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Lucas HamonJan 27, 2015 10:54:00 AM8 min read

Now, We're not Friends - Social Media Marketing FAIL

End cold calling and total anonymity. You and your clients deserve better!

YOU LOST ME AT HELLO (Inbound VS Outbound Marketing Take 23):

"I don't have the sale before I pick up the phone, so if I hang up with nothing, I've lost nothing."

Does that remind you of anything you've heard or said before? To an extent, I can see why it's healthy to approach calls with that perspective, especially when you're calling cold. I know this because I was a cold-caller for nearly a decade, and have heard AND spoken those words more times than I can count. It's a concept that keeps us level and our nerves at bay.

But it's a total lie.

In many cases the leads we lose are quite valuable, and totally closable.

So, today I am revisiting the topic of horrible cold tactics ala social media marketing... or I should say, social media failing? Whatever you call it, stop doing it, because it's driving everybody nuts, and you're losing great opportunities without even realizing it.

Turn that frown upside down
If Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and even your favorite search engines are against it, so should you be:

Social media abuse is running rampant. But there is good news, because Google, Facebook, and all of the other still-relevant digital giants care about your user experience, and they know this kind of spammy behavior is what drives people away.

While they battle with those who prefer cutting corners, stop the horrible digital marketing strategies, particularly in the realm of social media marketing. There is always a better way, and you always have a choice to take the virtuous & SUSTAINABLE path vs the fickle annoying one.



Evil bots are invading social media

Spambotting: 1st Cardinal Sin of Social Media

I talked about this before in more detail, but I think it's worth mentioning again, because it's getting worse. What is it, you ask? It's when LinkedIn or Twitter users find you through some 3rd or 4th degree connection or a group you both follow, by deploying a program (the spambot) that crawls these social media channels. They then drop your information into their spammy database, and automatically inmail or direct message you with offers, sometimes posing as possible customers just so you'll respond.

Why it's bad: It isn't social! It's broadcasting at its worst... posing as one thing, but being something else in reality. And guess what? All of your favorite SM hubs know it's a negative and are working hard to put those who deploy them out in the cold

How to fix: Get social... for real. Connect with people based on common interests. And don't have an automatic email or message go out pitching your services or creating an ambiguous story that is meant to lead them to your elevator speech the second you connect with somebody.


I like my Maker's neat

Selling Services Without Buying Me a Drink First

One of the most annoying things you can do is pitch your service before I even know you. I get why you do it. I was a cold caller too, and this is how I got a lot of my business. However, I lost a lot of prospects this way too, and now that I'm on the other side of it, I realize how unbelievably annoying it actually is.

Why it's bad: Because you don't even get to know me before you pitch solutions to all of my problems. You rarely get my needs right, and it's no more social than picking up the phone and calling me based on a listing in the phone book. It's also an enormous time-waster... YOUR time. Think of all of the dead-ends you've chased in your lifetime, but here you not only chase dead-ends, but you kill great opportunities as well. Not to mention, it reminds us of those emails from Prince's stuck in some foreign country... just wire them a few thousand bucks, and they'll pay you millions. Right...

How to Fix: Get social... for real. Get to know me. Put in the legwork and make me feel like I'm not just a drop in your bucket of blind cold calls for the day. And drop the spambot that's most likely responsible for spitting out your pitches like that.


Shouting at me through your computer won't make me call you back.

Unsolicited Twitter Shout-outs: Ugh!

This one has been killing me lately. One of the reasons I use Hubspot is for its social media management tools, which monitors mentions of @OrangePegsMedia, @OrangePegs, and @LucasWHamon in other people's threads. There is absolutely nothing more annoying than getting that awesome notification that somebody mentioned me in a tweet, only to find out it was a spam shout-out.

Why it's Bad: It's 100% cold and amplified with a hundred annoyance factors because you're doing it publicly. Now, unlesss I report you, when people look me up, they're going to find you. It's devious and Twitter is onto you. Most people (I'm one of them) will block and report you without thinking twice about it (which nullifies it). And many of those doing it are posting links to sites that install malware or phish for your personal information. This is not the crowd with whom you want to be associated.

