How to Promote on Social Media Without the ICK Factor

angrycatCan we take a min to discuss ETIQUETTE?
(And no, I don’t mean which fork to use, and how to address letters… also, heads up – there’s a bit of a rant in here.)

I’m very active on Facebook – I participate in a lot of groups and give away loads of advice because frankly, it feels good. I can still be of service (especially to small biz owners who are the peeps I love) by keeping FB in the background and getting my client work done. But lately, as groups rise in popularity (due in large part to FB changing their algorithm so it’s very much pay-to-play), people are getting… for lack of a better word… TACKY.
Here are the 5 Cardinal Sins I’ve been witnessing as of late (aka: Seryna Myers guide to non-yucky Facebooking):

Faux-pas #1: Don’t add someone to a group without their permission.

First up – this feels icky. Either ask them, send them the link with a personalized message about why you think they’d enjoy the group, or do a FB event or free challenge to grow your following. Much like email marketing – consent is everything. And though there aren’t currently SPAM laws protecting us on Facebook, it’s not effective to market to people who want nothing to do with you.

If you think I’ll be a good fit for your group – awesome! I’m always looking for new people to connect with. Invite me, let’s do this. But if you add me… oh lady, lemme tell ya, I will leave the group just out of spite. Honestly.

Faux-pas #2: Don’t add someone as a friend if you have no intention of connecting and are just looking for someone to pimp your page out to.
Personal tale – someone adds me to Facebook without connecting anywhere first (this happens a lot, so I don’t hold this against her)… I accept… she doesn’t message me to say “oh hey, thanks for connecting” or why she reached out or anything… what does she do? She sends me to her effing professional page to like it. So what did I do? I didn’t like the page, and unfriended her. 2 days later, she’s wanting to connect again…
Maybe it’s naive of me to think that connections should be just that… I don’t know. But if you add me as a friend with the sole purpose of selling to me – BEFORE WE’VE EVEN BEEN INTRODUCED – good luck lady.

Bonus related faux-pas: having little to no contact with me, and asking me to like the page of every client you’ve had. I get it, I’m in marketing too, and growing a fan base is a metric some people use. But here’s the thing – if I’m not interested in the company, and I’m only liking it to do you a favour (which I wouldn’t do since we’re practically strangers), it’s doing your client no favours. Help them market to people who actually want to hear from them. Highlight their work, do a spotlight on them, share their FB page on yours… but don’t get all yucky with your friends list.

Faux-pas #3: Being spammy in groups.

Facebook groups are little communities. They tend to be spaces where people share advice, have a common interest (like a club), and a place where people can promote their events/services/products that are aligned to the group’s purpose. They can be excellent ways to network, share ideas, collaborate… HOWEVER… don’t just do a dump and run if you’re in a group. Good rule of thumb: always comment or contribute something before you ask. Not only does this raise your visibility in the group, but it also stops it from feeling gross when you do promote yourself. Some people are shy, they lurk in groups – that’s totally okay. It’s when people don’t participate in the community but expect to get something out of it that boils my blood.  You get what you give.  Comment on other people’s posts, share your own insights, give away free advice when it’s appropriate. I’ve gotten a lot of business from Facebook groups, but it happens because I’m generous with my knowledge and I show up authentically. Not by being a spammy a-hole.

Faux-pas #4: Excessively tagging the peeps on your list
After I posted this original rant to a Facebook group, a friend did a status update promoting her event and tagged a good 30-40 women in it. This shows up on their newsfeeds, on their profiles, and as one of those friends, makes you feel super USED. Not good. If you see something a friend would like, yeah, tag them! If you ask a couple of peeps if you can tag them in your promo to help extend the reach to broader audiences, sure – do that too – you have consent. But to just tag me without asking is mighty presumptuous, and frankly, uber tacky.  Don’t be that friend.

Faux-pas #5: Posting in several groups at the same time
I get it… you’re busy… and you don’t want to spend your time spacing out your posts. Well tough titties sweetheart, because here’s what happens. You’ve chosen your groups because that’s where your ideal client hangs out, right? And you’re in more than one group? Well, so are you clients, so when you post the same thing in 5 different groups in 5 different minutes, you’ve shown an awesome talent for cutting and pasting, but a lack of talent for giving a crap about your people. There are systems that automate posting – even to groups – so you can schedule them (maybe even switch up the wording a smidge, or use a different image) without having to spend all day at the computer. Bonus points: If it takes 7 touches to make an impression, and you’ve staggered yours, you have succeeded in raising awareness. (If your client sees your post 5x in 5 minutes, that’s one touch, and also likely to get you hidden from their newsfeed).

I might be naive in thinking that people don’t do this on purpose. They’re busy, they don’t know better, they’re trying to make the most of social media. I get it. But the thing is, these behaviours are counterproductive. They dissuade people from doing business with you, they make people block or hide you, and it pisses them off.  I’ll leave you with this last thought… If you wouldn’t do it in real life, you probably shouldn’t do it online. It’s all relationships, sweet peeps… so let’s really make ’em, alright? I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but can we all pledge to non-yucky, non-tacky Facebooking?


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