How to lose online influence & vaporize Social Media $

Social Media, just the words can feel overused these days. And yet, with the rise of “content shock” (you can read an excellent blog on that here, not by me but good people at businessgrow) it is becoming harder and harder to cut through the noise barrier. And more and more important to have a sound, simple if need be, strategy. SMART goals. To fully understand it is no magic switch anymore, and things just don’t go “viral” just like that. Need to document your audiences before you tweet compulsively, etc. So here’s a quick not-so-bizarro-world look at the worst you can do these days when it comes to SM strategy and execution:

1) Do not audit your social media / or have an inbound strategy.

A critical step. It will allow you to parrot random flotsam of content “on Twitter” and deluge the interweb with your rantings in such untargeted manner that will make the Microsoft rep feel like a trusted, intimate solutions provider. Benefits:

– You won’t know what outcomes you are after (Leads? Branding? Sales?)

– Yon won’t know either what core audiences you need to engage to reach these goals.

– Finally, not having a strategy is viciously effective when it comes to not measuring your outcomes: Never measure branding, network reach, leads or £ generated, etc.

Click for a free social media audit checklist: Take stock of your needs, audiences, tools, resources, and develop a sound, safe and striking social media strategy in less than 2 hours.

2) Make your Social Media goals nebulous / unrelated to business:

NEVER document goals, and never ever make them SMART. In order to pulverise your budget as soon as possible, it is crucial that you follow absurd, cosmetic goals such as:

a. Tweet 5 times a day!

b. Get at least 5 “likes” on each post!

c. Get blogging, cos’ everyone is doing it!

d. Be equally present on every social media platform possible. Including Periscope and Pinterest, even though you are selling hydraulic compressors.

Obviously, never tie back any social media objectives however nebulous they are, to any business objectives. Who needs to know about leads, conversion % and branding?

3) Never offer any valuable content.

Your rudderless content production and nebulous goals are only the beginning!

To turn away the very people you need to engage with, you will have to go the extra mile: Only ever produce content that is commercial and self-promoting, to ensure that only one in a quadrillion will ever click on your CTA and come to your website.

Flood your social media accounts with enough news of your company do to make sure that your core audiences start trembling uncontrollably at the sight of your notification!

Bombard your Twitter feed with naff, attention-begging updates such as that new water cooler you bought because “That’s how we roll here hahahaha”.

Ensure that your connections would sooner slit their throat than click on the CTA in that email you like to send after each update (“Hey!!!! I just wrote a blog about our new waste tank the BoJo2016, feel free to like and share it if you like it, thank you!!!!”)

4) Never listen to your core audiences

So how do you know you’ll never offer any valuable content to your core audience? There is an easy answer to this: Do not ever listen to them!

Make sure you do not set up any Google alerts, do not use mention.com, do not look at what keywords bring you SEO traffic, do not ever follow any #hashtag on your twitter that your audience could ever cohere around!

Never document or refine, obviously, the 4–5 core audiences that your business absolutely need to engage with to hit your business goals.

5) Never monitor your social media conversation!

By now, you have ensured that you spend money, time, and manpower into what has become a bottomless hole. What if I told you a way to ensure that you can turn your social media presence into an active reputation-destroying machine?!

The discriminating connoisseur will never addresses comments, and will particularly benefit from not having a content strategy (that wee document that describes your “Why” and how you want to express it, around what topics, style and tone for whom).

This way, if someone should catch a bad comment out of hours, they will have no idea how to handle it in a way vaguely coherent with company culture and policies.

Important note: Irony aside, in truth, negative social media fall out is relatively rare, and often exaggerated in the imagination of those willing to get on the social media revolution but scared to. Also, if it ever happens, you can often “catch” the negative publicity and turn it into something positive. Social Media’s young history is already awash with examples of companies that managed to do this through a witty come back, or a generous gesture.

6) Never think RoI:

Any intern can massacre social media budget/overheads by spending a summer tweeting the drone footage of himself at Glasto on Periscope because well, that’s the new thing! This shall not do. The proper executor of social media budgets must see farther. Visionary, he/she will ensure that he “does” social media de facto, with only contempt for such concepts as internal efficiency or outcomes secured.

– Only track vanity metrics such as “likes”: No matter if 3 out of your 4 likes come from your boss / nana / your best mate who’s too busy to actually read it.

– Ensure you do not convert the traffic: Sound Social Media generates extra traffic to your website, your aircraft carrier, what you control. So if some extra traffic ever comes to the website, ENSURE YOU DO NOT CONVERT IT INTO LEADS!!! You MUST make sure this extra traffic ends up splashing about in the interweb ether! No landing pages, no email magnet, and no Thank you pages!

This little text hyperlinked in blue here is a call-to-action. A simple one. If you click anywhere on it, you’ll be taken to a landing page (with actually valuable content to download too!)

7) No 80/20 mindset

Strangely most managers understand the vital need to focus first on what will bring the most results / reward, for the least amount of investment. Yet when it comes to social media or inbound marketing farcical waste is the word! Example:

a. Ask everyone in the team (or the company) to “start blogging”, without training. Tell your staff that their prose must be earth-shatteringly good, and that they can just blog after work, when “all the real stuff is done”. When they will miss deadline after deadline (because they have work to do and are probably daunted as for most to put some content online), simply shout at them and turn as crimson as possible.

b. SPECIAL BONUS: Ask everyone to start blogging regardless of their network size! It is virtually pointless to blog on LI if you have less than 250, maybe even 500 contacts in general. It holds most value once you have enough of a captive audience that your blogs may go viral. There’s a lot of noise out there now. Better build reach first!

So make sure you force anyone with a LinkedIn network of less than 100 contacts to blog! And do not spend any time doing quick-kills and low-hanging fruit to grow your network first!

8) Never measure. Never test. Never improve.

By now you should have it: Ensuring as little extra visibility as possible, in as negative a light as possible. Creating as much internal strife as possible. Learning as little as possible from your core audiences.

However. Since social media (and digital marketing at large) are the ideal marketing channels to measure, test and improve, it could be tempting to, you know, do that!

BEWARE such foolish fads! This might show you how a certain topic is more or less engaged with! Or what variations of an email work better! Or what core audience is most likely to buy!

Just laugh uncontrollably at the folly of the next staff who timidly suggests “Errr, we could do some A/B testing no? Or, like, we could test what topic works best, or what audience is most likely to engage?” and your work will be done!

Article originally appeared on Branding on Medium: Link.

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