Category Archives: FAIL

Part 2 – 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

More Amateur social media mistakes to avoidIn Part 1 of our series on Amateur Social Media Marketing fails, we covered some of the more common mistakes we see on a daily basis. We are continuing our series with an additional nine mistakes that you really should avoid.

Again, we want to reiterate that this post is specifically for those that are using social media for marketing. We also want to restate that there are no steadfast rules to social media marketing, just best practices.

Everything in this post is designed to educate you on things that you may want to avoid and provide you with the details as to why.


Here are the 9 additional amateur social media fails:

10) Inviting Followers to Connect Somewhere Else – Someone walks into your store and someone on your staff tells them, “hey, it would be great if you went to our OTHER location on 5th street.”  How well do you think that will go over with your customer? If you wouldn’t do it real life, don’t do it in social media.

Your new connection has connected with you where THEY wanted to. Make the connection valuable and interesting enough for them to WANT to visit your other connection points.

11) Not Following Others – You’re so cool that you don’t care about anyone else but yourself? #FAIL When I see a social account that has thousands of followers/friends, yet follows very few of them back, I run!

There are typically only three reasons that they do this:

a) They’ve purchased friends/followers/likes to appear important.

b) They think they are really important and it’s all about them. (they don’t care about anyone else)

c) They have no clue about social media marketing -or- relationships.

12) Mass Event Invites – So you have a new event and you want everyone to be there so you click to invite people on your friends list. STOP! It is more than acceptable to invite people to your event that you have a relationship with and/or are in the city/state of the event you are promoting, but mass inviting your entire “friends” list is a huge fail.

Would you send invitations to everyone in your address book to a local Christmas party you are holding at your home?  If you answered yes, we really need to talk…

13) Cold Facebook Page Invites – Nearly identical fail to number twelve is mass inviting people to you or your clients Facebook page. If we had a dollar for every time we had been invited to like a page for a company that is thousands of miles away from us, about a product or topic we have no interest in, or from a person that has never engaged with us in any way, we would be driving a Bentley.

Build relationships first and earn the right to pitch what you do, your other social properties and events, etc. – And for the love of everything that is Holy, target your invites to people who are geographically or demographically appropriate! (*takes deep breath)

14) Cold Group/Community Invites – Groups and communities are great for some people and niche topics, but remember that many others don’t think so. Before you invite someone to your group or community, be sure they want to be in it. Recognize that the notifications and noise that many groups generate are much more than individuals want every day. It’s not about YOU!

Build relationships with people you would like in your group and ask them if they’d like to join. Randomly inviting people to your group is such bad form and annoying to most. You’re showing your newbie again.

15) Falling Asleep – Ok, not literally, but figuratively. The best way to kill your social media engagement is to not respond when mentioned. On the same note, the slower you DO respond, the less effective you are going to be.

16) TrueTwit Validation – Probably one of the biggest Twitter newbie fails is TrueTwit. Imagine starting out a relationship with a new connection telling them that you don’t trust them and you are also too lazy to look at their bio to determine if they’re real or not. THAT’s what you are doing by using the TrueTwit app.

Read more on the fail that is TrueTwit click here

17) Klout Focused – So you got Klout game? So what… We suggest that you spend far less time focusing on your Klout score (which can easily be gamed and has no relevance to your social media marketing skill, ability or results) and focus your time on actually getting real results.

Because you have a number that makes you feel important, does not change your pocketbook. Focus on real results and the things that you should be doing to get them.

18) Cluster Posting – Since social media marketing is not your “real focus” and you’re awful busy, posting 22 pictures in a row on Instagram every morning, 14 Twitter posts that same hour and 8 Facebook posts that afternoon makes sense. At least you got your required number of posts done today, right? Not so fast.

Cluster posting as we like to call it is kind of like the person at the dinner party that never shuts up, takes over every conversation and makes everything about them. Don’t be that person. Spread your posts out across the entire day, every day. Do it consciously, with intent. You’ll lose less connections, frustrate fewer people and most importantly get way better results!

Wrapping It Up

You really need to understand the why surrounding what you are doing in your social media marketing, not just the what. Understand the effect your activity has on your connections and the things you should really avoid doing. If you are just doing something because you saw someone else do it can be a recipe for disaster.

Did you miss Part 1? Read it Here

What stood out to you in this series? Is there anything you disagree with?


Filed under Engagement, FAIL, Followers, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized

18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 1

Social media marketing isn’t rocket science, however there are an incredible amount of details, nuances and procedures that not only take time to understand, they’re changing on a daily basis. If you’re using social media for marketing, you are constantly bombarded with tools, activities and methods from thousands of people. Without knowing, we often replicate what we see others doing without regard for that persons experience, methodology or effectiveness.

This post is designed for anyone attempting to use social media for marketing. If you are a happy social networker that could care less about the marketing elements of this space, this is definitely not the post for you.

Amateur social media mistakes to avoidThough there are no specific “rules” to social media marketing, there are best practices, methods or procedures that are considered to be proper etiquette or conversely, actions that are just plain amateur. You are free to use social networks in any way you choose, but you need to understand that the activities you employ and the conduct you display says an awful lot about you, your experience, professionalism and real understanding of what social media marketing is.

One of the most frustrating things about some of these mistakes is that many that claim to be social media experts, consultants and coaches make them every single day. It never ceases to amaze us how when the inexperienced are leading the less experienced, a large population of ineffective marketers result.

In an effort to avoid furthering ineffective activity, we have put together a short list of amatuer mistakes that we see on a daily basis. Following are the first nine, which represent some of the most common newbie mistakes we see all too frequently.

Are you making any of these amateur social media fails?

1) Automated DM Pitch – We just met (connected) and you’re already trying to take us to bed? Date a little before doing beginner things like this.

2) Spam Tagging – Don’t tag people in posts that pitch your stuff or link them to your blog post. Just like in the real world, you need to EARN the right to share your stuff.

3) Group Tagging – I know you’re busy, but there’s nothing at all personal about tagging 12 people in a post to thank them all at once for sharing your post. This not only won’t build a relationship with any of them, it won’t make them want to share your stuff much longer if they’re simply grouped up with a bunch of others.

4) Keyword Spam Tagging – This is one of the biggest social media marketing fails of all. Searching for a specific keyword/phrase used in posts on a social network, then based on the keyword, tagging the account in your sales message.

Social media requires relationships and conversations. If you don’t know someone who is using a keyword or hashtag or have not yet built a relationship with them, it’s no different from sending cold spam emails. Don’t do it!

(BTW – we ALWAYS report and block for spam like this)

5) Automated Engagement/Responders – Social automation is required to be effective and efficient. However, automating “engagement-like” messages to your stream is simply amateur and everyone can tell it’s automated. It’s like being in the first century and screaming into a crowd that you have leprosy. Nobody wants to be around you.

6) Automated “Newspaper” Posts – Lazy much? Automating these useless things to your stream and tagging people in them provides what value?

Posting that something someone tweeted was so good you added it to your “rebel page”? Really? Why would I want it there and not shared or RT’d on the platform in which I posted it. If you think you’re doing anyone a favor, you should think again.

7) Automated “Top Influencer” Posts – This one seems to be used most by folks that have no strategy and really put little effort into their social media marketing. Tagging people who you never engage with in order to claim how cool, influential or engaging they are isn’t very helpful to anyone. In fact, everyone knows it’s automated and you never engage or do much else on social media anyway. We don’t recommend it.

8) Cryptic Bio – Imagine going to a live networking event and you meet someone for the first time. You ask them what they do and they avoid the question or give you a lot of cryptic gibberish. Trust is immediately in question and you will tend not to engage in a conversation with them much further.

Be clear and tell people who you are and what you do. This builds initial trust and will increase social selling opportunities that come to you automatically.

9) No Name In Bio – People connect with people, not small brands and logo’s they’ve never heard of. Now we know you are very proud of your company and want it to be huge like Starbucks or Pepsi, but you’re not yet. So treat your Twitter profile as if you are attending a live networking event. You wouldn’t put “ABC Company” on your name tag, would you? Tell people your name so they can connect with a human. Do it right and they’ll want to know what ABC Company does.

We continued with Part 2 of our post and you can Read Part 2 now. In the meantime, consider these 9 best practices and upgrade your executional efforts to things that will actually get real results.


Filed under Engagement, FAIL, Followers, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter

How NOT To Do Facebook Ads

Over the weekend I was scrolling through my feed on Facebook and came across this Sponsored Post from the United States Postal Service, USPS. It caught my eye because it had Spider-Man prominently displayed with the caption “Always at your Facebook Ad Failservice” accompanying it. This immediately trigger some thoughts and emotions about the USPS that many Americans might have. The words “Always” and “Service” are not some of the words that we typically or positively feel about the sinking giant.

Nevertheless, I clicked on the link in the ad to view the website, then I clicked the comments of the sponsored post to see what people were saying. I don’t know why I was so shocked, but I was. There were over 350 comments on the post and the majority were highly critical, negative or at least asking questions about the responsibility of the USPS to run such an ad.

The Spider-Man Facebook ad is part of a larger media campaign that is coupled with the release of the new film. Here’s the television ad that is also part of the campaign.

Whoever inside the USPS leadership and/or their ad agency hired to create and executive this campaign that did not see a potential negative backlash, should receive at least 40 lashes with a wet noodle. The messaging surrounding the post flies in direct contrast with the average consumers view of the government agency. Furthermore, as many of the comments surrounding the campaign point out, the agency should not be spending massive sums of money to partner on such things with Hollywood, when they are in such financial trouble to begin with. Isn’t this just common sense? Epic Fail in my humble opinion.

What can the average marketer take away from this fail?

1) Know your audience and the potential negative perceptions they have about your industry, product, service or brand. Don’t set yourself up for failure by using the wrong messaging that may spark negative results.

2) Be careful what your ad claims. Ask yourself how your audience might react to the claims you are making in your ads. Instead, adjust the messaging to fill the needs that your target audience has or a provide a specific offer that is valuable to them. Do NOT make claims that your audience may readily disagree with and spark controversy.

3) Stay clear of controversy. Brands, industries, products and services should be extremely aware of their audiences sentiment and steer clear of controversial language. Advertising is hard enough, don’t make it more difficult by introducing potentially controversial things into your campaign.

The USPS situation teaches us to know our audience very well before we conduct a Facebook advertising campaign. Their fail is less to do with who they are as an agency or how well they actually perform what they do, but more about their failure to recognize their audiences perceptions, how it relates to their claims in the ad and most importantly the controversy that could arise from it. What’s more, they failed to recognize the social media marketing consequences that can result from missing on all these points.



Filed under Agency, Brand, Community, Facebook, FAIL, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

I love the fact that social media has grown so much and now there are so many companies taking advantage of the possibilities. I also dig that there are so many new social media agencies being started by talented individuals that have decided to turn their love of the industry into their business. But it is very important to note that understanding how to be effective marketing in social media, does’t automatically equate to being effective at running a social media agency.

As some of you know, prior to Bundle Post and becoming a social media content management software company, we were a social media agency. We made all the mistakes and figured out a lot of the challenges starting and growing a social media agency entails. I consider us very fortunate to have developed many procedures, rules and processes that I am now able to pass on to many of our software users and readers of our blog.

Social Media Agency MistakesBeyond the many business challenges of an agency, there are distinct changes to mindset and focus that many new agency start ups overlook. These subtle miscues often result in a slower path to revenue and profitability for not just the newbie, but many long time practitioners. Getting these social media marketing components in tact for your company, will help you excel your growth and results.

Five Of The Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make:

1) Priorities: When I work with social media agencies or have them go through my course, I explain that there are two priorities they should have. Unfortunately, most don’t have the two proper priorities in place. They should be:

a) Meet with and sign new clients.

b) Handle client programs perfectly.

I often find that many are doing so many other things outside of these priorities, that they end up stuck in the same place. I have also discovered that much of the time fear is the reason. Without having these priorities your agency will not grow at the level it can. Additionally, by having these as your priorities, all other issues and challenges you face will be resolved, because you will have the resources and capital to address them.

2) Wrong voice: The next three mistakes surround your agency’s own social media management. The first, “Voice” is probably the biggest mistake I see made. When I say voice, I am referring to messaging, content creation (blog posts) and content strategy. Many, and I really mean MOST social media agencies focus their voice incorrectly on their peers and competitors, rather than their prospects.

