5 mistakes to avoid when marketing with social media

To do a good job with social-media based marketing you have to avoid these 5 classic rookie mistakes. If not, you risk to not be heard and not be sold.


Mistake n°1: You do everything in one place

Bad news.

Unless your customers exclusively hang-out in one place only, you need to cross-pollinate your social-media posts to ensure that more traffic gets where it needs to and more things get seen.

If you post a blog, tweet it and mention it on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you’ve got a group somewhere, add a link to it from other sources. And don’t forget that channels like email still work… Create the links between different platforms. Its a web, after all!


Mistake n°2: Everything you do talks about you and your product

Someone I know started using social media to sell his hypnosis MP3s. All he did was say things like “Trying to quit smoking? Download my MP3 hypno track” or “If you are afraid of spiders, buy my latest MP3”. Yet at the same time, he wanted position himself as an expert in his domain.

What he needed to do was offer content that positioned him as an expert. Having seen the light, he now applies the 75/20/5 principle:

  • 75% of his posts share resources he has found from other people and places that are linked to the domains in which his hypnotherapy could be useful. Without mentioning his products, he positions himself as a “go-to” point and expert for information about those things. People find interesting references and ideas via him. The sale will come later…
  • 20% talk directly about his products. He posts his own thoughts, ad-campaigns, blog-posts…
  • 5% is the kind of “Isn’t it a lovely day?” tweet or post that reminds people he is not a machine running its own Hootsuite account.


Mistake n°3: When you do share something else, you just click “share”

..or retweet, or whatever. Don’t !

If you are sharing something for other people, its because you think it might be useful for them. If you don’t tell them why, you are just adding to the noise. If you don’t put it in the right place, you are just wasting your time.

Think about who needs this information and why, then contextualise your tweet, post or share by adding some small explanation of why you think this is interesting.


Mistake n°4: When you talk about yourself or your products, you talk about yourself or your products

In my opinion, this is the number 1 screw-up non-marketeers make when they start selling: They just talk about what they have to offer. But no-one cares what you have to offer. Or, to use a phrase I recently coined: “Nobody buys a rubber. They buy the ability to get rid of their mistakes.”

Your thing (or yourself) will only sell if it has value. And if it has value, it is that that you need to communicate. State your benefits. Don’t say what it is, say what it is useful for, how it can help people, the value it brings and its benefit. Read “Be FAB to Be Heard” for more information and examples…


Mistake n°5: All you do is put content

Just following the 75/20/5 content idea noted above is not enough. You need to do more than just posting things. 21st century online marketing is about creating conversation.

If you see something you like, like it. If you have a comment to make, comment. If you want more information from someone, ask for it.

Get involved with other people. Create dialogue.



If you can stop doing these 5 things, you have a much better chance of being heard and being sold.

Good luck!



Follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment

Subscribe to the blog by entering your email (top/right menu)



About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on May 5, 2013, in Communication and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: