There is No “Wrong Way” to Do Social

I often hear people who are into social media talk about how their friends or colleagues or competitors are “doing social wrong.” But unless you are running scams or spamming, is there really a “wrong way” to do social? Certainly there are more and less effective ways to achieve your business goals using social media and there are lots of great tools and resources out there to help you get on your way, but saying someone is doing it wrong implies that everyone has the same goals and that there is only one way to be successful in attaining them.
For example, here are three completely valid business objectives that require very different social techniques to achieve them. (Note: I haven’t included “building a large following” as a business goal. In my opinion it’s not, it is merely a means to an end.”)
  • Drive increased foot traffic from existing customers [Activate your Network]: For many businesses, especially small businesses, driving increased foot traffic from the people who already know and like you is the difference between failure, modest success, and overwhelming success. In this case, encouraging people who already visit you in person or online to become fans or followers and then providing them with timely, frequent, and valuable messages or promotions that they can capitalize on by coming in will keep you top of mind and bring people back to you sooner than they might normally do otherwise.
  • Drive increased web traffic [Grow your Influence]: For many businesses, social media is a great way to help increase search engine rankings and capture new leads. A strategy of this type is all about content generation, creating interesting articles or blog posts or videos that will draw people you don’t know to your web site rather than having to go out and find them yourself. And because search engines love new content, posting often on the same topics relevant to your business will help you achieve your “inbound marketing” goals.
  • Better understand the competition [Inform Yourself]: For many businesses, social media offers a way to keep a close eye on what other people are doing. Whether it is keeping up with industry news, tracking your competitors, or listening to thought leaders in the areas that matter to you social media (Twitter in my case) can help you follow the all stars in your field and filter the information most relevant to you and your business from the sea of material posted online.
The truth is that you know your business better than anyone else does and it’s up to you to decide what your objectives are and the right or wrong way to do social for your business. Don’t worry about what everyone else is saying.


I appreciate your comment about how building a large following is not an important business goal. It's more about relationship building, than numbers. Quality over quantity I always say :) Great blog!
mendelj2 said…
Thanks! People get very hung up on big numbers, but big numbers of irrelevant people are still irrelevant.

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