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
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.
Wait, what did
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
- Ask fans if they have questions and post the answers on the
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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?