July 28, 2014

5 Ways to Fail With Social Media Marketing

Social media websites are being used more and more by bloggers and website owners to gain exposure and traffic. However, social media in not necessarily an easy way to get a lot of traffic. Here are five things not to do when using social media.

1. Be Self-Centered

Social Media Marketing is all about mutual benefit and helping others. All successful Social Media Marketers are willing and ready to help others by submitting their content or just by giving a vote. Those that try to only promote their own material never go anywhere. After a while other users will notice if you’re only voting for yourself, and they’ll stop voting for you.

On the other hand, if you are willing to help others, they’ll more than likely return the favor. Those who have developed strong profiles have done so by submitting and voting for great content, regardless of what they have to gain from it. Help others and you’ll wind up benefiting as well (and you’ll make some new friends along the way).

2. Focus Only On One Site

There are hundreds or maybe even thousands of different social media sites out there. Some have large audiences, others have some audiences. Some are general in nature, and others focus on a specific niche. There’s no reason to only use one social media site.

By focusing all of your efforts on one site you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities. If you spread yourself around a little bit you’ll meet a lot more people, find more great content, and reach a wider audience with your own work.

Most people obviously focus on the larger sites (like Digg and StumbleUpon) that have potential to send the most traffic. I have found smaller niche sites to be extremely valuable if they are relevant to your interests. These types of sites may send smaller amounts of traffic, but it is generally much better quality traffic because it will be more targeted.

3. Try to Force Content that Isn’t Right

The great thing about social media is that users get to choose what they like and what does well. If you’ve used social media for any length of time I’m sure you’ve noticed that certain types of content do better than others. Each social media site has certain things that certain and other things that don’t.

Many people who are new to social media assume that they can submit anything and it will have a chance to draw thousands of visitors. However, in order to have success you will need to learn what types of content have a chance to do well. Make your submissions fit into what users like, don’t try to force users to like what you submit.

4. Have Unrealistic Expectations

Social media can obviously send huge amounts of traffic. In fact, it may be the largest source of traffic for many bloggers and website owners. But not everything you submit will become popular, especially if you don’t have a power profile. Some people create a Digg account and submit a few of their own posts expecting to get tons of traffic. When that doesn’t happen many of them give up.

Social media can and will send traffic to your site, but you have to be willing to do some work for it. The right content has to be created and on many social media sites you’ll have to spend some time building a profile (unless someone else submits your content).

5. Overlook the Networking Aspect

Traffic isn’t always the best thing that comes out of social media. Actually, networking with other users is one of the most beneficial aspects. Most social media users want to network with other users. It’s a great place to contact high profile users that you might not otherwise have a connection to. Of course you don’t want to approach them and simply ask for a favor. Networking involves getting to know others and finding ways to work together and help each other.

Anyone who is successful with social media has done a lot of networking and made some very valuable contacts. The members of your network will be worth more to you than social media traffic any day. But remember that networking is a two-way street and be sure to help others whenever you can.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

14 comments

  1. I came to your site from pixel heads. And I am glad I did. I use Digg, Stumble, and Delicious. But I think I will try focusing on DropJack and Flur mostly and see if this helps. Do you have any suggestions for great smaller markers. I am quite green on this subject. So some tips would be great!

    Thank you

  2. Great post, as you know I much prefer a lot of the smaller social media sites like designfloat and dzone. The traffic is much more targeted and typically a lot more interested in my topic.

  3. I might be guilty of number 2 and 3 more than the others…but trying to get away from doing those.

  4. Phoenix,
    Thanks for clicking-through and for commenting. I would definitely recommend that you stay active with StumbleUpon. It is by far the best in many ways, in my opinion. Also, check out the social media list to see if there are any that are specific to your niche.

    Dustin,
    Thanks for commenting. Yes, I agree that niche sites send higher quality traffic, and I have been focusing a little more on them myself.

    Adam,
    I think every social media marketer has made some of these mistakes, so no worries. Thanks for your feedback.

  5. These are traits we all forget sometimes. In my network of contacts most everyone is willing and able to share. In fact that is how I found your post.

    Great post!

  6. This is a great resource for understanding the world of Social Media. It’s funny how little-patience can cause the same backfire. Starting out Digging for example, and found no one reciprocating and my Digging tapered off. But then, I’m also juggling more than a half dozen sites, and only the one is mine… who has time to do all this? All the same, the advice is well noted and well advised. Really appreciate finding your blog tonight.

  7. Most people looking to shine in the social media sphere overlook the networking aspect. Traffic only comes after you have networked like crazy on the site, especially if it’s a large one.

  8. Ruchir,
    I agree, networking is key. Although with StumbleUpon I think anyone can get traffic, network or none.

  9. Funny I just found this post now; I try to ease up a bit on blogging at the week-end and concentrate more on Social Media. At the moment I am trying to get lots of friends. I am using primarily Stumble Upon, Digg, Facebook and BlogCatalog, but it does take a lot of time!

  10. Yeah, it takes time. I don’t have experience with Facebook, but I use StumbleUpon all the time and Digg fairly frequently.

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