Social Media Blunders. We all see people committing them all the time right?! But if you use social platforms for business or for recruiting, blunders could be costing you dear. So today I thought I'd share 7 blunders I see businesspeople making with their social presence. If you see yourself in any of these shortcomings, take a moment to think what you might change to address this...
1. Not having a profile on all the major social networks
2. Not being active on these networks
3. Thinking about “what’s in it for me?” rather than “how can I help my followers?”
4. Not having an end goal in mind
5. Sharing things that aren’t worthy of sharing
6. Failing to inject any personality
7. Having an inconsistent presence
When I think of all the social tools I see in development, a significant proportion are dedicated to helping people find relevant contacts on social networks. Whilst what’s broadcast on social media is the side we can all visibly see, the other side of social is really where the money is at. Whether we’re talking recruiters or potential clients, a lot of leads being generated today are the result of people searching for who they’re interested in engaging with. Given that’s the case, it’s a risky strategy to say “I can reach everyone I need to on LinkedIn” or “Google+ is a ghost town”. You can’t know where your potential future employer or next client might choose to look for their next leads, so you need to have a professional and compelling presence on each network where they might choose to look.
A lack of activity on your social profiles is an immediate deterrent to pursue potential interest any further. If someone sees you’ve not posted anything in the last several months – and they have other leads they can pursue who they can see are active – then their interest is often going to gravitate to contacting those they can see are going to be responsive on that platform. So once you’ve created a profile on a platform, be sure to regularly share content or be active via that profile. Of course you need to manage your time – and you will choose to invest more time in some networks than others. But some activity is essential to convert potential interest into actual contact.
If you spend any time looking at the profiles of people who achieve lots of social shares of their content and tons of engagement with their followers, you’ll notice something for sure. These successful social networkers share content that will really help their followers; they jump in to try and help when they see their network asking a question or in need of support; they only occasionally ask the network for help (or self promote) – but guess what, when they do they have an army of engaged followers who really want to help because they’ve given them so much value and assistance in the past.
Now having said you shouldn’t focus on “what’s in it for me?”, it is nonetheless important to have an end goal in mind for your social presence. What are you trying to achieve? If you don’t have this clearly etched in your mind then your social activities will not have the focus required to maximising those results. Someone who wants to generate a strong uptick in website visitors will have a different social presence than someone who wants to prompt enquiries from potential clients. Make sure you define what it is you want as the end outcome of your social investment so that your activities can then be laser-focused on achieving that aim.
You have been given something very precious – your followers’ time. Be very respectful of this. Know what issues and challenges your followers typically face – and share things with them that will really help them. Too often I see people sharing content from someone they want to build a relationship with, without due care being given to whether the content being shared is genuinely of the highest quality, helpful and insightful. It only takes a handful of lower quality shares for your followers to start to detune from what you have to say (or worse still, choose to outright unfollow you). So only share content if it is outstanding.
There’s a saying in sales that people like to buy from other people. Salespeople who are good at making others warm to them are typically far more successful than those who find this difficult to achieve. The same is true with your social presence. If your updates and interactions are rather robotic – and fail to share any of your personality or likeable traits, you are doing yourself a disservice. Be warm with people. Be appreciative. Have fun!
Last but not least, having an inconsistent presence can often undermine people’s social presence. I’d point in particular to i) being consistent in terms of how often you send updates to your followers (sporadically going quiet for days on end is not good) and ii) being consistent in the types of material you share and the pattern of how much you share other people’s content. Imagine that people chose to follow you based on the activity they saw on your profile some time ago. The more you can maintain that same frequency and nature of your updates, the more likely your followers are to be satisfied that the reality of following you has lived up to the promise.
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Image credit: JD Hancock