How to Turn Me On Not Off Online

It used to be, my online social
media pres­ence almost all but excluded con­tacts in my IRL true
phys­i­cal geo­graphic loca­tion. It wasn’t on pur­pose and I wasn’t
hid­ing, I just didn’t find many local peo­ple online that I had much in
com­mon with pro­fes­sion­ally. Sure, some of my high school
class­mates found me and I belonged to some local LinkedIn groups.

Then, last year I tran­si­tioned to a new job with a sig­nif­i­cantly
more vis­i­ble pres­ence in the com­mu­nity. One of the things I do on
the job is man­age social media for the orga­ni­za­tion and sev­eral of
its projects on Face­book and Twit­ter. Since Face­book hasn’t both­ered
to allow for the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state (your per­sonal
account is tied to fan pages you cre­ate) one of the side effects of my
becom­ing more vir­tu­ally “local” is that I have accepted many local
busi­nesses as friends or become their fan. I could ignore them but
let’s be hon­est, I’m an open net­worker and really unless you are
inor­di­nately weird I’m very open minded and accept your vir­tual
friendship.

This blog feeds into Net­worked Blogs on Face­book, and the RSS Feed
goes to LinkedIn and most every social media account I have and I will
tweet the post too. I’m out­wardly hop­ing it will be read and taken for
what it is worth by some of my fol­low­ers who have busi­nesses and
have taken mar­ket­ing into their own hands. This is a sin­cere effort
on my part to tell them and many oth­ers who are doing their own social
media mar­ket­ing that they’re screw­ing it up, they don’t know what
they’re doing and they’re doing more bad than good…

They’re turn­ing me off

I have read many pub­lic flog­gings of com­pa­nies — out­right
smack downs
. But, that’s not my style. So here are two san­i­tized
exam­ples of local com­pa­nies turn­ing me off com­pletely and what they
could do to try to turn me on. I could con­tact them pri­vately and
offer con­sult­ing ser­vices but I’m also a real­ist… it is highly
unlikely they would go for it because they think they are doing it
right.. Con­sider this pro bono.

Pro­file #1 — Ther­apy Prac­tice (I don’t know what else to call it)

The Face­book Fan Page posts 3rd party arti­cles on why xxx is the
key to health. It does not appear to engage mem­bers because there are
no com­ments on the wall — at all and there is no steady growth
(even slow) of the fan base. The admin­is­tra­tor sends mes­sages to
fans about spe­cials, dis­counts and how our health could be opti­mized,
and sends me @ tweets stat­ing Hi, Im Dr. XXX local xxx I
see u have disc prob­lems
. I can Help Call me 000‑0000.
xxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx.com

Wait, what did
you say????????

Uhhhh.. You have x-ray eyes doc? You don’t know any­thing about my
body and you’re are spew­ing “facts” about me that I don’t appre­ci­ate
at all. This is a huge no no… you pub­licly stated I have disc
prob­lems and you don’t know me from Adam. Yet, a prospec­tive employer
could see that and think it is true. Maybe an insur­ance com­pany I am
try­ing to buy a pol­icy from is check­ing me out. Maybe I wouldn’t want
the PUBLIC to know I have this sup­posed disc prob­lem. Are you
think­ing about how you are poten­tially impact­ing me? You would think
some­one who must be famil­iar with HIPAA would never think of
doing this.. The worst thing is you have not only done this to me you
have done it to all of your 23 fol­low­ers in your 227 spammy tweets.
Maybe that’s why you have only 23 followers.

