Finding old friends on Facebook is fun. The word 'tweet' is hysterical. Linking in with peers can be entertaining (and beneficial). Over the last month or so, my company has really been exploring the benefits of various social media mediums. In theory, we are definitely on board with it. Mechanically, however, we have struggled. It seems there is so much to learn and so little time to learn it because everyone is moving in that direction and we don't want to be behind the curve. Maybe it's all those GenX and Y'ers that have pushed this forward at such a breakneck pace, you know the ones in your company that I'm talking about. Anyway, social media is a good thing and can and should be used to promote your company. I know this because I've done a bunch of research, been to seminars and webinars, and am watching it all happen around me. CS3 Technology is learning quickly and jumping on the band wagon as well.This month's article is all about what I'm learning NOT to do when using social media to build your brand.
- Ignore people - Be interactive, engaging, insightful with your comments. It's all about building relationships.
- Be dishonest or fake - Connect with your clients on a more personal level, not just about business. Be authentic and transparent. If you're not, you will be found out. Ever heard of the Internet?
- Be a walking (or texting) billboard-Don't just advertise your services; really focus on your clients. Add value to the conversation and always remember that a 'conversation' requires both parties to talk.
- Be overly sensitive- Social media opens the door to anyone and everyone, some of whom may have negative things to say about your company. Consumers can say what they want, whether they actually know anything about you or not. Put on your big boy pants and deal with it in a professional manner.
- Go in to social media being uneducated - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs...wow! Until a couple years ago, I don't think LinkedIn was even a real word. Each of the social media outlets (and there are tons!) has its own set of rules, etiquette, gurus, etc. Learn about the community before you jump in.
- Tweet until your fingers fall off - I know it's exciting to share every little thing you and/or your company is doing. Don't go crazy. Share relevant information and realize that it takes time to build a network of followers / connections so stay committed and don't get discouraged.
- Be erratic - One week you're there, the next you're not, then you're back again. Would you date someone like that? People won't pay attention to you if you are inconsistent, especially in social media.