Social Media Marketing First Impressions – 5 Pitfalls To Avoid

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photo credit: M i x y via photopin cc

So you have finally decided to get your business on social media like everyone else. Overwhelmed and busy, you have your Facebook page somewhat setup and you even created a Twitter account, but you’re not getting much in the way of results. Or maybe you have been dabbling with social media marketing for your business for a while now and other than a ton of time, you aren’t seeing the famed social media tidal wave of sales, prospects and traffic.

Do either of these or countless other similar scenarios describe you? Let’s see if we can shed some light on a few not so frequently discussed first impressions that you are giving potential fans, friends and followers.

You know how important first impressions are at a business meeting, networking event or as you walk up to the door of a business for the first time? Social media marketing has those same nuances in different and sometimes even more subtle ways. The first impression you make with a potential fan, friend or prospect can be the difference between getting a follow, like or accept. What’s worse is making the wrong first impression and beyond not making a connection, you will likely never get them to pay attention to what you do or say in social media, let alone do business with you.

Here are 5 first impressions that may be preventing you from breaking through the noise with your social media marketing.

1) Auto DM’s – I am not one of those “Never do auto direct messages on Twitter” kind of guys, but there are some auto-DM’s that you should avoid like the plague, not the lease of which are anything promotional. Beyond that, there is a really big trend I have been seeing from newbies using an automated follow back tool.  You know the ones that are sending Twitter DM messages like “Hi! You can auto follow back, find unfollowers, unfollow inactive users, check for fake followers, and more FREE at…”

Beware, you are not only sending a promotion as a first impression by using such a tool, but you are also promoting that tool to your new followers. Is that the first impression you want to make? I say no.

Taking this horrible first impression further, you are telling everyone that follows you that you auto-follow back everyone. So you don’t care who you follow? Really? You should. This is another poor first impression that is making a negative impact on your social media marketing efforts whether you know it or not.

2) Bad Bio – Think of your page profile or account bio as the front of your store. You’re making a first impression with what it looks like and the messages you display. If you follow or friend someone in social media, they will often open your profile to see who you are. Right there is the point that you are either making a good or bad impression.

Bio tips:

– Incorporate some of YOU in the profile. People connect with people, not brands and logo’s they’ve never heard of.

– On Twitter get a name in the name field. Someone they can personally connect with and include some of your interests and human details in the bio section.

– If you are a local SMB or solepreneur incorporate YOUR personal photo into both your business and personal social media account profiles. Be a person and connect with people.

– For Pete sake, include a link to your website, blog or other business location on the web so they can see/learn about what you do. You don’t eat at a restaurant because you heard the name, you eat there because you were able to learn about it more and decided to try it from what you learned. Social media marketing is the same.

3) Empty Newsfeed – Often the very next thing a new potential friend/follower will do is look at your newsfeed or timeline to see what you are posting and/or how you are engaging. If you post once a day and it isn’t interesting or relevant to your target audience, you just told them “Move along, there is no reason to connect with us.” You must have enough interesting content in your feeds every day so that no matter when someone looks at your timeline, there is something they will find interesting.

4) Over Pitching – Probably one of the worst first impressions you can make on a potential new social media connection is a timeline or newsfeed that is only about you. Your blog posts, your products, your marketing information. If you are wondering why your social media efforts are fruitless, this may be a big one. See number 3 above.

5) No Conversation – Another key thing that could leave a bad taste in a new prospect’s mouth is seeing your timeline largely inactive with engagement. No conversations, not sharing of other people’s content, etc. A big red flag to a more experienced social networking user, it is all too common. Social media is social first, then a marketing platform effective for branding, prospecting and selling. Remember that most consumers are there because of the social element and not to find you and your product or service.

Did you find any first impression mistake you have been making? What were they and what is your plan to improve them?


Robert M. Caruso
Robert M. Caruso is a long time social media professional and founder of Bundlepost, the first social content management system. His company develops social media technologies that increase social media agencies and marketers efficiency, effectiveness and profitability. Robert also consults brands internationally on their social media marketing and writes weekly for his company blog.


  1. Ryan Biddulph says

    #5 is so key Robert, love the tips!

    Engage to gain the trust of your target audience. RT, chat, ask questions and provide answers. Following a few simple steps can make you stick out like a sore thumb in a bot-like twitter-sphere.

    I chat folks up at least 2-3 times daily and retweet freely. Engaging is one of the key foundations on which a strong social media campaign is built.

    My recent post Make Money Blogging: 3 Tips to Deal with Comment Spam

  2. says

    These are the five biggies. The title of the post intrigued me, but more so just to see if you agreed with me …. and you do.

    The thing I look at first is if a person converses. I don't care how much they pitch their products if they at least converse with others.

    • bundlepost says

      Absolutely Brian. Conversations build relationships. Relationships result in ROI. Making sure that the first impressions you make to potential connections are crucial.

  3. says

    Robert, Until I read this I always thought the people who sent these “Hi! You can auto follow back, find unfollowers, unfollow inactive users, check for fake followers, and more FREE at…” were just spam bots. I had no idea they could be real people who signed up for that service.

    Talk about a bad first impression. Every time I got a DM like that I quickly either ignored or unfollowed.

    • bundlepost says

      Yes, there are hundreds of auto-DM services out there. It appears that Twitter will be changing their API making these less common though, so that's good!

  4. says

    Good points Robert. I especially like the lack of conversation point. It all comes down to consistency. It's key. But it is NOT easy. As an business owner, dad, fireman, coach, husband, landscaper etc, etc, etc, engaging and focus is very challenging. I guess the most important part is to understand the importance of it first and then schedule times to participate. And NOT make it an after thought. Easy to say (write) but not easy to do!

    Thanks for the thoughts.
    My recent post Shout out to Made in the USA Promo Products

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