My advice for this busi­ness is:

  • Make your Face­book activ­ity inter­ac­tive. Stop pump­ing out
    bla­tant ads and be social.
  • How about com­ment­ing on some­thing I post or vis­it­ing my blog
    and let­ting me know what you think? Let me know you actu­ally pay
    atten­tion to me and are not just look­ing to bill my health care
    insurance.
  • Ask fans if they have ques­tions and post the answers on the
    fan page.
  • Try post­ing trivia or his­tory of the dis­ci­pline. Be a per­son,
    put up some pics of your vaca­tion or some­thing a lit­tle off topic
    that shows you are a per­son with a per­son­al­ity, have a
    lit­tle fun!
  • Remem­ber it’s got to be rec­i­p­ro­cal. I was nice enough to become
    your fan so don’t say some­thing stu­pid like “I see you have xxxx
    prob­lems”. I don’t think you are psy­chic and it does not make me
    want to let you touch me.
  • Do not use Twit­ter to tweet the same thing to all 27 fol­low­ers
    think­ing you’re being swift by per­son­al­iz­ing using my name. I’m
    smarter than that. I just pulled up your tweets and see you are an
    assem­bly line tweeter. There are many suc­cess­ful health care
    providers who post help­ful advice and tips, ask and answer ques­tions
    and engage their fol­low­ers with great dia­log. They “get” social media
    and know that engage­ment through soft sell­ing is the best sales tool.
    They make friends with their fol­low­ers and become the name
    on the tips of their tongues when it comes to their profession.

Pro­file #2 — Ser­vice Provider

One of the own­ers of this busi­ness mans the social media and is
per­va­sively vis­i­ble on Face­book, Twit­ter and LinkedIn.. prob­a­bly
other places too. Apart from gen­er­at­ing sin fin vari­eties
of never to miss deals you will surely die with­out, this per­son posts
com­ments and tweets about argu­ments and prob­lems with the spouse,
dis­dain for another job and painfully com­plains about just about
every­thing to the point I don’t want to look. Other times there are
bliss­ful mes­sages of love and contentment..

My advice for this busi­ness is:

  • Please note that I have heard from other locals that you appear
    unbal­anced because of the bipo­lar­ish Sybi­lesque incon­sis­tent
    per­sonal mes­sages you mix with busi­ness. Stop — It’s dis­turb­ing
    not only to me but oth­ers as well.
  • Do a Google search on your­self and then on your busi­ness. Pre­tend
    you don’t know your­self and read the search results. Look at the
    per­sonal and pro­fes­sional brands you have cre­ated. You have mixed
    the two so much they are vir­tu­ally indis­tin­guish­able. It
    doesn’t look so good, does it?
  • Think before you post.The worst is when your LinkedIn sta­tus
    mes­sages are utterly unpro­fes­sional in your expres­sions of anger at
    the world and feel­ings of being unloved. Ask your­self if you would pay
    an agency to post the things you post your­self .… or if you would
    fire them.
  • Do not trash your busi­ness part­ner and spouse as if a crim­i­nal
    and louse and then expect peo­ple to become a cus­tomer and trust their
    expen­sive per­sonal pos­ses­sions with you guys..
  • Remem­ber that the words per­sonal and per­son­able have much in
    common.
  • The ser­vice you pro­vide is a non-essential one as much as you like
    to pro­mote it to be as impor­tant as the air we breathe. Face it,
    most peo­ple can only afford DIY.
    You have a niche ser­vice and it
    should be mar­keted as such.
  • Iden­tify the pro­file of your cus­tomer and then post things that
    are inter­est­ing to that demo­graphic. Be engag­ing and tact­ful, witty
    and charm­ing. Show you have knowledge.
  • In lieu of the blog you don’t have, use Face­book notes to write
    author­i­ta­tive posts on your area of expertise.
  • Post tips, trivia and advice.  It seems to me you would have a lot
    of sea­sonal advice and reminders to offer that peo­ple would really
    appreciate.

You can do a good job of social media mar­ket­ing if you use com­mon
sense. Think of suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies and com­peti­tors you admire.
Study how they use social medial. Don’t copy what they do but
emu­late the types of mes­sages they deliver and the image they project.
After all, they are suc­cess­ful because they are doing things right.

Just for the heck of it, I’m going to watch to see if these guys
get the hint

What are some of the things about social media mar­ket­ing gone wrong
that turn you off?

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