Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is it OK to promote ____________ through my personal social media accounts?

One of my least favorites things about social media is when people mindlessly promote things through their personal social media accounts.

I know what you're thinking "Danny, isn't this exactly what social media accounts are for?".

The right answer is "not really".  Social media are for connecting and helping people but this isn't a post about what social media are/aren't good for.  Sometimes the best way to help people and make connections is to promote things, but everyday I see people who seem to have to no idea when it is or isn't appropriate to promote things through their personal social media account.  On a bad day, Twitter looks like a bunch of people promoting whatever it is they are doing at that moment.  I have lots of theories on why this happens but I'll save those for another post....

I hate to answer a question with more questions but I think people need to ask themselves a few things before they promote anything through their personal social media accounts?

  1. Is anybody listening? If you have no followers, no connections or no fans, then you are simply wasting your time.  
  2. Is anybody going to care? Think about your audience.  Who are you connected to and who are they connected to?  I often see people promoting events for their company when all of their connections are friends.  If you aren't sure if people are going to care, why don't you put some thought into what social media platforms you select and how you present your offer.  
  3. How often am I doing this?  Look at the ratio of your promotions vs. interactions.  If you're the digital equivalent of a person standing on a street corner with a megaphone then maybe you should reconsider. 

I'd like to suggest that if the answer to either of the first two questions is "yes" then you shouldn't promote whatever it is to your personal social media connections.  If the answer to the last question is "more than once a week", I'd also suggest you seriously reconsider.  There are people who can get away with it more often than others but chances are you're not one of them.


image credit: ehnmark

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