Friday, June 12, 2009

10 things to watch out for in Social Media

With Social Media being the “it” thing for businesses to “do” these days perhaps it’s a good time to look at 10 things any organization should be wary of:

1. Jumping in for the sake of it: Social Media is like a huge swimming pool. If your only goal is to get wet, by all means jump in. But if you want to get somewhere or to achieve something you need a plan. Work with a trusted Social Media consultant to get measurable results.

2. Being pushy: When you’re new to Social Media people will give you a chance and be forgiving. Get too “it’s all about me” or “you need to buy something from me” and just watch that goodwill evaporate faster than a drop of sweat on hot summer asphalt.

3. Being too talkative: Social Media, at the very least, means communications is a two-way street. The best in this industry are the best listeners.

4. Not sharing: The very best at sharing get more friends, fans and followers in the social world because of their generosity. The more they give the more they get.

5. Not being grateful: People help others in Social Media all the time. Your social capital goes up when you publicly acknowledge that help.

6. Not being honest: The expected in Social Media is total honesty. Be dishonest and you will be publicly humiliated (at the very least). The self-governing social world is littered with the wreckage of people flamed to a crisp by those who were incensed by duplicity.

7. Being just “the spokesperson”: If you’re not perceived as being human then you might as well be a computer. Social Media’s stars have found away to make all their communication have a personality and be hyper-human.

8. Being boring. To avoid it, say something original and from the heart (and keep in brief).

9. Living in TMI-land: Yes Social Media can seem awfully intimate when you update your status and think you’re telling just a few friends about you diarrhea. For the rest of us that is just too much information (TMI).

10. Taking it too seriously: Come on. We’re talking about social platforms like Twitter and Facebook and MySpace and YouTube. These are all dominated by humorous writing, pictures, audio and video. If you can have some fun, others will too.

The online reputation you end up with is everyone else’s sense of how you handle all of the above.

Most of all? Your mother was right: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a good basis for all of life (including Social Media).

Related posts:
10 Commandments for Social Media
5 strategies to get the Boss into Social Media


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