Question: would you wear the kind of clothes you were wearing during the 1990s this summer? Most certainly not. They are out of fashion and, in many cases, will not even fit you anymore. However, we are surprised at the number of marketers and business owners who faithfully update their wardrobe, but keep applying the same old marketing strategies.
Among the worst offenders are those who use the kind of marketing and promotional strategies which worked in the infancy of social media, when there were no rules, and when people were excited about the sheer idea of having a Facebook™ or MySpace account and clicked on everything indiscriminately. Well, we have a sad truth to break to you: those days are gone, and so are some of the social media channels you may be still using to promote your business.
However, we are not here to criticise and make a negative example of anyone, but to offer guidance and help. And we will do just that by making a comprehensive list of all the social media strategies which belong to the past and are no longer effective:
1. Focusing on Obsolete Social Media Channels
Fashions come and go – not just for clothes, web design and vacation spots, but also for social media platforms. Years ago people were sharing every place they went to on Foursquare. Now they ‘Check in’ on Facebook™. Years and years ago, instant messaging and searches were done through Yahoo. Now we have Google and WhatsApp.
Even Google played a losing hand when they launched Google+. It was their intention to counteract the popularity of Facebook™, but it did not really work out. So, Google+ still exists, but there is not much activity going on there. If you want to save some time and money, focus your social media marketing efforts elsewhere.
2. Using Contests to Gain Followers on Facebook™
This kind of contest is completely banned on the social media platform itself, so various marketers try to outsmart the community rules by organising the contest on a landing page and conditioning participation by liking the Facebook™ page. There is also an alternative to this strategy, by making the content of a link viewable after clicking on the Facebook™ Like button or waiting anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds.
Both these strategies are extremely infuriating for users and will gain you exactly the opposite result: people will leave your page, advise their friends to leave it, and even post negative comments about your business. These tactics used to work in the early days of Facebook™, when people did not have many options to choose from. Now they do, and they hate being coerced in any way by businesses and brands.
3. Clickbait Titles for Your Shared Content
This tactic has generated an avalanche of hyperboles, the likes of which print or digital media have never seen before. Inciting people’s curiosity at all costs, only to find a product promotion instead of the amazing and extraordinary content promised by the social-media-optimised title, will only turn people away and even get your posts reported for violating the Facebook™ community rules. Being honest, fair and accurate in everything you share is a golden rule in everything you do, not only in social media marketing. What you really want to achieve through marketing is finding and keeping customers for the long term. You may gain extra traffic on your site for a moment with clickbaits, but you will never close a sale or create a valuable traffic funnel.
4. Scheduling Your Posts According to Your Spare Time
This is not even a schedule, but an afterthought. “Oh, I have 10 minutes to spare, let me share this blog post on the social media.” This is not how social media marketing works anymore. Users are already experienced and mature in their expectations from the brands and businesses they follow. They want constant engagement and the proof that the company actually cares about its followers and fulfils their expectations.
5. Chasing after Likes as Your Main Purpose
Buying or chasing Likes on Facebook™ is a long-dead practice. Some years ago, companies were, indeed, fighting to build a strong followers’ base. Later on they were promoting the life and soul out of them and bombarding followers with ads and offers. Now it is all about meaningful and genuine engagements, which build trust and leads to sales. Of course you still need followers, but gaining them is not your final purpose – only the first step along the road.
And now we have reached the end of our recommendations. Possibly, you are not applying many of these obsolete social media strategies anymore, but it’s good to know in case you might be tempted to try them one more time…