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This is Article 2 in the SoMe series. Here are article 1 (Introduction), article 3 (Funneling SoMe to Your Site), and article 4 (Setting SoMe Goals).

SoMe 2People often have a negative view of SoMe (social media). There are three main reasons why this is the case:

  • They are a time sink;
  • The user is only about “buy my product”;
  • The user doesn’t focus on specific areas and disregard others less pertinent to their goals;
  • It’s used as a feel-good, popularity contest.

Time Sink

Social media can be a giant waste of time, a distraction from everything productive you should be doing. You can log in to Facebook and spend hours reading updates, visiting groups, and following the links people share. I’m as guilty of this as the next person.

If you’ve ever tried to use SoMe but found yourself with nothing to show for it at the end of the day, this hypnosis might be your problem. It’s not always your fault – you may have been following a poor strategy or were a bit helpless and fumbling about.

It surprises many people, but the recommendation is to spend no more than an hour or so on social media traffic strategies per day. It’s tough, and those ten minute intervals ten times a day will certainly bite you in the butt.

Sometimes you must spend more time on it, such as when you’re setting your pages up, but never an entire day. Once you have things set up, the traffic will start to come in without you doing much. In later articles, we’ll talk about the things you can do to make it work faster and better, but right from the beginning, there are positive results.

Buy My Product

Have you ever logged onto Facebook to find that someone has invited you to an event, which is only a thinly (or not so thinly) disguised sales pitch? Or maybe they’ve loaded a photo designed to sell and tagged you in it. God, but I hate this. Perhaps they go as far as to spam your wall with their sales pitch – talk about bad manners! Or they send you canned messages—the same text for multiple groups–begging you to buy from them. Or perhaps you’ve started rolling your eyes at Twitter, where people tweet endless messages selling their product or service.

It’s easy to declare that SoMe is worthless when so many people are using irritating strategies.

The people who do this are totally lacking in the most important thing for making sales: building a relationship. You have to build a relationship with the people you hope will visit your website or buy your products. A solid relationship with give and take will ensure your traffic and sales grow. Spamming people on SoMe and doing things like getting fake likes and follows will get you nowhere. I’ve been part of a “like” ring (back when I was new as a spring shoot), and what did it get me? A bunch of likes from people who don’t actually opt to get notifications from my page. It’s a nice number (not all that nice), but it’s not really good for anything. With Facebook’s new distribution model, if you’re reaching 10% of the people who like your page, probably 50% or more of those people don’t give a darn what you have to say. Genuine likes are much more productive.

Lacking Focus and Strategy

You know you need to build relationships to get the right kind of site visitors, but how? Should you target everyone on Twitter or is there a certain group you should target? How do you weed out the semi-anonymous twitter users who are actually fans, from the ones who are more interested in selling you something. (Not that we don’t buy from each other, but our target market needs to be new readers.)

Consider this – you can send 100, 500, 1000(!) untargeted visitors to your website without benefiting at all. Or, you can send ten targeted visitors to your website and get seven email sign ups and three sales.

The real goal is to get huge targeted traffic. We all want you to get a lot of the right kind of visitors.

You need a solid strategy that will get you exactly what you need. Don’t just dive into SoMe without this roadmap in front of you. And, it’s not to late to fix up what you’ve already begun, so don’t despair.

The Big Popularity Contest

Lastly, it’s important not to define your success on social media purely by how popular you look. This is such an easy trap to fall into. Some pages might have a million likes, get thousands of shares and comments for each post, but have nothing to show for it. Then there are the George Takeis… Wouldn’t it be nice?

Popularity is great, as it means there are more chances of getting your website/product seen by more people. However, it’s only when you have a plan to send those people to your website or directly to Amazon (B&N, ARe, Blushing Books, etc.), where they can become buyers, that you’ll reap the SoMe rewards.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to set up to achieve your goals. It’s called the SoMe “funnel.”

(Here is article 3 in the series.)


  1. Another great article, Trish. I’m sure I’ve fallen into all of these traps and am not using social media to my best advantage. Looking forward to the next article that should help me correct that. Fantastic series! I tweeted. 🙂

  2. I have a lot of respect for you. Your blogs offer useful information and your advice is excellent. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us

    • Thanks so much, Kallista. I try to share information with people whenever I can, and I like article series. They’re not too difficult for me to write and I think they touch a lot of people.

  3. I love Twitter, but hate the ad-fest it’s become. I think it’s a great place to throw out some one-liners and let people “know” you. The real you. I’m big on real lately. Too much phony shit everywhere. Oh, and another peeve — not that anyone asked — is when I tweet at someone nicely, funny, etc. a few times and they ignore me. That’s just rude. Snobs, hate ’em, no time for ’em, and …. who the fuck do do they think they ARE, anyway? Rilly? Gah. OK, leaving now to go practice tolerance and forgiveness and shit.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean about Twitter. I hardly ever have anyone interact with me. They retweet me sometimes, which generally elicits a “thank you” from me (not always, depends on the context), but not much conversation. It makes you feel like you’re talking to yourself, adding to the general stream of voices all yammering without listening.

  4. I’m waiting for next week.

  5. some great points…I’ve been trying more and more target and ‘clever’ ideas…they do seem to be working…thanks Patricia!

    • I’m thinking about ways to get more “real” with readers, too. But, at the same time, I don’t want to be “cutesy” and TMI that’s boring. It’s a conundrum. Thanks for commenting, Elaine.

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