How to Create Social Media Marketing Success: DONT DO THISHow do you create social media marketing success?

I guess that depends on how you measure social media marketing success. And, using the metrics from traditional media marketing isn’t the answer.

Those of you who read my post regularly probably already know this from earlier posts, but keep reading because I’m adding some new stuff here. Those of you who don’t read regularly (and why not? You can subscribe and you won’t miss a single great tip) can also go to a few older posts to understand more about how social media marketing and traditional marketing are different; why it’s stupid to use metrics created to assess traditional advertising to measure social media marketing success, and my alternative — the social media hierarchy of effects.

While I’ve given lots of tips for creating social media marketing success on this site, here are some things you should NEVER do.

Confuse advertising and PR with social media marketing

Now, this may sound like common sense — in fact, I got a comment yesterday on Google+ about the lack of originality for recognizing the differences between social media and traditional marketing — but OBVIOUSLY it needs saying. In an article yesterday on AdAge, they decried the types of advertising on social networks and suggested we needed FULL SCREEN ADS!

Are you f&@%ing kidding me! Do you WANT to turn Facebook into a ghost town?

Face it – no one (I repeat NO ONE) wants to hear your advertising. And that goes for your PR, too. I DON’T want to hear how wonderful you are, which celebrity endorses your crap, or how smart you are for developing new crap. I want you to HELP me, entertain me, reward me, make me feel GOOD. Social media marketing success is definitely a pay-it-forward proposition. Give me something and MAYBE I’ll buy your crap or tell my friends about it — if you make it really easy for me to share.

Facebook pages, Google pages, and Twitter streams are NOT ads

OK, in traditional marketing you create a bunch of ads then pay to transmit them across radio, TV, newspapers …The more channels the better, right?

Treating Facebook pages as if they’re ads is a particularly BAD idea.

Overly promotional

Being overly promotional in social networks doesn’t contribute to social media marketing success (go back and read the earlier paragraph). In fact, Facebook will shut you down if your cover photo or image are overly promotional. In fact, Mitt Romney changed his cover photo yesterday after taking heat for violating Facebook’s terms of service by including his URL in the photo (whether Facebook shut him down or the media backlash convinced him to change it is unclear).

Multiple pages

And creating MULTIPLE Facebook pages (or Twitter streams, etc) is a particularly bad idea. An acquaintances, who’s currently reading Social Media for Dummies and thinks she knows what she’s doing, wanted to create a Fan Page for every project we’re working on in a non-profit. Now, some non-profits are strong enough to do this (ie. the American Red Cross), but our charity had less than 100 Fans (and it took a lot of cajoling to get that many from our members). To create another Fan Page just dilutes our efforts.

Maybe an example will illustrate the problem.

Social media marketing success comes from creating compelling content that gets shared. No matter how great your call to action, if you rely on just your own fans, you’re unlikely to succeed (yes, I know there are exceptions of Fan Pages like Starbucks with large numbers of fans). Even if you’re Starbucks, it helps if your 30 MILLION fans share your message to all their friends. At an average of 15o friends per fan, you reach 4.5 BILLION people. Social media marketing success comes from engaging this large number of fans to not only act, but encourage their friends to act. So, if 2% buy you’ve sold 90 MILLION more cups of coffee.

Now, let’s say, instead of 30 million fans on the site, Starbucks were to have different pages for different products: fraps, lattes, iced coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches, coffee accessories, beans …. Now, consumers would LIKE the page or pages related to products they buy at Starbucks and instead of having 30 million fans, individual pages would have a few million fans (maybe). Now, when you post a message on the iced coffee page, for instance, you have 2 million (assuming the page garners this many fans). Again, assuming each fan has 150 friends, you’ve now reached 300 million (versus 4.5 billion). If 2% buy, you’ve now sold 6 million more cups of coffee.

Not only do you sell 84 MILLION more cups of coffee with a single Fan Page, you have the additional cost and effort of building you fan base and creating engagement on multiple pages.

Any other recommendations for what NOT to DO to create social media marketing success? Please post them in the comments.

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