In everything, we must play by the rules. Social media marketing is certainly no exception.
SMM obviously revolves around social media- things like MySpace, Facebook, Digg and even Wikipedia. Each one of these user-driven communities has its own set of rules. In order for people to trust you and your brand, you have to give them a reason to. If you use these platforms in the wrong way, all your marketing tactics could be for naught: You could end up on that community’s “banned” list.
From Janet Meiners’ “How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral with Social Media:”
“If you’re pushing your story or product rather than sharing it, then you’re stepping over the line. … Avoid thinking that because there is a crowd gathered it’s a good time to promote yourself. This is applicable in the offline world, too. Once I heard someone announce their store’s grand opening at a church meeting, which was in very poor taste. We can probably all think of our favorite network marketer who manages to weave information about their products into every conversation. Keep it relevant.”
This is such an important point. People have to trust your content for it to take off over the Internet. This cannot happen if you behave in an obnoxious, or in any way untrustworthy, manner.
One major step in the right direction is to check out that community’s FAQs. This will set your boundaries. After doing so, use your common sense when engaged in conversation with other community members. Remember: SMM is indirect advertising. At this stage in the game, it’s hard to gauge how effective SMM is. For example, the effectiveness of Facebook’s SocialAds is under heavy debate. SMM is definitely best used for brand visibility. By getting your name out there, the belief is that all the potential consumers you reach will remember your brand when they’re in the market. Consumers are more likely to stay away if a particular campaign is perceived as distasteful or obnoxious.
Use common sense. You don’t like it when people get in your face to try to sell you something. This generation of consumers despises it even more. Focus on getting your brand and your message out there in a respectful manner and it has a greater potential to translate into increased sales later.