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The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media

Social media is so alluring isn't it? It's free (to set up) and fun. Personally it gives you a chance to share some family pics and chime in on our friends' latest vacations (not to mention all those cat videos and cute babies doing crazy stuff). It is addictive, a time sucker and it gets you thinking...if I am on social, then must be a good idea to set up social for business too. Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Social media can be a quagmire and you don't want your company to sink into it (and literally not be able to come out!). We got together and came up with the sparqGEN list of seven social sins and how to be smart to make the most of this incredible on to be saved.

1. Jumping before you look. Are your target customers on the social platforms you are planning on launching? And, if they are there are they there to interact with your type of business? If you are B2B then LinkedIn and Twitter may be where you belong - not Facebook even with its billion plus users. If you are restaurant or some other consumer-oriented business then sure...Facebook may make a lot of sense.

Look at your competitors. Do they have robust social profiles with the sort of engagement you want? Ask your customers? Are you on social media? What platforms do you use. Go where your target customers is already present. So much easier than trying to change behavior and get them to go there!

2. No budget. Social media is not free. It cost money to run a social profile well. You need content, images, someone skilled to do it for you and time. How much can you really allocate to this channel. Do not put a zero for that budget line.

3. Taking on more than you can chew. Social media is a very public medium. No one knows if your last direct mail or TV campaign bombed. Everyone can see if you post content that no one wants to interact with or if your last tweet was two years ago. One well run platform is so much better than five neglected platforms.

4. Constant promotion. Social media is a two way street. Don't make the mistake of making it all about you. Just like the bore at the cocktail party who talks incessantly about his start-up, his career, his latest awesome trek...and has you snoozing (or worse annoyed and can't wait to get away), you'll soon find yourself with fewer likes and no engagement. A good rule is to self promote 10% of the time and spend the remaining 90% engaging, curating, sharing and being social.

5. Waiting too long. Once you know you should be on social media, then don't wait. Time matters. Every Facebook page starts with one like. Coke has over 108 million likes. And, yes, even Coke had to start somewhere. It takes time to cultivate a following.

6. Not posting. Once you are up and running you need to post relevant and engaging content. Nothing is worse than a page without any activity (except perhaps one with only one-way promotion).

7. Being anti-social. If you are on social - well you should be social. Don't forget to thank your followers, wish them a good weekend and generally be a nice social citizen. Social is a great way to personalize your business and these gestures go a long way to humanizing your company.

Once you know you should be on social, take the time to get it right, learn the rules and have some fun - just avoid the seven deadly sins.

sparqGEN Marketing is a full service agency and we help dozens of clients with their social media advertising and management. Contact us to learn more.

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