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Trick Or Treat Halloween

Social Media is about understanding people and understanding marketing, but there will always be those who want to game and cheat the system. Or those that simply don’t understand social media

In weeks Halloween themed blog we look at Social Media Tricks and Treats to remind people how Social Media should be done

First read the social media tricks and then see the flipside of social media treats afterwards


And by Social Media Tricks – we mean the tricks you play on yourself

Trick: Broadcast Only
Broadcast only is a huge trick

And the person you’re tricking is yourself

Broadcast only is the old school way of marketing. Post enough stuff out there and hope some of it will stick

Of course people want a little more than that nowadays

We’re more sophisticated in how we interact with brands

Trick: Posting When You Have Time
To win on social media you have to be active on social media and fully immersed with it

Which firstly means posting at times when your audience are online

Secondly, it means making social media part of your daily habits

Making it as much a part of your life as email, calls and networking

Posting when you have time (often the wrong time) is no way to win on Social Media

Trick: Buying Followers
It might have never occurred to you to buy followers for your social media accounts?

You might not know that you can also buy likes on your posts as well

Big warning – don’t do it

The only person you’re tricking is yourself

Fake Followers and Fake likes don’t pay the mortgage – they don’t hold any sway with the bank manager

Trick: Following and Unfollowing to get follow backs
She likes me. She likes me not

We’ve all been there where we’ve wondered why someone is following and unfollowing on a regular basis and yet you never follow back as they post nothing of interest to your life

The old tricks of Automation gone wrong on Social Media is at play here

Usually automation will be based around a hashtag or keyword – for example your home town – and it’s set to go and the software does the rest

You’re more likely to lose customers than gain customers using inauthentic methods such as this

Trick: Hashtag Stuffing

The worst ever example of hashtag stuffing was a local bar who thought it was wise to put a bland “Come And Grab A Cocktail” advert with the hashtags #ripdavidbowie and #motorhead

Not only was it insensitive, but it was 100% off brand

That’s an extreme example of hashtag stuffing, but I see bad examples every day

Hashtags extend the reach of your posts, but they need to be well thought out, on brand and related to the post you’re putting out there

So yes – hashtags should be used on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – but keep it on brand

Trick: Tagging People in Every Post
If I could invoice ever business that tags me in a Twitter or Instagram post that I have no connection with I’d be able to retire tomorrow

It’s something that comes with being a local person of influence (I just can’t bring myself to use the phrase “influencer”)

If you’re tagging people in who have no connection with a post just to gain a handful of extra likes or shares than it might be a short term win

But what does it say about the quality of your content – that people will scroll past it every time unless you spam tag people in it

Trick: Automated DMs
You’ll notice a theme throughout this blog that automation when used in the wrong way is a terrible way to do business

Whether it’s Twitter DMs or LinkedIn inbox messages whatever you don’t automate your DM’s with hard sell messages

It’s lazy, inauthentic and people don’t like to be sold to

Put yourself in the position of your customers – how would you feel if you were the person receiving such a message?

And by treats – we mean the actions that will give you the rewards you deserve

Treat: Engagement First
People love to talk

People love to hear stories

People don’t like to be sold to

Remember that

Engagement First should be your policy for social media regardless of social media channels

You should be aiming for a message that carries an emotional impact that people feel compelled to respond to

You sell in the social age by caring enough to interact and build relationships with others, whilst at the same time producing content that others care enough to engage with

Treat: Making The Time For Social Media
I work in Social Media and I don’t spend all day on social media for my accounts

I make time for social media at set times of the day and it’s part of my daily habits

Daily habits that are done regularly build up the business

There have been plenty of studies that show the best times to post on social media, but most of it is common sense

Morning Commute, Lunchtimes, Evening Commute and Evenings – the rest of time joe public is in work (even though we know they sneak on social media all the time)

Treat: Organically Building Followers
Organically building followers takes time and effort

But it’s worth it

You know you’ve built up followers that are truly interested in what you have to say

And if they’re interested in what you have to say there’s a chance they may at one point convert to customers

You have to be patient with social media and the accounts you see with 10,000+ followers now once started at zero like you

Treat: Selecting Followers Strategically
I have a few golden rules when I follow someone

1. Are they interesting?
2. Are they local?
3. Can I help them / do they need my help?

If they tick one of the boxes above they get a follow

If they’re not interesting, not local and I can’t help them then why should I follow

But I don’t just follow accounts to sell to people – 3 of my most interesting accounts to follow are in Wales, Spain and the Netherlands – they make me smile every day

Treat: Trendjacking because it’s on brand
Innocent Drinks are the absolute masters of the trendjack

Just take a look at their social media posts and you’ll see how effortless it looks

But being so human and being so funny isn’t easy for most brands

Trends particularly on Twitter are absolute gold, but you have to pick and choose you trends, be authentic and 100% understand what the brand stands for

Treat: Being Inclusive With Your Social Media
Social Media by the very nature of Social Media should be inclusive

It shouldn’t be just about yourself

It should be about your staff, those customers you work with and their interests

So including other people in your social media updates wherever possible is always a strong tactic to take

I always go our of my way to care about those people I know and the love comes back 10 x

Treat: Personalised DMs
There’s a lot of debate about whether you should interact with people on the feed or jump into someone’s inbox

There’s pros and cons of both

But if you’re going to jump into someone’s inbox don’t just copy and paste something

Every message should be different and the focus should be on building relationships before heading in for the sell

How can you sell to someone if you don’t know them yet?

How can they buy from you if they don’t know you yet?

Relationship before sales

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services


Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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