How to Fix: Get social... for real. Shout out my names all you want, but make it relevant. Respond to one of my posts, RT me, or jump in a conversation I'm already apart of. But don't just shout my name next to your ad. 


Stop the madness

Automated Introductions: Hello (fill in the blank),

This is often associated with Spambots, but deserves its own mention, because it is THAT annoying. I LOVE hearing from people, regardless of whether you or I am the buyer in the relationship, but because these introductions are automated, you have no idea who I am when your message goes out. Because of this I can ALWAYS tell it's automated. It's spam, it's marked that way, and you are unfriended and blocked without hesitation.

Why They're Bad: They're NOT social, and you're doing it in a world that is REALLY really easy to be social! Your net is being cast too wide, and you often fail to send a message relevant to the individual. Worse, your personalization tokens are typically missing information, and they stick out like sore thumbs. When it's discovered you look incredibly lazy, and what kind of 1st impression is that?

How to Fix: Get social... for REAL!!! LinkedIn is a fantastic tool fo prospecting and sales because you can see what your target customers are ALL about. Why risk losing perfect clients because you were too lazy to take that extra step?


Spelling is important. Grammar is important. Punctuation is important.

Spelling & Punctuation Errors: Lets get som lucnh

This one is more amusing to me than annoying. I get that we all make mistakes, and with social media, we're posting and sharing and discussing so much, that it can be easy to let spelling and punctuation errors slip by from time to time. But some people take it to the next level and do it ALL the time. The worst is when their profiles are brimming with them. For some odd reason, I see a ton of self-proclaimed "social media experts" making this mistake more than anybody else.

Why it's Bad: Writing skills are more important than most people give them credit for, especially when your job is to write - but even when it's not. It's unfortunate for those who don't speak the language well, and for them I give the pass, but if they can't muster solid language skills, they shouldn't be tweeting for your company.

How to Fix: Spell check. Or hire somebody to run your social media who actually does this well. Just because it's social media that doesn't mean you shouldn't take things like grammar seriously. Nobody is expected to be perfect, but when mistakes surface with every post, your whole company looks amateurish.


Beware of those who want to solve your problems but know nothing about them.. or you.

Selling to Salespeople: We ALL Have Something to Pitch

I love it when other digital marketing agencies cold email/call/message me. Looking for lead generation services? No, no I am not... I provide them. You would know this if you read 2 sentences on the profile you just cold-emailed/spambotted.

Why it's Bad: It shows that you didn't do your homework when it was REALLY easy to do so. It makes you look lazy and reveals what's wrong with your strategy. Worst of all, it tells me you're bad at your job. Ironically, I often have referral work to pass on to other marketers, but never to folks who pitch me without thinking.

How to Fix: Spend five minutes looking at my profile first. Even if you're a marketer, there may be other avenues to revenue, such as referrals and collaboration. Don't ping me blindly. Period.

Let's all high-five for awesome sales generation tactics and the end to cold calling!
Nobody is perfect, not even me, so don't get offended if I'm calling your social media strategy offensive. Adjust.

Sometimes these cold tactics that make me grimace will work for you, but people are getting wise to them, and never really seem to appreciate them even when you do close the deal. This is how you create one-offs instead of evergreen clients and referral sources... In addition, if and when you're blocked, such as the hundreds of folks I've reported, there is no coming back. You can't get to me through Twitter again, and you may even get banned from the site altogether when enough people report you.

Truly, this is how digital marketing agencies and b2b sales people destroy their best-quality leads. Automation is not a bad thing, but done like this it's the worst.

End cold calling on social media - Instead, insert it into an organic lead conversion path that turns followers into customers AND promoters - the way it's SUPPOSED to be used!

Check out our social media management services or the free in-depth ebook on social media marketing today:

Social media management is a powerful and integral component to your inbound marketing campaign. We have the how-to tied up neatly in this free ebook


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.