October 28, 2015

Does your social media campaign look legit?

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The You can Win This bathing suit by Bikini Thief (Photo by Fashionby He)

Make sure your social media marketing doesn’t look like a scam

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaCreating a compelling social media campaign can be difficult, particularly if there’s a lot of competition in your industry. In order to attract notice, you may find yourself using certain attention-grabbers that can send up read flags for some of your customers.

Below is our advice on how to make sure your campaign does not resemble common social media scams, so that you can use a safer method to draw attention to your brand — while retaining your customers’ trust.

Rules of thumb for giveaways

Giveaways can be a great way to spread the word about your business, and they can be an easy way to directly engage with your customers. While it’s common practice for companies to hold giveaways for their customers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this same tactic is also used by scammers on all three platforms. Never create a separate profile for giveaways, and never ask for personal or identifying information during the giveaway or sweepstakes. For instance, rather than requiring people to use their email addresses on an entry form, you can have your customers share, like, or comment on the post to enter the contest.

If you’re hosting a giveaway or contest on your company’s social media platform, be sure to make plenty of other posts between your calls for entry. Pages that have very few photos and frequent back-to-back mentions of contests can raise suspicions in new customers. As a rule of thumb, you should wait a few months after your page’s creation to start holding giveaways or contests. Companies should also be careful when choosing what they’re giving away. Gift cards are commonly used by scammers, so unless it’s a gift card for your business, stick to other prizes.

Steer clear of click bait

If you’re active on social media, chances are you’ve started your own company blog. Sharing this content on social media can increase your brand’s reputation and provide helpful, interesting information to your customers. However, as you’re advertising and sharing your blog post, you may be inclined to use suspenseful headlines to catch your readers’ interest.

For instance, you may think about using headlines like “You Won’t Believe What This Couple Found in their Attic” to advertise a roofing company. While you should always try to grab attention with your headlines, this tone is strikingly similar to the style scammers use in click bait. Instead, try something like “10 Signs You Need a New Roof.” This is eye-catching and informative enough that your readers know what to expect when they click on it.

Giveaways and interesting articles are two legitimate ways businesses may try to expand their audience, but these two tactics are often misused by scammers. Be careful when using either on social media to avoid losing your customers’ trust in your brand.

Discover more tools to amplify your social media campaigns, and learn how to avoid these social marketing mistakes.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Reach her at [email protected].
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  • Great post Megan!
    We should be honest in our work. We never use cheap strategies in social media marketing. Because by attractive and fake titles some one can come once our post but never come back again.

  • hayley

    Great post, but you can’t ask people to ‘share’ a post to be into win.

  • Amara Heslin

    Neat tips! It is never good that people see your website as a spammer. We all know that people hate spammers. Well, here is another article I found on the internet that I find useful: http://www.siteabove.com/how-to-get-more-social-media-followers/.