Social networking is not a free-for-all

It is very easy to be captivated and consumed by the art of social networking. Social media sites encourage you to engage with your stakeholders continuously and often. Unfortunately, that can breed bad habits when it comes to social media and social networking protocol. While you’re in the process of trying to be more transparent, you may air your dirty laundry. Next thing you know you’re writing about your cat doing strange things or posting silly YouTube videos that are fun but have no connection to your business or your value proposition whatsoever. As the social media world spins ever faster and sometimes a bit out of control, let’s reel things back in a bit and focus on what’s important in your social media tactics and how your status updates, tweets, and other information stay on track and relative.

  • Don’t do all the talking. There is nothing worse than logging in to Facebook, only to find the same person with multiple posts on the first page of your home page. It begs the questions: Does this person like herself a bit too much? How much free time does she have on her hands? And then it makes you want to ignore the posts. Instead of posting all the time, pick a time each day to make a relevant post—or maybe even every other day. Include questions in your posts so that you can prompt insightful conversations with your social networks. Then listen. Watch and take in what’s been said. Then put that information to good use.
  • Do be a joiner. Search for thought leaders to follow and join in on the conversation. This is networking, remember, just in a digital form. If you remain a wallflower and don’t engage in the conversation, you’ll never be asked to dance.
  • Give and you will receive. Offer links to your articles and podcasts or to attend a free seminar or workshop. The more insightful information and resources you give, the better you build your brand recognition as a leader in the industry.

The key is to pick two or three social networking sites and manage them well. Try not to overextend yourself. When you’re hoping to update 10 or more sites all the time with different information, that’s when you can run in to trouble with providing relative, timely content. Quality, not quantity, is what counts.


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