Marketers — Stop Using #Marketing and #Advertising
Content marketing is a pretty sound idea. Produce good content that educates an audience and share it in the proper channels. Simple, right? Well, maybe not. I’ve seen too many bad practices from agencies when using content marketing methodology and the biggest issue is spamming on social media.
First off, let’s just go ahead and say it: Most people hate advertising and marketing, so they don’t follow tags related to it. If you are trying to promote your agency, you need your audience to know that you are innovators and leaders for whatever your agency focuses on. Your audience isn’t other agencies though. The amount of times I see #Marketing, #ContentMarketing and #Advertising used on Twitter and Facebook is outstanding. Who is searching these hashtags? It’s not your audience, that’s for sure. You are not creating a conversation with these tags, you are shouting into a void of clueless marketers who don’t understand how to properly use these social media channels.
If you are creating quality content and want it to be seen by anyone, don’t use advertising hashtags. While you may hit one or two legitimate people, a majority of the engagements are from bots and naive marketers who think they are capturing a segment, when really they are just interacting with other bots / marketers. If you are new to content marketing, don’t be fooled by the likes and engagements you are getting on social media when using these hashtags. An actual comment is worth 100 “likes” because the real success of inbound / content marketing comes from creating an actual conversation and positioning yourself as an expert.
I’ve been doing hashtag testing for a few months now and most of my testing involves posting completely irrelevant and abstract nonsense to “popular” hashtags to see what happens. A majority of what I’ve found is that most of the engagements come from people or bots who don’t even read what the content said is. They blindly click like and then add you to a list. The most amazing absurd thing that I’ve found are people who search these tags, follow you and then remove you shortly after… only to follow you again the very next time you use the hashtag. These spamming practices are absolutely killing the methodology and while Google isn’t punishing for “content marketing” yet, if this blatant spam doesn’t stop — don’t be surprised when they start to.
If you’re actually wanting to interact with other agencies, marketers and advertisers just leave a comment or reply. Comments are visible to the public, allow you to position yourself as an expert and show that you are engaged in the community. Don’t just repost articles that you’ve written with no other actual engagement with your followers. Seem human, because you are human!
I’m not actually saying don’t EVER use hashtags or even marketing hashtags, but do your research ahead of time. Link spamming and hashtag spamming is easily ignored on social media. Insert yourself into the conversation legitimately and you’ll be harder to ignore.