Antisocial, social networking: How businesses have got social marketing all wrong

Reynold Greenlaw

OK, so as a technology savvy business I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you what ‘Web 2.0’ and the whole social networking sphere is, but if you’re asking yourself should I be doing this? or if you're already doing social marketing and not seeing results, then I may have some answers for you.

Now that 2.0 is in full swing, businesses of all shapes and sizes are getting involved and investing significantly in activities around social networking and social media as part of delivering their marketing strategies. After having an overwhelming adoption by businesses eager to engage with their customers many companies are wondering why social marketing isn’t working for them. This has caused some cracks to appear in the 2.0 landscape and has seen some businesses pull out of and shy away from the social scene.

My view is that social networking isn’t a natural fit for all businesses and if it doesn’t fit don’t force it because it’s very noticeable if you do. But by far in a way the biggest problem is one that’s self inflicted by businesses that contribute nothing but shameless promotional rubbish. People don’t engage with this type of content and the last thing that you want as a business that’s trying this out is to be viewed as antisocial.

So how do you avoid this? I hear you ask. It’s easy to say but hard to do but to see results you need to engage with social sites in a similar manner as the users do. With this in mind here are some simple rules to follow.

  1. Be informal (this doesn’t mean being unprofessional)
  2. Humanise your business think of it as a person with a personality and write in this style
  3. Think of interesting and interactive things that you can do to engage with your audience
  4. No senseless promotional waffle
  5. Be selective. Don’t use every site out there!