The Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media
Having been reduced to the seven that we know today by Pope Gregory late in the sixth century, the seven deadly sins are a list of rebellious tendencies that afflict fallen humanity. Committing any of these sins will result in eternal damnation (at least in a religious sense).
Thankfully then, we’re talking about the seven deadly sins from a B2B social media marketing viewpoint as opposed to a religious one. Committing any of these sins may not cause you to spend eternity in hell, but it will definitely affect your ability to achieve good engagement levels, increase your conversion rates and generate more high-quality leads and customers.
A strong desire for someone or something
‘96% of B2B marketers measure number of fans and followers’ (Source: Awareness, Inc.)
Every B2B marketer wants more followers, engagement and leads from their social media sites… That’s why we spend so much time on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. So what’s the problem? Well, the issues arise when you start ‘lusting’ after more followers and engagement and stop focusing on the real goal – giving prospects, leads and customers what they want. Are you addressing their needs, pain points and concerns? Are you sharing knowledge with them? Are you showing solutions to their problems? Or, are you constantly posting about yourself, your company and your content? Don’t allow the attractiveness of big follower numbers cloud your judgement.
‘27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day’ (Source: AOL & Nielsen)
The internet is awash with B2B content. Whether it’s blogs, white papers, ebooks, case studies or the array of other formats, there are vast amounts of content being created every single day. Given that we know sharing information and educating prospects will result in increased leads and sales, should you be sharing every piece of content you find online? Definitely not! By all means, read the content, digest it and share the important findings with your prospects, leads and customers. But don’t overindulge in the ‘share’ button and start flooding your social media pages with every piece of content you read. It will simply end up leaving your prospects overwhelmed and under impressed.
An intense and selfish desire for something
The rule of thumb for social media posting is 80% sharing helpful content posted by others, versus 20% posting original or self-promotional updates
As the almost polar opposite of gluttony; don’t be greedy with the content you find online. There is no better feeling than finding a little nugget of priceless information online and feeling smug that you’re one of only a few people who have found it. But that’s not the name of the game. If you want to see your leads increase as people look to you for valuable information, then you need to learn to share. If you find a blog post, an ebook or an infographic that you think your prospects, leads and customers would benefit from; then it’s your duty to share it. In doing so, you’ll help build a relationship of trust upon which a sale can be made.
Reluctance to work or make an effort (laziness)
‘41% of B2B marketers use social media for less than 6 hours per week’ (Source: Social Media Examiner)
Sadly, many B2B marketers commit this deadly sin. In order for social media marketing to work (whether it’s on one social media site or ten) there needs to be regular involvement. For example, if your organisation has a Twitter account, then you need to be posting at least four times per day in order to gain traction with your followers. Marketers who create social media accounts and then don’t maintain a presence are simply wasting everyone’s time. Social media requires frequent updates in order to generate engagement, conversions and positive ROI.
‘17% of organisations have lost a customer due to a negative experience on social media’ (Source: Oracle)
When your organisation has social media profiles and a social presence, it is open to the public eye… whether you like it or not! Prospects, leads, customers and the general public can all view the things people are saying both to you and about you; and this means you have to be on your best behaviour. In today’s world, customers can post their complaints directly on a social media site, and you need to be able to handle these while under the spotlight. Whether the complaint is justified or not, never lose your temper on a social media site. Instead, use it as an opportunity to publicly show how well your organisation dealt with the situation and provided the customer with excellent service.
A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions
‘12% of marketers rate social media as ‘very effective’ for lead generation’ (Source: MarketingSherpa)
There are many corporate social media profiles which just look great. Some of them may even belong to your competitors. They have lots of followers, lots of engagement and they are clearly succeeding at converting leads to customers. But you should never be jealous. Why? Because every social media profile has the potential to be a great social media profile – you just have to be committed. As mentioned before, the more you post, the more traction your posts should receive. But as with all things marketing related, you need to test, test and test again. Whether it’s frequency of posting, subject matter of posts, the imagery that’s used or a variety of other factors; only by testing and amending will your social profile improve. And with continuous improvement comes a great social media presence.
A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements
‘87% of B2B companies view social media (other than blogs) as a highly successful element of their marketing mix’ (Source: Mycustomer.com)
You are only as good as your last follower and last lead conversion. Nobody has a social media presence that takes care of itself and automatically generates leads. You will always have to ‘get your hands dirty’ and get involved with posting and sharing etc. Marketing automation tools may take care of the actual ‘posting’ of an update, but it will always be necessary for you to choose the content that you know your prospects, leads and customers want to see. With everything mentioned in this blog post, it’s possible to create a great social media profile that generates customers and excellent ROI. But once you’ve done this, don’t rest on your laurels, social media will always require your input. Remember, pride comes before a fall.
To find out more about the seven deadly sins of social media, check out our infographic.
Editors note: This post was originally published in January 2014