Social Marketing: The Seven “Deadly” Sins

Joe D

We’ve all heard about the infamous 7 deadly sins and there have been all kinds of analogies written about them – several in the social media context – gluttony, wrath, lust, envy, pride, sloth and greed – and this will be my version! When applied to social media they create an insight into the positive and negative effects of this popular marketing tool. Social media can be a huge boon for your online business, but it can also overwhelm, frustrate and distract you if you aren’t careful.

Using the seven deadly sins as a guide, here is a list of tips that will help you avoid some of the most “deadly” pitfalls of social media marketing:

#1 – Gluttony

Gluttony is all about over-consumption and social networking tools are just as much of a threat in this department as a mountain of rich chocolate cake. It is easy to get carried away and spend way too much time participating in debates, conversations and other networking – some discussions just pull you in and are tough to resist.

The best way to beat this “sin” is to learn how to effectively manage your time. Actually schedule your social networking time – set up regular times each day to make posts and keep messages – then stick to that schedule! Keeping yourself on-track is half the battle, and it can be won.

#2 – Wrath

Speaking of getting pulled into discussions, it’s important to avoid becoming involved in posts or comments that are antagonistic or inaccurate. Some people just thrive on being rude or love to post their biased opinion every chance they get. It is important to remember that you don’t just represent yourself, but a company as well. Make sure to set a good example and refrain from partaking in battles of wit online.

The best way to beat this “sin” is to remember your basic rules of business ethics and never make a comment or a post that could be perceived as disparaging in any way, shape or form. Keep this rule intact as well when talking about the competition – especially if someone posts on your wall that Company B is better than your Company A. Above all else keep ethics and manners at the forefront of your mind when you visit your social media pages.

#3 – Lust

It goes without saying that lust should be the last thing on your mind when working on marketing for your company – even if you are marketing adult sites or products. Lust in this sense refers to your behavior, the way you are perceived by others and the way you communicate with clients, customers or site members. The only lust you should reveal is a lust for what you are selling – be enthusiastic and proud of what you are promoting at all times.

The way to beat this “sin” is to stay motivated and positive about the company, the content and the products that you are selling. This will help to keep you on-track so you can always be marketing at your best.

#4 – Envy

Envy is perhaps one of the most obvious of all the deadly sins – particularly in social media marketing. Don’t ever show anyone that you are envious of them in any way – especially your competition. Never ever show your envy via social media networking, it just makes you look bad and it is apparent to anyone who reads it.

The best way to beat this “sin” is to try to learn from your competitors and take away something useful rather than focusing on the negative or on your own negative feelings.

#5 – Pride

It is important to have a high opinion of your company and what it is that you are selling, but it is never a good idea to have a high opinion of your own importance – especially via your social media streams. It is more than OK to have pride in the content you are offering, the products you are selling and a confidence in the customer service and programs that you offer your clients and members. In fact, that kind of pride is encouraged.

The way to beat this “sin” is to make sure you always stay on the positive side of your pride and use it for something beneficial to yourself and the company.

#6 – Sloth

Above all else make sure that you are never lazy about your social media marketing campaign. You need to stay on the ball, keep in touch with clients and customers via comments and regular postings, all while keeping it as fresh and new as possible. Work hard and be original!

The best way to beat this “sin” is to stay on top of the trends, the hot topics and all the news about your company.

#7 – Greed

The last and perhaps most deadly of the deadly sins in social marketing is greed. We’ve all seen marketers that fall into the trap of over-marketing or over-promoting their products and their company to the point that it becomes off-putting and almost nagging. Instead of attracting customers to your business, you just might be scaring them off and will end up losing out on the income that could have come from a slightly more subtle approach.

To beat this very deadly “sin” make sure to only make posts or comments that are on-topic, interesting, helpful and relevant. Never ever make a post just for the sake of promoting your company or products.