messagingYou are growing your community. People are joining your Facebook page. Your Twitter profile is getting 15 new followers a day. You even have 300 connections on LinkedIn. You are excited and pumped  Your hard work is paying off. Those little short tweets in the check out line seem to have worked.

You are getting some interaction from your followers. The number of likes is increasing when you post a new message. ReTweets are growing by the day, and that big sale you do each year around this time is starting tomorrow.  This year though you are doing something crazy selling your product 75% off for only 6 hours. That will bring people clamoring.

Now how do you get that message out to everyone? Just posting isn’t going to work. We all now that Facebook wants a cut of the action. So you have to pay for people to see your post if you boost it. Even then not everyone in who likes our post is going to see it. You are going to do a Facebook ads but this sale is special for those folks who are in the community. So how do you tell them? Is there a way you could blast your very special message of your very special fans and customer?

The answer is yes. See the perfect medium for telling everyone who has liked, followed, connected, cheered, high-fived, fist bumped, butt smacked, your content. Every platform has a direct messaging system. It’s perfect! It is a direct line to every person who has liked, followed, connected, cheered, high-fived, fist bumped, butt smacked, your posts. You will just craft an awesome message copy and post it to everyone. It will be great!

When you hit send, you sit back and watch in horror as your community leaves you like the largest covey of quail known to man. Why? These were your people. They like everything you did. Why would they take off and leave you like that?

Permission Marketing

The answer is, you didn’t get their permission to just barge into their lives out of nowhere. People these days are all about permission. If you do not get their permission to do anything they are gone. There is little to no tolerance for spam in any form. Often with today’s fans If you ask for permission and tell them what to expect you will get the desired permission.

People often will grant you access to whatever medium they use. whether it is email or even text messaging as long as you ask people will more often than not allow you into their life.

With Great Power…

There is a layer of responsibility you have to control when you are giving the level of trust by the people who actively choose to like your profiles. There is the implied notion that you will be communicating with them. Yet there are levels of trust that are often implied and it depends on each person as to what level is allowed.

Then the level can change from platform to platform. One person may be ok with you sending them 5 Tweets a day. Then if you send more than 2 Facebook posts on a day that is just way too much and they will leave. That right there is nothing more than common human nature, and is where the saying,

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time  – John Lydgate

Common Courtesies

When it comes to social media and communicating directly to your customers what are the best ways to do so? The answer varies to what the medium is and how most people use it. I would like to cover the more common channels and platforms online right now.

Facebook Messenger

Ok, let us start off with the easiest medium to abuse. Facebook messenger, reduced to its greatest common denominator. do not instigate the conversation through your page. Do not sell through Facebook messenger. I have been guilty of trying this communication channel and quickly learned that you do not instigate the conversation through the Facebook private chat system.

When I first created the Goodwin Social Media Facebook page the growth was slow. but I wanted to make each new person who liked my page to feel special and give them a special hello.

So every time I had a new like I created a short video saying, ” Hello, (persons first name) Thank you for taking the time to like Goodwin social media.I hope that it exceeds your expectations on Social media help and news.”

I would then upload the video and send it to that person through Facebook messenger using the Facebook page. What would happen after that is that person would unlike the page within 24 hours. I lost all 6 of the new people that first week. I finally got the hint and stopped using messenger. as a means of opening a channel.

People like your page. In the world of Facebook, that is all you can do. You will have to face the fact that if you want to reach all of your fans you will have to pay. Unless you can get them to like a few of your posts and change the Page Like to being notified you are basically in like flint.

The second example that I have is when I was on the receiving end of a random sales message. This happened a couple of days ago and was actually the muse for this post. I received a Facebook message from a person who looked somewhat familiar but I really couldn’t place her. She was telling me that she is needing to add a few extra folks to her MLM team and thought I would be a great fit.

After reading the message I took inventory of the key emotions I was currently feeling.

I was also curious as to how this person picked me. Thinking that I may have friended her at one point I was about to defriend her when I noticed that we were not friends.So I got to looking around and she is in a couple of Facebook Groups that I am in. So, that lead me  to be perturbed.

I was perturbed at the least. If not bordering on angry. Why would I want to join a random persons MLM? Especially one from a stranger? This MLM could be a scam, or something close to it. I wasn’t full out angry though if that was the case I would have blocked her and if I was fully ticked off I would have reported her.

Betrayed a little because I go to these groups to talk not being sold to. So, I did send a message over to the admin of the groups we were a part of.

As you can see there is a reason and I was able to fully understand why people were instantly disconnecting from a fledgling relationship. I can see that that form of communication is unwelcome. Facebook is more of a family and friends network and yes there are businesses that reside on Facebook. Most people do not want to be sold to. especially when it is in an intimate environment as an instant messaging system like Facebook Messanger.

Twitter DM

Twitter has a Direct Messaging system (DM) and recently they opened up the DM limit to 10,000 characters. Which if used between friends is a good thing between a random sales pitch can be a pain.

With Twitter, many Internet Marketeers have taken courtesy and thrown it out the window because you are just wasting time trying to get to know a person right? There are times when using Twitters DM is looked at as alright and then there are times that it is used as a means of being almost rude.

Many times you get a DM right after you start following someone on Twitter, more often than not this is the result of a twitter service that shoots out a DM to every new follower. There are the ones that are ok and polite they normally say a nice short and sweet “Thanks for Following me!” type of message. There are those internet marketeers, who take this time to try to sell you something.

This is where internet marketeers have gotten it wrong. First off if I am just following a person I do not know a thing about them. it is like a first date. I don’t know you don’t know me. Then all of a sudden you want me to get your free ebook,  you want me to also like your Facebook page? The first one I will at times just unfollow that account. I encourage all of you to do the same thing. If a person is trying to sell you something in the hello DM, unfollow them.  But I take the opportunity to try to increase my Facebook page by reciprocating the request. Since some of these people want me to like their page to offer them to like my page back. If they like my page then it is only nice to do the same. If they don’t then I don’t.

Going off and asking from something at the greeting phase of the relationship is a little on the forward side. Women often slap a guy’s face if they try to go too fast. So I encourage you to do the same thing.

Text messaging

This is the holy grail of Marketing. When you have access to a person’s phone number and you can let them know when there is something special. Your customer is literally right at hand. This level of permission marketing is very touchy. It is easy to go overboard and lose people by using this channel too much. This channel is good for say appointment based services like a hairdresser. but even they can over do it. So if you get the phone number and the permission to text, be careful.

Email

This is possibly the easiest to get, and can also be abused. With email, people do not want to see 5 emails all from the same company. So, what you want to do is set the expectation. Let your customer know that you send out a weekly email, or a daily email. This way they are able to choose and they are able to choose how often you hit their inbox. Nothing irritates an Inbox zero guy than new emails that are wasting time.

People are fickle, to say the least. It is often best to not tread on to what is considered bad form by the majority of people. If you are wanting to use a new channel of communication it is best to let people know. You can either Have a communication page that lays out how you will be corresponding with your audience, or you can go by your instincts. neither one is a bad choice. You will step on a person’s toe from time to time. People are going to leave. They may unsubscribe because of a perceived social faux pas you performed. Then again they will leave just because. As long as you are able to understand that the majority of your fans are ok with receiving an email twice weekly, then it is an accepted form of communication.

Remember that when a person gives you permission that is a chance for you to get closer to your customer but always think of how you would like to be treated. to you want your inbox full of spam? the answer is more than likely no.

Do you have any social media permission marketing disasters you have experienced? If so please share in the comments below.

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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