Social Media (Web 2.0) is like having a casual conversation over the back fence with a neighbour.  It is also like getting that unexpected phone call from an old college friend and catching up on things. Social Media is laid back and conversational. Yet many people and companies that enters this arena are trying to hard to market themselves and they fail.

Find below some common mistakes marketers make when entering Social Media Marketing.

Self promoting

By promoting only yourself and not providing value is a huge mistake.  As you enter into the Social Media world it is about participation and entering into conversations. We all see people and companies that enter into blogging, Twitter and Social Networking that spend all their energy marketing themselves. This is a sure way to get people to run the other direction.

Listening

Social Media is conversational.  This means that two or more people listening and then responding.  If your focus is on broadcasting, then you are not engaging at a social level.  Building relationships requires listening to understand the other person’s point of view and then respond.

Not conversational

Never try to force your point of view.  Your goal is to listen, build trust and understand the other person’s viewpoint.  Of course you want to voice your own point of view, but avoid criticizing and being offensive.  Avoid being too formal, boring and proper. Interact and let your personality show.

Too much participation

If you try to participate in too many forms of Social Media your participation becomes spotty and inconsistent.  You may experiment with a wide range of tools.  Find a the few areas you really enjoy and that you are good at.  Settle in on your favourite Social Media forms and focus.  You will enjoy it more and build better relationships.

Giving up

Social Media Marketing is about creating and sustaining lasting relationships.  It takes time and many conversations.  Social Media is not the instant solution that many people believes.  Be prepared for a long-term commitment or don’t do it at all.