Business Online

Social Media Agency Reveals 5 Social Media Faux Pas

Increasingly businesses and professionals see it is critically important to improve their digital presence and professional online brand. I wholeheartedly support this as a strong presence brings a variety of business benefits and recruiting upsides.

However there are some crazy things I see people doing that completely undermine all of their finest efforts. Do take a moment to check these five faux pas and make sure you are not guilty of some of them:

1. Only publishing your post in part on LinkedIn and then forcing people to go and visit your site to read it in its entirety. Why do this?! Firstly this completely undermines the likelihood of anyone sharing that post on LinkedIn. Secondly we live in a world where companies and business people should be seeking to provide the best possible experience to their audience, be that candidates, clients or prospective business partners.

2. Being incompetent in your use of social sites. If you are going to have a presence online somewhere, don't forget to make it a strong presence that reinforces your professional credibility. Week in week out I see people using social sites in a way that shows they simply don't understand – and haven't taken the time to understand – how that social platform works. For example, if you have to use automated direct messages on twitter at the very least do so in a manner that doesn't make it obvious you have automated the process and doesn't undermine the positive first impression you are trying to create.

3. Seeking business results, without having first invested in nurturing the relationship. The majority of people are very open to helping others they know, like and have had pleasant dealings with previously. This includes contacts and connections that have been made purely in the virtual world. What people are extremely unreceptive to is being asked to help promote something, assist in some way, share something to drive more interest to a website, refer candidates, etc. without there having been any effort on the part of the person asking to first build up a relationship.

4. This leads me nicely to the next shortcoming, namely grossly underestimating the amount of time that is required to have a strong social presence and digital footprint. Too many businesses see social media as being free and that only a limited amount of effort needs to be invested to drive business results from social sites. These are the companies that use social media to fill your social streams with adverts and promotional messages instead of making themselves a valuable source of information for professionals like you. This is the polar opposite to what is needed to generate success on social sites.

5. Not doing what you said you were going to do. When you get to the point of having struck up relationships with people on social sites, you will start to find opportunities to move things on to the next stage. That may mean arranging a call, setting up a meeting, having them share a resource you've published, providing information about your services or partnering in some other way. Unfortunately lots of people are guilty of taking on more than they genuinely have time to deliver on.

This is arguably the stupidest of the five crazy things you could do on social sites. To invest all that time in building your online presence, in forging relationships and in getting to the point where some real business results might start to flow … well then failing to follow up in a way that reinforces your professionalism and the desirability of working with you is verging on criminal. If you find yourself in this situation, quickly take steps to scale back on your commitments and workload in order that any undertakings you do make you deliver on in a way that makes people want to do business with you.

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