7 Reasons Social Media Experts Say No and For Good Reason

social media experts say noWhen one of my earliest social media clients instructed me to delete negative comments on their fanpage, I did my best to educate them on why they shouldn’t.

It didn’t work, and shortly after, they decided to move on to a more complicent social media manager.

The relationship didn’t work out. Not because there weren’t results, there were. I took their sales from $0 social media (just Facebook) related sales to over $2000 a month. For the price they were paying it was great for ROI.

But I wasn’t able to help them understand certain things about social media, that companies who are present on social media need to understand, and I think that hurt their confidence in me.

There are several issues social media managers have to discuss with their clients, that education, stats and confidence will help on both sides. Social media is different than other types of marketing and an expert who understands needs to be able to explain.

To help both you and the social media expert you are working with, I put together a list of things social media won’t do that you might not understand.

  • We Will Not Delete Feedback– A negative comment does a lot for your company.
    • They show how your company handles customer service.
    • They help positive responses look real.
    • They show the public if and when a customer or client is being unreasonable.
    • They give you a public opportunity to handle a wide spread issue (hosting down, customer service phones down, etc)

Your expert should work with you to set up response guidelines for when a negative comment does get posted. This way you are both ready and understand where the company stands, and how it looks on social media.

  • We Will Not Fully Automate– It sounds like it saves time to automatically post your updates from your blog to your social media websites, and it is. One thing it isn’t- effective. Automatically publishing updates means you miss out on the unique features that each social media website has to offer.

On Facebook you don’t get to tag companies you mention in your content. You also don’t get to use hashtags, and posts that are automated outside of Facebook get lower reach.

On Twitter you skip the opportunity to use multiple updates to quote different pieces of your content. Each website gives you different opportunities to get better reach and response, too much automation (as listed here) means you lose many of these features, and the direct response.

  • We Will Not Buy Likes/Fans– Buying fans increases your visual numbers, and has the potential to be social proof for your company. However, it isn’t worth it. These are in no way real fans, and the numbers will bring down all of your important statistics.

Engagement across the board will look much lower. You don’t get a true picture of the community and their demographics because you can’t separate the fake accounts from the real accounts, giving you misleading information for future campaigns.

Facebook advertising as promoted posts (for fans and their friends) won’t go to your target market because them liking your fanpage didn’t come from real accounts or even your target market, where all of your fans should come from.

  • We Will Not Spam Other Communities– Spamming on Facebook gets your account suspended or frozen. Your company also looks like a spammer, and developing meaningful relationships with potential partners becomes labored. Fans can point out a spammer as well and lose respect for the company in addition to likes, follows, shares and comments.

As an alternative your account manager can spend time engaging in meaningful conversations, by using tools on Facebook and Twitter that allow them to find public conversations that you brand should participate in. Then, they can become part of the conversation to honestly help followers, and your company will receive exposure it deserves.

  • We Will Not Promote You Constantly– Posting your link in every update is a big mistake. Followers learn that all you are interested in is promoting yourself, not being useful to them, or giving them something of value. And in that case, why should they follow you?

Instead, your social media manager will follow the 80/20 rule. This means 8 out of 10 posts will be about delivering value to your followers, and then 2 posts can be about your company.

  • We Will Not Only Promote You– Part of the 80% of posts that will not promote you, can be used to promote others. Why? Your company wants to give followers information they need and will appreciate. This can easily be done by finding related websites, that aren’t necessarily competitors and sharing their links when followers would benefit from it.

When this is done correctly, followers appreciate that you are doing something for them, you aren’t only interested in promoting yourself but providing them with value. They will share these links themselves, and you’ll get more exposure as well, because your name will be attached to every retweet or share.

  • We Will Not Steal Photos– Stock photos are expensive, but they are more expensive when a lawyer is involved. As images are being used more often in marketing and on social media websites, companies (or people working for them) have taken to Google images to find photos to use for their own purposes.

Unfortunately, unless you do the appropriate search to find unlicensed photos available for commercial use, this is stealing content. There are search engines that are used by attorneys to find this content to sue companies using it, without purchasing rights.

Sharing photos on social media websites is acceptable, but editing these photos, including them in your advertising, or anything besides sharing them may lead to litigation.

© 2013, Social Media Consultant. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Mary,

    Great post. It resonates well with my experiences managing Adwords accounts for my clients. In the same way I made mistakes early on by taking clients who were resistant to making any changes to their websites. I failed to explain properly that Adwords only works if your website converts so it really was in their interest to make the changes I suggested.

    So I completely get your positioning that it’s important the client is fully educated about how a Social Media campaign should run.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Mike

  2. I have been asked by a client to use pictures that were sourced from other websites. When I told him that I couldn’t, he said it was okay because he was based in another country (Australia). When I showed him the copyright laws in his own country, he took still insisted it was okay. When I told him I could no longer work for him because of the copyright issues, he left really awful feedback for me on the platform we contracted through. I can live with the bad feedback. I now include a list similar to yours in any contracts for social media management.

    • That’s a great idea Annie, a list up front will tell your clients what you can do, and what you can’t. Some just want to argue, and think they will get away with their activities and don’t mind jeopardizing their business. It’s sad.

      Thank you for visiting, how do you think I could make this list better?

      Mary

  3. Ding! Dng! Ding! You hit the nail on the head with this one. It is so difficult to help a client who either thinks they know better, or doesn’t care about doing things right. As you said, they hired an agency for a reason. If they want someone who will do anything they’re told, without regards to law, or even what is best for the client, they can find that person, but why would they want to?

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