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Social Media Marketing for (Real) Dummies

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Do you ever wonder why some business people choose to practice social media marketing? I mean, there are some folks who aren't quite ready for prime time. I don't want be snooty about this, but, come on. How credible can they be when they present themselves (and their brands) like dummies?

So, you want examples, eh? Well, I can't link to specific pages because that would be just plain mean---besides being highly risky for litigation. But, I'll tell you about a few I've seen lately on Twitter.

Example #1
A social media company that provides social media marketing services to businesses has 175 followers on Twitter, follows around 650, and is on 5 lists. The author has written a total of 10 posts. Huh?

As if that isn't enough, here's the copy that appears on the company's Twitter page: "Social Media Services Ofeered"

Now, would you contact this company for social media marketing assistance?

Example #2
How about the man whose Twitter page says he's been a general contractor for years? In his bio, he mentions all the nice outdoor activities he's done in his life. First impression from the photo and the intro? Nice smiling guy in his 60s who probably wants to connect with new people who enjoy the same things. NOT!

Click on the link to his Website, and what smacks you in the face? A sensational headline and high-pressure multilevel marketing pitch with video and an "act now" message. What a disconnect.

Example #3
A professional in my target market began following me recently. I clicked on his profile to check it out. A large message greeted me that says:

This person has protected their tweets.
You need to send a request before you can start following this person.

Is there any wonder that he has only 63 followers? Doesn't this strategy defeat the entire purpose of social media networking?

OK, your turn. Got any social media marketing dummy stories to share?

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A Canadian who relocated to the U.S., Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of SOLUTIONS Marketing & Consulting LLC, a boutique marketing and communications agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona. During her career, Elaine has worked for, and with, many organizations, associations, and businesses, across North America, on marketing strategy and communications tactics.

From her earlier agency career assignments freelance copywriting Procter & Gamble, Nestlé Carnation, and Kraft materials, to “inside” senior-level marketing positions, Elaine’s passion for marketing has evolved to helping clients reach new heights through strategic brand-building, integrated marketing communications, and customer orientation.

She has been a contributing writer for The Business Journal and her articles have appeared in many publications, including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Marketing News, The Arizona Republic, Advancing Philanthropy, and several association publications. She has been interviewed by CNN, Connect Magazine, and The Capitol Times, and her content was included in Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits by Jay Conrad Levinson, Frank Adkins, and Chris Forbes. Nonprofit Consulting Essentials by Penelope Cagney. and Share of Mind, Share of Heart by Sybil F. Stershic.

Elaine is a Faculty Associate at the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation and a professional member of the National Speakers Association – she does keynotes and presentations on business and nonprofit marketing, branding, customer orientation, and cause marketing at conferences and meetings.

Elaine’s career has also included stints as a cookbook author, teacher, singer, and television show host. A golf and tennis enthusiast, Elaine is enjoying life in the sunny Sonoran Desert while serving clients across North America.

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  • by Jamie Turner Wed Jul 14, 2010 via blog

    I'm in total agreement about the "this person has protected their Tweets" issue. I can't understand why anyone would be on Twitter and protect their Tweets. Huh? If you want to limit the people who read your Tweets, I'd suggest Twitter isn't for you.

    One other mistake I see people make is that they only send out SPAM or self-promotional Tweets. I try to follow the Chris Brogan rule to send out 15 Tweets promoting others for every self-promotional Tweet. (Confession -- I'm TERRIBLE at executing Chris's rule flawlessly, but at least I try. I'll be better, Chirs, I promise. LOL.)

    Keep up the great posts!

    Jamie Turner
    The 60 Second Marketer

  • by Elaine Fogel Wed Jul 14, 2010 via blog

    Thanks, Jamie! You're right - why bother with social media if you don't want to be open-minded about connecting with new people? Weird.

    I think Chris' advice is sound. I personally find it annoying to see self-promotion tweets only and nothing else. If there's nothing of value from an individual, I'll often stop following him/her.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • by Jamie Turner Wed Jul 14, 2010 via blog

    Always glad to make a comment, Elaine. Keep up the good work!


  • by Sharon Miller Thu Jul 15, 2010 via blog

    You are absolutely right Jamie. I have also faced almost similar experience in Twitter. Sometimes I amazed how they can think of these ridiculous thought. Any way, thanks for the post. Keep it up.

  • by Howard Shen Thu Jul 15, 2010 via blog

    Hi there,

    You got it all right Ms. Elaine!

    There are really people who just wants to get attraction from their eye-catching personal branding or headlines.
    Anyway, it still depends on the user, though, if he is interested about the link he wants to click. :)

    Keep it up,

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Jul 15, 2010 via blog

    Thanks for commenting, Sharon and Howard. Howard, you may be right, but why try to attract attention if you don't want anyone to know more about you or your business? I find that a bit contradictory. Oh well. C'est la vie.

  • by woutlaban Thu Jul 15, 2010 via blog

    funny,.. social media has been so hyped lately and still people don't know how to use it properly! I'm still a student and probably make some rookie mistakes in the social media world! butt I totally agree with Jamie turner, if you protect your tweets you shouldn't be on Twitter! I wonder why they even gave you the option, it really just takes the power away from this great social media!

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Jul 15, 2010 via blog

    Agreed, woutlaban! I can't understand why the feature is available, too. It's counter-productive. But, on the other hand, LinkedIn has a limit of how many groups to which one can be a member, and penalizes people who are turned down by invitations to connect. So, go figure.

    I wrote a post about this on MP: What an eye-opener that was!

  • by avm123 Thu Jul 29, 2010 via blog

    I agree with your sentiments. The effectiveness of social media lies not just on the channel you're using but mainly with the deliverance of information. You may be provided with the most influential modes but unless the content of your info are just junks, do you think you are capable of reaching your goal?

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Jul 29, 2010 via blog

    Very true, avm. If you don't bring value, followers will migrate. Thanks for your comment.

  • by Chuck Media Wed Sep 15, 2010 via blog

    I had to be talked into using Twitter by my guru, I didn't see much use for it. Not only is it useful, it's harder than it looks! Your examples are good. Bad spelling and/or grammar errors are good warning sign- nobody's perfect but come on! If it's the first thing people see in your online presence it had better be right!

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Sep 16, 2010 via blog

    Right on, Chuck! Without body language and facial expression, our online presence is judged solely on our words. Thanks for your comment. Have fun with Twitter. It's an interesting channel.

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