twitter, and spam you with an auto-DM the second you follow them back. It was one such message, from someone claiming to be a marketing guru no less, that prompted me to write this post.
Here are three things guaranteed to make me walk away from you on social media.
1) The Auto-DM
This has to be my biggest pet hate. If I’ve connected with you on Twitter, then why on earth would you send me a message directing me to also follow you elsewhere as well? OK cool, so you have a Facebook page, a website, a million books on Amazon – so what? I don’t know who you are. You’re better off sending me an @ reply to thank me for the follow, and then start a conversation about something relevant. I’m more likely to check out your page/website/shop etc. if I see you as a real person and not just a Twitter spambot.
I don’t even know why people persist on doing this. None of the marketing blogs I read recommend it as good practice, and I once told someone who sent me a “BUY MY BOOK” auto DM that I unfollowed people who sent me such DMs, and got called antisocial. No, what’s antisocial is you directing an unsolicited advert to my personal inbox, or flat out telling me to connect with you on a completely different social media platform, where you’ll probably just direct me to your presence on another one. Stop it.
2) The ‘I’ll like your page if you like mine’ message
This doesn’t happen so much now that Facebook has changed the way that users see Pages, but nothing is guaranteed to make me NOT ‘like’ your Page more than you asking me to like it just so you’ll like mine. ‘Likes’ are not Pokemon – you do not have to catch ’em all. Besides, the more Pages you like, the less you’ll see, so it’s all rather counterproductive. Provide stuff I’m interested in and then I’ll ‘like’ you – but not a moment before.
3) The ‘I don’t actually interact with people’ people
Why on earth are you using social media if your entire Twitter feed is either links to your books, retweets of tweets mentioning your books, or links to other books your publisher puts out? I could find all that stuff using Google if I wanted to.
But, and this goes back to point #1, if I don’t know you, then I’m probably not going to go looking for it. If, on the other hand, I see you talking to people, tweeting links to cool websites, sharing photos, or just generally being human then I’m way more likely to follow you AND interact with you…which massively increases your chances of me checking out your book without you even needing to mention it.
So there we have it. I know marketing is hard, and you sometimes don’t want to do it, but bombarding users of a social network with adverts doesn’t work. It just pushes them away. Treat social media like a conversation – which means listening as well as talking – and you’ll have a lot more fun.
What social media pet hates do you have?