Preaching to and for the choir is not at all in line with the proper priorities set out in number one above and lead to great relationships, but not new clients and revenue. But let me be clear. I am not saying never to engage with your peers. I am saying do not fall into the trap of writing and posting content that will not attract your target audience, or spending the majority of your time engaging and building relationships with non-prospects. You would, or at least shouldn’t do that with your clients social media programs, and you shouldn’t on yours.

3) Wrong Audience: Similarly to wrong voice, building the wrong community that is not made up of primarily prospect relationships is another big mistake. Part of being a social media agency for your clients is a proven ability to not only manage their social media, but to also build a highly targeted community for them. If you can’t do this effectively for your company, there is a problem. Find and connect with your real target market and build relationships with them that result in new clients. Just as you would for YOUR clients. Spend less time growing likes and follows from your peers and competitors.

4) Wrong Focus: The third big mistake social media agencies make in the management of their own accounts is not focusing where their audience is and building communities and spending time on networks that will never return results. Again, you would not recommend building a clients community on a network that you know will not deliver results, so don’t waste valuable time doing that yourself.

Again, I am NOT saying that you should not have a presence and understand the more niche networks so you can be effective for your clients that do need to use those platforms. I am saying be wise with your time and get some focus to what you are doing and where you are spending it and with whom.

5) Website Error: Lastly, check your website with respect to Pricing and Packages. Do not have either listed on your website. Why? Do I really need to get into this? I suppose I do…

Let me give you a few important reasons, then point you to another post that covers this in detail:

a) Social media programs are not cookie cutter.

b) If you give prices to shoppers, they will shop your price, not even understanding the differences between what you do.

c) Someone will always be cheaper.

d) Don’t sell price, sell value.

Again, for more on this read this post too.

Though there are so many more mistakes I see being made by many social media agencies, it is my sincere hope that these social media management mistakes can now be avoided and you can get on with making the revenue and getting the results that are possible.

* For more on social media agencies and the proposal and sales pitch, read this 5 part series.


Filed under Agency, Community, FAIL, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

The Importance Of Thanksgiving In Social Media

Regardless of whether you are in the United States, celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday or not, its role in social media marketing is eternally connected. Not the way you might think. The Pilgrims didn’t use twitter and there is no social media turkey destined to be on anyone’s table this year.

Effective social media marketing should come from a spirit of thanksgiving, lower case t. A sense of gratitude and showing thanks makes connections and relationships that cannot be accomplished using any other type of marketing. Conversing with your customers and prospects is a given, but always being grateful for their shares, comments and likes is where many big brands fail miserably.

Our experience as a social media marketing agency, and now a social media software company has shown over and over that consistently responding to your fans and follower connections yields incredible results. The overlooked portion of “engagement” is often the thanksgiving part. Always showing gratitude to your audience for their sharing, involvement and promotion of your social accounts and brand. We are hyper focused on this at Bundle Post. Both our company accounts and my personal accounts always thank those that share, retweet or like our content.

The biggest challenge with doing this at higher volumes is not simply the time required, but doing it with a true grateful heart. For us, this is easy, as we have this true authentic belief from the top down within our company. We truly do care. For other brands or agencies handling a clients’ social media, this is apparently a challenge. The biggest offenders are the major brands with the biggest followings, but small business has a lot to learn here as well.

At this point I suspect some of you reading this are thinking “Respond and thank everyone, every time?” The answer is yes. If you ignore people in your office or retail establishment when they buy something or comment about how great something was, do you think they’ll come back? If someone refers you to a friend for a business connection and you ignore them, do you think they will do that again?

Consistency is key here. Make a commitment to do it and be consistent for best results.


Filed under Agency, FAIL, Fanpage, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Retweet, Social Media Marketing

It’s Nearly Impossible To Become A Social Media Professional Part 1

Social Media marketing has many challenges. Add to those challenges a new medium that changes very quickly and is rapidly growing new users and we have something that has a huge learning curve. This blog series is going to address some of those observations and obstacles most have to making the jump from marketer to social media professional.

I have been in social media for a while now and have constantly observed the influx of newer marketers to the space, how they adapt and patterns that develop. Many fall into the trap of following many of the industry “name” people, reading blogs and books by them, as well as watching and replicating. The problem there is that many name social media people are not professionals, rather they are celebrities. There is a very big difference between the two.

