Ever wonder what the sins of social media marketing are? You don’t want to be on the dark side of either of these comparisons:
Honesty vs. Dishonesty
When it comes to social media marketing, honesty is definitely the best policy. No – it’s not meant to be a cliche’. People sense dishonesty, right off the bat. And there’s always the karma that goes with it.
Bad feelings, negative emotions, not so great PR, reviews, feedback – everything impacts you, your personal image and your professional branding in a BIG way. Fine prints, hidden payments, forced terms, conditions and contracts may yield profits in the short run, but if you’re in this for the long haul (which I assume all of us are) – it all comes back to haunt the perpetrators.
Make absolute honesty the policy of your social media marketing, and you will come out a winner in both the short and long runs.
Transparency vs. Hiding
Your personal and professional transactions leave an impression on everyone who works and interacts with you. As a person (and as a business), if everything you do is transparent – without a hint of hiding anything – it’s going to give your brands a great boost. Think about the self-esteem it builds, knowing that you have nothing to hide. You can come out with a clean chit each and every time. Think about the days you can actually spend on being creative and productive. And the nights that you can spend sleeping soundly without worries clouding your minds in the stillness of the night!
Real You vs. Mask
Do you hide behind a mask? Or do you present your real, authentic self to the world? I recommend the latter. Masks comes and go away – they are ephemeral. And inevitably, someone pierces through the masks and veils to shatter the facade, leaving behind a trail of shattered trusts. Always be your own self to the world, and world will connect and resonate with you.
Value vs. Spam
Is your business bringing true value to the world? Is it making a difference in someone’s life, day today? Or are you creating spam? Think about law of the farm. When a farmer grows a crop, or a tree bears a fruit – it’s creating real value. The “fruits” that come out do make a difference in our lives, don’t they? Your business, your transactions, your products should follow the same law.
If all they end up creating is more confusion, spam – and a never ending path of economic consumption – you’re probably treading down the wrong path. Slow down. Take a step back. Introspection would work. Make sure anything and everything you do creates real value – and makes a difference.
Take vs. Give
This one is simple. Do you take more than you give? As Wallace D. Wattles said in The Science of Getting Rich, are you creating more in use value than you take in cash value? Or think of your social media interactions. Are you consuming more information that you give out? How about knowledge? How about wisdom? If that ratio is skewed, you are going to alienate yourself from everyone else real soon. Help out – help without expectations – and everyone will smile at you.
I’m reminded of the gist of Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu scripture. At the end of the day, the message of Karma Yoga, the discipline of action which sums up the science of achieving perfection in action is: Act without being attached to the fruits of one’s deeds – and success and happiness will follow. The Taoist principle of Wei Wu is based on the same thoughts.
Authentic vs. Gimmicks
Do you engage in gimmicks? Product gimmicks? Product launch gimmicks? Pricing gimmicks? Marketing gimmicks? Or do you work toward baking in authenticity in your business, everything included? Authenticity always goes the extra mile, like the Duracell Bunny, with a larger and bigger perspective. Ride the authenticity horse – and you’ll go on and on and on ….
Expectations vs. Assumptions
Are you setting the right expectations about you with others? How about your business? As a part of your interactions, people will make a lot of assumptions of you. About your brand, your persona, your response times, your support model and almost everything. Unless you set expectations correctly, inevitably part of these people will feel betrayed, disappointed with their transactions and interactions with you. You won’t be able to make everyone happy all the time – but you should definitely strive to make everyone happy as much as possible.
Setting expectations will also help keep brand you objective – and will take the sting out of anything that heads down the wrong path.
Real Connections vs. Disconnections
That brings us to the last of the dark sins of social media. Are you creating real connections? On Twitter – on FaceBook – on LinkedIn – on Orkut? How about discussion forums? And how about your real personal interactions – like face to face talk, email, telephones and chat? Or are you being a PIA (pain the a**)?
You want to strive to create real connections. Contacts, acquaintances, friends that you can call in the middle of the night. That is the only route to success in social media!
Summing up – there are a few words that sum up the ugly sins of social media marketing – and how to stay clear of them. What do you think?
There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true,
Then give the world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you.
Give love, and love to your life will flow,
A strength in your utmost need,
Have faith, and a score of hearts will show
Their faith in your word and deed.
Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind;
And honor will honor meet;
And a smile that is sweet will surely find
A smile that is just as sweet.
Give pity and sorrow to those who mourn,
You will gather in flowers again
The scattered seeds from your thoughts outborne
Though the sowing seemed but vain.
For life is the mirror of king and slave,
‘Tis just what we are and do;
Then give to the world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you.
– Madeline Bridges –
American poet (1844 – 1920)