Social Media Is NOT about YOU – Four Points To Remember

I need to get some frustration out. If you know me, or have followed me within the social graph, you know I go to great pains to provide value, help people and give to others. Recently, this has become somewhat frustrating. Why? Some people think social media is about them and think it’s my job to therefore promote them. Let me explain…

In the past few weeks I have dealt with about four individuals that I had no relationship with, all asking me to promote something for them. Two of these folks had just recently connected with me and never even engaged with me in any other capacity other than to expect me to push out their shtick. Seriously??

Worse than the above, one of the other two individuals, who I had known for a while on Facebook, connected with me on Twitter. They immediately began Tweeting and DM’ing me requesting RT’s of their content. On Friday they began posting their frustration that I had not mentioned them in a #FollowFriday post. This continued until I finally sent a DM requesting that they stop. They subsequently sent me attacking messages and unfollowed me on Twitter and unfriended me on Facebook. Hmmmm

Here are a few tips on how to ensure you don’t have misunderstandings about your marketing efforts within the space.

1) Don’t Pitch (too much) – I tend to see a lot of product/servicing pitching from some social media account feeds. Guys, it is media, but it’s social media, not media social. It’s about connecting with your prospects and fans, building relationships THEN driving business over the long term. Provide selfless value in your content that your target market will find valuable and interesting. Slip in just a few posts about you and your business and you will get far better results!

2) Don’t Ask – Seriously…  Unless you have done the work to build a relationship, do not ask for a RT or share of something. Don’t send Facebook event invites to people you have not engaged with. And for Pete sake, don’t ever ask to be #FF mentioned or +k’d by someone. Huge turn off’s that will result in ending a social relationship, not building one.

3) DO Help Others – Whenever possible, help your fans and followers with what they do. Look for opportunities to share things they write that your audience would find valuable. Retweet their posts and step in with a helping hand however you can. You will reap big rewards personally and socially.

4) Build Relationships – Learn about your fans and followers through engaging in conversations. Ask about them and what they do. Don’t be afraid to be silly and joke around. Do the things you do in real life that build connections and closeness. All of those things work tremendously well in the social graph as well. Nothing you do in your social media marketing will drive more ROI (return on investment) than building relationships.

So remember…  Social Media is NOT about YOU. It’s about your audience. What they do. What they are interested in. Building a relationship with them.


27 thoughts on “Social Media Is NOT about YOU – Four Points To Remember

    1. Auto-DM’s don’t bother me in the least. Especially if they are not a pitch. I look for opportunities to engage with the person when I receive one and it is a lot better than worrying about something that will never go away. :-)

      Thanx for jumping in Eric!

      1. You must have had better luck than me. The few times I have replied to an auto DM, I never received a reply back. Makes it seem as though the user is on full auto pilot.

  1. Chris Hoeller reblogged this on The Future of Marketing :: Chris Hoeller and commented: Great Article about a misconception some people have about social media.

    Social Media should be how “Christmas time” should be. The focus should be on the giving, and it tends to work itself out better than by begging for what you want.

    Social Media is basically, “I find this content interesting, important, or entertaining enough that I want to make sure that other people are able to benefit from it.”

  2. Great article. Building relationships is really what social media is all about and it’s frustrating when people want to take take take but never give.

    Katie Rose Watson
    PR & Social Media Manager
    Anchor Marketing & Design

  3. Great post. Sometimes I think the common notion of “social media” is that influence is more about content reflection that relationship building. Think about who influences you and how much of that is based on relationship rather than activity. I loved “Social Media is NOT about YOU. It’s about your audience. What they do. What they are interested in. Building a relationship with them.” Well put!

  4. Fantastic post. The pitching thing is a big turn off to me and I have a hard time ever doing it. I think it’s because I originally got into social media personally and not for my business so it is not natural for me to pitch. Thankfully no one has ever asked me to include them in my #FFs. I think I would have gone off. :)

  5. Great post! The whole point of social networking is “we” not “I”. The social world is full of people who genuinely want to help and want to spread the word about great people, products and services. All you have to do is actually put in the time and the work to build the relationships. Give to receive – it’s a strategy that might not work everywhere, but it works on the social web.

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