How (Not) To Write Marketing Posts
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You’ve seen my takedowns of various posts by now, and the flurry of fluff continues. It seems like there’s some baseline social media marketing course that everyone takes. And the very first thing is a series of steps that yields annoyance and embarrassment (or should). For the sake of all of us who suffer from this, we need to stop! We need better posts for our industry. Even if they’re for promotion (I get it), we need more sensible marketing posts.
So, the steps seem to be:
- Write a post (more below)
- Do a search with a keyword from the post to find related posts
- Write to every blog author you find and offer them to link to your post
And, as one of the people who blogs (e.g. here), please stop! I have a canned response that includes the line:
I deliberately ignore what comes unsolicited, and instead am triggered by what comes through my network: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, etc.
Now, one of the problems is that many posts I see seem to follow a similar algorithm:
- Search for articles on a hot buzzword
- Pull together some points from the articles you find
- Mash it up as a post
The articles appear to be written by someone who doesn’t really know the industry. How do you explain the fact that they seem to be idiosyncratic collections of buzzwords and elements? Maybe newbie social media marketing hires are writing them? I don’t know. What I do know is that they’re worthy of evisceration.
If you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t write. Get someone who does! There are a number of folks you could find to write for you who can do a decent job. I write for a couple of organizations that are willing to invest in quality. And there are some folks in the industry who work and write for their orgs that know what they’re talking about. And, of course, the blog posts and articles from people with a good reputation are places to look. But just because someone’s written something doesn’t mean it’s good.
The same rules for debunking apply here: is this someone with a known reputation? Or is there some independent validation of what they say? Otherwise, you either dismiss it, or track it back and analyze it in reference to what’s known. And that, of course, means knowing it yourself.
I’ll continue to eviscerate the marketing posts that come my way, and try to point the way to better thoughts in the area. I invite you to do the same! And I’m open to ideas about how to cut down on the number of wrong (if not actively misleading, and certainly self-serving) posts. Your thoughts?