Today as I logged into my Facebook account, I was disturbed to see that a “friend” had sent me a direct message on my wall promoting his opportunity, one that I am familiar with. I voiced my objections privately and removed this person as a friend. He did not see my point of view, and felt he had done nothing wrong. He shared a quote with me that summed up his philosophy regarding business: It went something like You can be right, I’ll be rich.
What does that say about the way some people market? This says to me that it doesn’t matter what tactics you use, as long as you make a sale. That it’s not at all about building relationships but about the bottom line. We all have a choice to make when we market online. Social marketing sites are a great way to promote your business, but the most effective way to use these sites is through relationship building.
If you use social networking sites for marketing, how you use this platform can affect your bottom line. Think of your wall as your online home. When people come to your home, are they getting to know, like and trust you or are you simply bombarding your guests with self promotion? People want to get a sense of who they are doing business with, and if there is nothing on your wall but ads for products and services that benefit you financially, most people will be turned off and either remove you from their news feed or unfriend you. You need to give your prospects a sense of why they would want to work with you; what is the benefit to them to do business with you?
A few tips for ethical social marketing:
Don’t try to sell something in every post you make. Make posts that let your audience get a sense of who you are, what interests you etc.
Share good content, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you. Examples are links to articles, an interesting video, an inspirational quote.
Give something useful away like an ebook or a free report. Make posts that encourage interaction with your friends.
Post relevant comments on your friends walls.
Don’t spam your friends’ walls. Sharing information with your friends is great, but be considerate of their space. Posting your links on a friend’s walls without their permission is disrespectful. Put yourself in their shoes; how would you feel if your friends posted their offers all over your site without your permission?
Successful marketing is not just about making money, it’s also about changing other peoples lives for the better. People will follow those who help others succeed.
Deb Lane has been marketing online since 1998, and been a small business owner since 1993.
Among other duties, Deb handles the office/financial functions for Marketers Edge, the business she co-owns with her business partner, Stephanie Remers. Marketers Edge specializes in providing online marketing tools for both online and offline businesses, as well as help for those seeking to work from home.
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