Saturday, October 24, 2009

5 Social Media Mistakes

Don’t tie yourself up in the “Nots” before you even get started

Sometimes the easiest things to remember are the things you are NOT supposed to do. In Social Media that means that mistakes are easily made. Some common ones:

No. 1 – Not listening
Social Media, as it has often been said, is like a party. You would no sooner charge into that cocktail party and just start talking at everyone you encounter.

No, you’re much more likely to be welcomed if you take some time to find your bearings – to listen to what is going on.

This, in turn, helps you find people with whom you have something in common.

No. 2 – Not watching
The best way to earn a reputation as someone to be avoided is by not understanding the “rules” of the Social Media party.

How do you learn? You watch others. You pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. You note what the group finds acceptable and what kind of behavior will get you shown to the door.

No. 3 – Not being polite
Make your mother proud and be polite and courteous to all. Ask for permission to join a conversation. Ask to be introduced to someone you would like to meet. Be thankful for all comments that come your way – the good and the bad.

And let’s not even get into discussing politics, sex or religion. We know that no good can come of that.

No. 4 – Not helping
Figuratively speaking if you see the little old lady waiting to cross the street … go help her!

Social Media is full of opportunities to do good and to help others. Seize them … and do it without any expectation of reward or recognition.

Think of it as working towards an internal Good Social Media Citizen merit badge. You won’t actually get a badge, but you will get a great reputation.

No. 5 – Not waiting
Timing is everything. If you’ve successfully avoided the first four “Nots” you will be sensitive to what you can can’t do in Social Media.

Selling (yourself, your business or your cause) is something that will only happen when your Social Media audience is ready – preferably when they have asked a question.

You only get one chance with each person to get this right, so think before you offer to sell anything: Does this person really want to hear about what I have to sell?

If you have any doubts whatsoever, that would be your conscience using your accumulated knowledge to say “Not now buddy.”

All of this will take time. But if you can make through the Nots you will find a direct (and untangled) line into Social Media.

Related Posts
10 Commandments for Social Media
5 Really Useful Sites for Social Media Newbies

1 comment:

  1. Mike

    Great post on what not to do. The idea of waiting to build relationships by seeing how the relationships will have a positive impact on all parties is not new, it has been pushed away by people just trying to make a buck.

    Great customer service = customer retention. If we think of expanding that customer service to the social media platforms then we would be all doing it right.