Why You Suck At Social Media Networking

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You heard social media networking was the key to an effective marketing campaign in today’s digital world and jumped on the bandwagon. So, where are all those new customers and outstanding sales figures? Social networking, like everything else, has to be done correctly in order to be effective. Here are the most common mistakes companies make in social media, and how to take your suck to good luck.

Do Your Posts Sound Too Promotional?


Image via Flickr by Loozrboy

Are your posts and tweets blatant promotional content or something the readers see as valuable? For example, “Check out our new products!” is only going to attract the few readers who are already hooked on your stuff. Instead, try something like, “5 Things You Can’t Do Without This Season.” This statement builds interest and excitement without being in-your-face advertisement. After all, one of the reasons social media is more effective than traditional advertising is because it offers something of value not just a shameless promotion, which is quite easy for consumers to ignore.

Are You Automating Streams of Content?

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Image via Flickr by Barmala

Do you set your Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social networking accounts to spit out automated content all day every day? If so, you can fully expect readers to completely ignore your stuff and quickly opt out of receiving your spammy messages. That’s one of the 10 ways to suck on Twitter. Readers want substance, not fluff. They don’t care to hear drone messages, but they are interested in receiving up-to-date, meaningful information. For example, if you’re selling widgets, give them great information about widgets. What are the safest widgets on the market? What size widget is best for your wing ding? When is the best time to buy a widget? Articles like these give the customer information they want and need, which builds goodwill between your company and your customers.

Are You Engaging in One-Way Conversations?

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Image via Flickr by cooper.gary

Some companies just spit out information at consumers with no input and commentary from the people who matter most. Effective social media networking doesn’t leave out the “networking” part – it’s a two-way conversation. When people use social media, they want to communicate back. This means having staff members who respond and reply to comments, answer messages and let consumers know there really are humans behind that logo. Furthermore, the most successful companies in social marketing encourage comments and questions. Opinion polls, open-ended questions and other ways to illicit input from customers helps build relationships, not just advertisements.

Once you build something of value to readers and open the portal to two-way communications, you’ll see an entirely different side of social media networking for marketing. Are all the comments from consumers going to be positive? Absolutely not. However, smart companies can weed out comments from the haters and get a lot of insight from the average consumer. Are people constantly complaining about a particular part of your product? Is price the biggest problem or quality? Even negative comments can trigger necessary changes in your company to offer a product consumers want to buy – and give them a message they want to spread to others.

See? You really don’t have to suck at social media networking. It just takes some planning and practice to get social media networking right. What are your thoughts?

Timothy Carter

Timothy Carter

Director of Business Development at AudienceBloom
Timothy Carter is the Director of Business Development for the Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency AudienceBloom. When Timothy isn't telling the world about... Read Full Bio
Timothy Carter
Timothy Carter
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  • Sahil

    Absolutely Tim. Good one mate. Adding value to the customers by helping them out with necessary content regarding the product or the services, showing our expertise to impress the customer, posting interesting content to create open ended discussions or debates, showing our gratitude by replying back to the comments etc. certainly helps one build the brand value and authority on social media.

    • Timothy Carter

      I appreciate it Sahil. Always good to see feedback. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon Hernandez

    Great article, Tim. I believe that you hit very important points to marketing your brand. Although I have been slacking in the department of engaging people on Twitter, I find that when I start posing questions, people start to find a general interest in what I’m doing on the radio. The same goes for Facebook. Instead of posting that I have free stuff to give away on the radio, I have started to engage my audience with questions where they would have an opinion. Any time I am able to respond back to a great comment, it drives more interest in the post and (hopefully) what I’m doing on the radio. The blanket posts of “I have xyz for free tonight and a chance for you to meet xyz…” doesn’t work.

    • Timothy Carter

      Shannon, oftentimes engaging and finding time to engage is the hardest part. One of the things I do, and this is totally me…I make a set time a couple times a day to respond. It might be nothing more than 5-10 minutes. But I’m focused, I’m responding and then BOOM…onto the next task in my day. πŸ™‚

      Build those relationships by responding to people! Thanks for the comment.

      • Shannon Hernandez

        Fight the good fight, my friend!! Thanks for responding back!


  • Mollie

    Great tips! I often forget to engage our followers/fans in 2-way conversation in my updates. Something to keep in mind.

    • Timothy Carter

      Glad that this article has responding to your people on your mind. πŸ™‚ Don’t forget it. Engagement leads to relationships which leads to trust.

  • tom


    Good article..thanks

  • Federico Herrera

    Nice Post! I would like to throw a spanner in the works and see what your thoughts are (I am not sure which side of the fence I sit on, but I am guilty of doing this). I think twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc, used to serve different purposes but I think that is slowly changing. These tools are increasingly serving similar purposes (to share and engage) but they simply have different audiences. Take for example some folks do not have access to Facebook, some people like to be on the move and view tonnes of information from different sources , so they use twitter, etc. So if there are different audiences using these channels, then should we not have all of our great content available across all channels, and therefore to all of our potential audience?

    • Timothy Carter

      It is good to share your content across any social channel where your audience is it. The problem with automating content to everywhere is that it can potentially turn off a reader, for example, on Facebook seeing hashtags that are used on Twitter.

      It may be of value to schedule out content to each social network, based on need/time but it has to be personalized and timed right for each network.

      Some people on Twitter may read your tweets before noon, your connections on LinkedIn may read stuff from you after lunch if you post then and your Facebook fans check out your content posted in the evenings.

      If a blanket post covering all networks is sent at the wrong times, you miss out on maximizing your reach, you oppotunity to connect and engage with those individuals.

      Thanks for throwing in the “spanner” in the works Federico. πŸ˜‰

  • Michelle Stinson Ross

    Right on and now Facebook has set us up for even more ways to suck with search. Having so much fun in the trenches πŸ™‚

    • Timothy Carter

      LOL…no kidding Michelle! Thanks Facebook. πŸ˜‰

  • tamie

    Thanks Tim! I have so much to learn. Keep educating us newbies.