This past week I finally had enough and posted on Facebook regarding a latest frustration.

Many share my concern with the activities and self-generated misperceptions of social media experts, often misleading  people on effective uses of social media marketing. 56 likes and a ton of comments on the post told me that it was time to actually write a series that will highlight some of these problems and some recommendations people and brands can use to not fall prey -or- get trapped into emulating ineffective activity they see others doing.

Watching or reading to learn can sometimes be very effective, although it can also lead people down alleys that suck time and does not produce real results, but rather an illusion of proper results, like Klout scores, number of followers, fans, likes.

The biggest challenge a new person or brand has in being effective in social media is knowing who to listen to. Which books are correct. Which blogs to read and what activity you see others doing will get you the results you are hoping for. This problem is rapidly growing and has become a huge frustration to me on a personal level. Not because I am trying to be a know it all and think I am an expert, but because the success of my industry and the continued expansion of social media is dependent on this changing for the better.

One of the many comments that arose from this original Facebook post was:

Felipe ‘Flip’ Rodriguez So many in the #SoMe niche base their advice on what made THEM almost celebrity status, not on what will work for everyday people, or strategies for real businesses. Their advice also seems impersonal, and more geared for PR’s and advertisers than for relationship building. Which to me, means that they missed the point of SoMe completely.

This and many other comments led to me beginning this series that is designed to help individual brands and marketers, as well as social media agencies identify people and information that is appropriate to follow. More importantly it is going to also cover how to identify those people and activities that are not.

Join me on this journey to help you emulate effective activity that delivers desired results…

Part 2 of this series: Click Here


Filed under Agency, Facebook, FAIL, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Facebook Does More To Make Google Plus Viable Than Google Ever Could

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am no Google or Google Plus fan. I have repeatedly discussed my views on what can only amount to a failure on Google’s part to get in and actually dominate or at least become relevant in the mainstream social space.

This opinion is of course based on a premise. That Facebook doesn’t lose this on their own. What does that mean?  I believe this battle is Facebook’s to lose, rather than something Google has to win.

Let’s face it, neither of these two giants are consumer privacy friendly. Facebook however, has mastered the art of pissing their user base off by consistently overreaching their power and control of their users information, as well as keeping users off center by changing the rules, settings and functionality of privacy management.

1) Privacy Policy Changes

2) Making managing privacy settings near impossible to understand and stay on top of.

3) Changing users settings without their consent.

4) Most recently – Changing users profile content without their consent.

Really, this list could go on and on. If you are unaware of the recent blunder Facebook tried to do secretly to all of their users, see a great post by my friend @susie_parker called “Facebook Changed Your Email and Didn’t Even Tell You“.

Is it possible for Twitter to be the only social network managed by people that are at least smart enough to not piss off their user base? Sorry for the tangent…

I am completely amazed at how one of THE most prolific companies that has ever existed on this planet can continue to be so stupid. Is it stupidity or arrogance? Most likely it is a combination of both. Regardless of the medical issue or character flaw contained within this company’s leadership and displayed secretly in their board room, there is a significant outcome that is becoming more and more likely to surface.

Loss of market share to Google Plus.

Facebook is continually alienating its users, egregiously stepping on privacy and user information controls. I can’t think of too many other things Facebook could do to consistently hand Google and it’s mostly cricket filled network an upper hand in the social media battle.

I have a few suggestions for Mr. Zuckerburg and the Facebook board:

1) Stop messing with your users privacy.

2) Make privacy and user control a top priority in your business.

3) Deploy a focused campaign that builds trust with your user base that is based on actions, not words.

4) Quit making changes to your system (for at least a while) that frustrates and upsets your users.

5) Lay low – You already created a mess with your IPO and a ton of bad press as a result. Chill out, sit down, shut up and focus on 1-5 above.

Failure to take these common sense, immediate steps will even get this Google hater to start spending time on Google Plus, let alone the millions of other users that will someday soon, have had enough. You’re driving off a cliff Facebook. You might want to hit the breaks before it’s too late.


Filed under Facebook, FAIL, Google, Google Plus, Social Media, Twitter