Social Media properties just may be the focus of the next big "slap". While its both popular and profitable right now, it seems obvious that in short time the people who are using them right will excel... and those who are simply using social media 'for promotion only' will find their success short-lived...
If you've been working online for any amount of time then you're probably familiar with Google Slaps, or with getting blacklisted and/or dropped out of the search engine results for using aggressive self-promotion tactics.
In What happens if your site gets 'blacklisted' by Google? Robin Goad shares the impact that this can have on an online business. In case you havent experienced it for yourself, that's a good article to read.
Over the years there have been many 'slaps' and Google updates, necessary for a variety of reasons. Google's goal is to keep their search results relevant and to weed out the "spam" or the junk. It only makes sense, given the current nature of the Internet Marketing landscape, to assume that Social Media practices will take a hit in an upcoming update.
Charles Heflin recently discussed Footprints Left by Social Marketing on his blog, which is well worth a quick read. (thanks goes to Rob Sellen for sharing that link with me on Twitter last week) The term "footprints" refers to the digital traces that we leave everywhere that we go online. See Digital Footprints on Wikipedia.
As it relates to Social Media, consider the footprints you may be leaving. Charles gives us a list to consider in his article:
Here is a list of actions that leave big footprintsâ€¦
1. Setting up multiple profiles on the same social network all pointing to the same website.
2. Using software that automates the process of bookmarking your content across multiple profiles on multiple different networks.
3. Only bookmarking content that leads to web properties that you own.
4. You have little to no friends and a bunch of links to your stuff
5. You have bookmarked a bookmark that leads to your web property
6. You have more than one profile on a single social network and they all lead to web properties that you own.
You may want to look over that list a second time. Even if you arent doing any of those things, consider things you may be doing that are similar in nature or could possibly leave a 'footprint' that will come back to slap you.
The general rule of thumb is this: If you would do it even if you didnt own a website, its fine to do it. If the only reason you are doing it is to promote your website and/or get better search engine rankings, there could be an issue with it.
It's a fine line I know. We are all here to promote our online business and to get better rankings and more traffic...
In the next post, we'll discuss ways you can run a successful Social Media campaign - or use the Social Media properties to grow your online business - without setting yourself up to get blacklisted.