If you hang out on Twitter, then you’ve probably seen the tweets. Messages sent by people who have no other mission than to continuously advertise art or crafts they’ve got for sale. They don’t converse with others. They don’t share. They just self-promote, which is no better than spamming.
Facebook groups can be repositories for erstwhile members to “hit and run” as they drop off an image and promo on their latest item for sale in a lame attempt to draw traffic. They don’t care who is in the group, because they have no intention of interacting with anyone.
LinkedIn is a site for serious businesspeople, but it’s a prime target for spammers, too. Have you received invitations to connect from people you don’t know and have nothing in common with? If you accept the connection, look for their spam to fill your inbox. If you participate in a LinkedIn discussion, you will see the self-promoters drop in there, too, with their little “gifts” for everyone.
Do these techniques work? Rarely. Most people unfollow, block or delete tiresome attempts to get attention and make sales. Cyber junk mail, annoying messages and other social media blunders just alienate people.
Sometimes, artists resort to shameless self-promotion because they don’t really know a better way to connect with others or to become a valuable member of the group.
Ready to Change Your Strategy?
If you plead guilty to any of these online faux pas, it’s time to turn over a new leaf and start interacting with your community in a positive way.
The networking part of social networking means building connections in a cooperative way with others for mutual benefit. Referrals are a result of a strong network. So are testimonials. Growing your business is far easier when you have that support.
Here are 4 ways to get started:
1. To receive, you must give. Networking takes time, but is worth the effort. First, reach out to others with genuine interest. Respond to tweets or posts and start a conversation. “Like,” repin, and share content that you think is worthy. Become a friend, and you will make them. Not everyone will reciprocate, but some will, and you will begin to get traction to build your network.
2. Make a plan. You can’t effectively be on all social networks, so choose the ones that appeal to you and that you will follow through on. If you abandon your Facebook page or Twitter account for six months, you may look out of business. Devote regular scheduled time to social networking each day, or a couple of days each week.
3. Connect with the right people. Who is your audience? Follow and share with those who share your interests, or may be good business contacts for you. Don’t snow them with promotions, though. Get to know them as people before you ask them to become customers. People buy from others they know, like and trust. Here’s where you get to earn that.
Once you’ve started creating a network of friends, fans and business associates, you won’t need to do any more shameless self-promotion. Your network will support you in sharing opportunities and referring business your way.