Why Your Social Strategy is Annoying all of your Friends

So you have started a new venture – congratulations! You have done something that many people wouldn’t dare try to attempt. Be proud of what you are about to take on.

Now the interesting part. You have an established audience, these “friends” of yours on social media.

They will be your first customers (some of them). You have a lot of broadcasting power available.

How to use it best?

Have a conversation.

The signal-to-noise ratio on networks like Twitter is becoming a cacophonous rattle, like pots and pans banging together. Everybody is hustling. Facebook is desperately trying to level its ratio as it reaches maximum scale.

We enjoy social media because it’s a fun way to talk to each other. So that requires us to also engage in conversation.

Skittles is a moderately delicious candy I enjoy once every couple of years. They have more than a few Twitter followers, and that amuses me.

This is how @Skittles talks to its customers:

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 2.50.19 PM

This is not my example of the best social strategy on earth, but it’s a nice example to illustrate the following – nowhere in this feed do I read ” BUY SKITTLES AND SUPPORT SKITTLES”. Their website is eccentric, mentioning nothing about how the candy is made, how to eat it or why it’s full of sugary goodness. Skittles tries to be amusing, and they generally are.

If every time you post on Facebook or Twitter an “ask”, a call to action, you are creating noise, noise that even your patient friends will begin to tune out. If your network views your communications as nothing but sell lines, you are not going to last long.

Take a look at this bad post by United Airlines, a company that still has a lot to learn about social media:

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 3.09.37 PM

How about showing me the inside of the plane? How about telling me the differences between Japanese and American sushi? How about making the slightest effort to romanticize the possibilities of adventure? No, I haven’t booked my flight yet (though I really want to go there). Make we want to, United.

You have reinvented. Congratulations. You have tremendous power at your fingertips to promote yourself…and your product or service. Now you have to do the dance –  the line between authenticity and hype, between pimping and exposing your creativity to the world.

Talk to us. Engage us. Make us interested, or your universe is going to tune you out.

(Normally there are words here about my upcoming book, along with a jpg of it, but it felt too hypey. I think I’ll let it rest for a day)

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