How to avoid social media mistakes
The big buzz is about social media. But many business owners don’t realize that social media is a form of presentation. Social media success depends on following the rules of effective presentation skills.
Here are some tips to avoid making common mistakes:
Mistake One: No purpose or focus. A lack of focus is the biggest speaking mistake. It’s also true of social media. Having a clear focus when using social media is all about the “what” and the “why.” Ask yourself: What is your objective? What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to make new contacts? Promote yourself or your business? Reach new markets? Establish yourself as a thought leader?
Mistake Two: No strategy. You need a clear strategy for using social media platforms. How will you use social media? How often will you post information? Frequent communication is better than an occasional posting. A shotgun approach may give you more exposure, but being all over the place won’t necessarily yield results. Trying to be all things to all people can dilute your brand. If you comment about every topic or post something every 10 minutes, people will consider your messages to be “noise.”
Mistake Three: Not targeting your audience. Who is your audience? Are you simply collecting names? Actor Ashton Kutcher’s competitive streak drove him to acquire 1 million followers on Twitter. For a business owner, the quality of your contacts is more valuable than a big list of unqualified prospects. Consider the platforms: LinkedIn is more business-like and professional. Facebook is more social and casual. Don’t send the same message to all social media platforms. Try sending the same link, but change the headline. Otherwise, people might follow you on one site, but not connect with you on other social media sites.
Mistake Four: Projecting the wrong image. I've actually read posts from consultants who say they are working on a “boring project” for a client. Don’t say anything negative about your clients. It's also inappropriate to discuss a nasty divorce, problem kids, or drunken-driving incidents. Social media is not private. People often forget they are always on stage. Mistakes made during a live presentation are forgotten, but your blunders live forever on the internet. And speaking of image, what does your photograph convey? If you’re the CEO, be sure the photo is consistent with your company brand.
Mistake Five: No real message. What do you plan to say? How will you say it? What is the style and tone of your communication? Nobody is really interested in your favorite TV shows. Provide valuable information to attract more followers. New blog entries, a startling statistic, a link to an article or even a thought-provoking quote or book reference will make you more interesting and attractive.
Mistake Six: Hard selling. Nobody likes a presenter who sells from the platform. It's no different in social media. If every post is a pitch for your products and services, you'll soon be disconnected. Let people know about your accomplishments but don't ask them to buy.
Mistake Seven: Not building relationships. Many people create an online profile but don’t update it. Be as interactive as you can by asking and answering questions to establish your expertise. Invite people to connect with you and then stay in touch. Be a resource. Connect others. Good presenters create a relationship with the audience from the platform.
Remember, social media can be a phenomenal platform to build a reputation and to communicate your message to the world.