Recently I was a guest speaker for the Suncoast Technology Forum, speaking on the topic of social media marketing.  During my presentation I asked for some feedback from the audience regarding their experiences with LinkedIn and my fears seem to be confirmed.

I have grown accustomed to people misguidedly using Facebook to shout !!CAPITAL-LETTERED!! sales messages at me (and have grown accustomed to moving them out of my News Feed or unfriending them altogether so I don’t have to hear from them anymore.)   But because of its audience and etiquette, LinkedIn has traditionally been a place relatively clear of those annoying tactics.  However, it seems like LinkedIn is being infiltrated by the same band of misguided souls.

To help provide some guidance to those who somehow think they are effectively representing their products and services, here are a few examples of communications I have seen and a suggested improvement to their tactics:

“I just sold a $1.5 MILLION dollar home!!  Now I can pay off my Mercedes!!!! ”

“Congratulations to the Jones family on their beautiful new home!”

Optics are extremely important.  Many realtors “friend” potential clients on Facebook.  Do you think the realtor who posted the message above will get repeat business from their client?  It appears as though they didn’t care about putting their client in the home of their dreams, just making a big sale for their own personal gain.Tactic:

“Gag grouper season opened today – read my latest blog post to make sure you catch your limit!”

By using a blog you can educate your audience and provide useful tips and tricks.  And you get the benefit of driving traffic to your website by linking these “teasers” to your blog.  People who are interested in fishing will go read this blog post.  But no one likes being yelled at.

As mentioned above, different social media channels have different styles of etiquette.  Using rapid hard sales messages will get you unfriended in Facebook and LinkedIn, and once you lose your audience it may be impossible to get them back.  Social media is most successful when it is a two-way conversation, and you and your audience are sharing information and ideas.  SO PUT DOWN THE MEGAPHONE BEFORE YOU GET HURT!!!!


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