Social media online marketing is a relatively new discipline, but practical experience has shown that some “shortcuts” have had little or no effect on truly improving social media presence. Below are some examples of tactics that work, and shortcuts that do not work.
Increasing Your Audience: Social media marketers have been tempted to purchase followers for their Facebook and Twitter accounts. This has led to a temporary illusion of popularity, but I have not seen a case of this strategy reaping long term benefits. The best way to increase your social media audience is with creative, valuable and unique content. Increased exposure of content can be achieved with sponsored posts on Facebook and creating strategic alliances with other related firms to trade information and content to reach related, but non-competitive businesses. (ie. Auto Repair Shops and Used Car Sellers and Test Only Smog Shops.)
Promoting Using Facebook Cover Photos: Facebook clearly outlines that cover photos should not contain price or purchase information, email addresses, mailing addresses or website addresses, and cannot be more than 20 percent text. If you must use the cover photos to promote a product, be clever, leave a lot to the imagination, and tease the viewer to read your page to find out how to get more information on a new product or promotion. These rules are for the good of the Facebook page owner as well as the viewers. Making your Facebook page look like an ad is a negative.
Automated Responders: It is the natural instinct to want to entice a new follower to your Facebook page to do business immediately with you by employing a responder that will send a new follower a coupon, offer, or some other enticement to begin doing business immediately. It might make more sense to post a different special to all Facebook followers on the same day of each week to train those interested in your business to check for incentives regularly at the same time. Social Media is about relationships with your customers and weaving your business into their lives.
Bottom Line: You should, by now, distrust most “shortcuts” to online marketing success. Whether it is link building, social media followers, or website content, taking the slow, sure, and hardworking approach will reap more benefits in the long term than any shortcut.