Staying up on trends and continually evolving a plan are essential to a successful social media marketing strategy. Therefore, it follows that an outdated social media strategy is an ineffective social media strategy. But what makes a social media strategy “outdated”? While there are plenty of things you shouldn’t make part of your social media strategy, there are a few techniques that once may have been considered effective but now, well, now we hate them.
Here are 6 outdated strategy tactics that every content marketer should avoid.
- Asking for a like or retweet. Coming right out and asking your followers to like, retweet or share something is an outdated social media strategy that users see right through. Instead of asking for basic interactions from your fans, provide valuable content and then ask for their opinion. Change your copy from “Like this if you agree with our theory on the Flying Spaghetti Monster!” to “Do you think a Flying Spaghetti Monster can exist based on our research? Share your thoughts!” Not only will you receive more interactions, but they will be higher quality, with your target actually providing valuable insights into how they think and work.
- Setting up an automatic direct message on Twitter. If you’ve automated your entire social media strategy, you have a problem. Social media is meant to be personalized, fast-paced, real and in real-time. Sending automated tweets can be bad enough… sending automatic direct messages is even worse! Instead of setting up a direct message system that will undoubtedly annoy new followers and possibly cause them to unfollow, why not take the time and reach out to new followers individually with a tweet or question that seeks to get to know them a little better. Ask what kind of content they’re following for or just thank them for following with a direct tweet as opposed to a direct message. Your followers will appreciate the time you spend on personalizing your relationship!
- Using outdated and annoying buzzwords. Things move fast online with new ideas constantly being shared and elaborated on. So it makes sense that a lot of these trendy buzzwords can lose their punch pretty quickly, especially with so many marketers including them in their regular, everyday vernacular. Avoid using outdated and annoying buzzwords like “synergy” and “crowdsourcing” in your social media strategy. Present new ideas and new words that we can use until they’re no longer cool!
- Sending everyone who follows you on Twitter a LinkedIn invitation. You just got a new Twitter follower. Great job! They deemed your account worthy of including in their daily feeds, on Twitter. Don’t take followers away from your Twitter feed by sending a LinkedIn invitation. Chances are, your LinkedIn strategy and your Twitter strategy are very different… or at least they should be! Don’t overwhelm new followers by asking them to follow you somewhere else. Instead, focus on providing the quality content that encouraged them to follow you in the first place!
- Using your personal Instagram as your business/brand Instagram. In real life, most people try to keep business and personal lives separate. While this line is certainly being blurred by the startup movement, the philosophy still holds true on our social media checklist. Particularly Instagram. By combining a personal and brand account, you’re diluting your message and confusing your followers. Create an Instagram account for your brand where the updates are strictly related to your business or company philosophies. If you still want an account where you can post pictures of Saturday night beers or your family trip to Disneyland, make a completely separate account.
- Overusing and misusing hashtags. Hashtags are one of the most overused and abused marketing tools on social media platforms Twitter, Instagram and now Facebook. Many people think that adding 10, 15, 20 tags is a great way to generate interest in a post. And sure, adding hashtags like #love, #peace or #tranquility will probably get you a few likes, but it won’t actually create real interest in your posts OR brand. The best way to use hashtags is to promote specific events or to aggregate updates regarding a particular topic, like #SXSW2014. Look at hashtags as a way to find people talking about your topic of interest, not to generate likes or shares.
Using social media specifically to generate buzz is a mistake. Instead, be honest online and approach social media how it’s meant to be approached: in real-time and as a tool for discussion, not promotion. Double check your strategy with our social media checklist and make sure your techniques aren’t outdated!