Selling not engaging! Who would have thunk it! Yet another new study of business behaviour on social media networking sites highlights continuing confusion across business sites who accept the need to go social but seem to be getting it horribly wrong!
Mostly reporting on technology websites, all the signs are that the principle of engagement is simply not being engaged with, thus, leading to an extremely low level of audience response.
According to YouGov, acceptance of search and social as the new reality of the Web has led eCommerce to become an increased presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter by around a quarter of  B2B sites, and in a separate survey, three quarters and upwards by SMEs.
Social performance, however, is poor, and just over half of all companies still do not participate in any social media activity at all. Lack of an integrated multichannel social policy running in tandem with cross platform marketing strategies appears, once again, to be the culprit.
Results from a separate technology firm survey flag up a fifth of company blogs failing to stimulate comment while nearly all sites failed to reply to comments posted. Further analysis shows that less than 15 per cent of company tweets were replies or retweets and were more likely to take the form of basic sales messages or appear to be irrelevant.
The results once again, seem to suggest that still too many companies are failing to successfully diversify their online marketing into a multi disciplinary approach now necessary to truly reach and be visible, vital and inviting to the socially determined behaviours now influencing the business space.
Companies need to recognise that development of brand identity and new conversion opportunities can occur by creating channels of connection with potential new audiences via socially driven content correctly applied. It is now crucial to maintaining presence on a web rapidly adapting to diverse platform technologies.

Paying lip service to social media whilst at the same time simply ignoring the call to engage and preferring to ‘push’ content is ‘selling’ by any other name!  And the more you push, the more likely you will be ignored by an irritated audience who will just unfollow! Twitter accounts are not simply for free sales messages, although Twitter does now offer sponsored ads.

Blogs really should not be used for barely disguised product reviews, which should be confined to dedicated pages. Blog posts are intended to engage the visitor by offering related advice and industry/company sector news. By raising issues, response is invited, which is seen to be directly appropriate to the context of the website itself. It’s the reason followers who search for information relevant to their present needs have clicked on to your blog in the first place.

In today’s fast multichannel space, getting it right is more crucial than ever before. Risking damage to credibility and reputation is easier than ever on the social networks with consequences for Google ranking!

Listen and learn is the way you earn ...followers, revenue and respect!