How not to do social media

‘Social media’ is still the marketing buzz phrase, but lots of companies still don’t know how to work with it and make it work for them. Here are a few things NOT to do.

1)      Sell, sell, sell: social media is all about building relationships, getting referrals, having conversations with people on your wavelength. Use it as a PR tool, not for direct sales. It won’t work otherwise. If you don’t put out good content, there’s no value, so no one will be interested in what you have to say.

2)      Join too many sites: it’s better to do one or two sites really well, than too many badly. Be strategic about which one(s) you choose then make the most of them. Make sure your profiles are always completed and updated regularly.

3)      Be argumentative: it might get some attention in the short term, but think about the long term, who wants to listen to the moaning argumentative colleague in the office?

4)      Take, take, take: social media is about relationships. Those involve give and take. Give advice, ideas, tips, information, thanks, etc, and you will get back. Constantly think about what value you are adding.

5)      Don’t join any groups: social media is an online community, so that involves sharing information and expertise, so joining groups is a great way to contribute, sign post what you’re interested in, what discussions have authority to contribute to, where you can add value.

Finally, even though social media is what everyone’s talking about, good old face-to-face meetings and events are not to be sniffed at. They can be an excellent extension of social media. In fact, social media can be a great way to extend your offline network.

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