Yesterday, I had an opportunity to give a presentation to the National Association of Purchasing Management of the Lehigh Valley on Social Media. The presentation had some information on things that you should do - and should not do - on Social Media. Here are some things that you should absolutely not do on Social Media.
1) Talk about yourself...all the time: There is nothing wrong with self-promotion...every now and then. In general, however, Social Media is best when you use it to discuss your customers and how your products/services can provide them with expertise. You have to create added value with Social Media. Talking about yourself all the time does not accomplish this.
2) Be inconsistent: Social Media doesn't necessarily require frequent updates (though it helps). It does, however, require consistent updates. Nothing looks worse than a couple of flurries of activity, followed by months of silence. Make sure that, however often you update, your are consistent about it.
3) Post something you don't want seen - by everyone: As these Social Media fails by the Red Cross and Chrysler Motors demonstrate, its far too easy to accidentally post something to a Social Media account - and forget how easily information can be shared on Social Media. Make sure that you are comfortable with anything you post on Social Media being published on the front page of a newspaper, because theoretically, that could happen.
4) Be insulting or condescending: Similarly, never, ever, ever insult someone on Social Media - particularly from your business account. The BBC once got in a whole heap of trouble for doing just that.
5) Not dedicate sufficient resources: Repeat after me: "Social Media is not an intern project!" If you want Social Media to work, you have to allocate sufficient staff time, equipment and control to be successful.
6) Speak the same across multiple channels: LinkedIn is the business Social Network - Facebook is more personal - and Twitter is 140 characters or less and replete with its own vocabulary (hashtags, RTs and @). What makes sense on one network may not be appropriate on another. Accordingly, you need to learn how to speak on each network and use the appropriate terminology
7) Not plan: I'd argue that this the most important. No successful business or marketing campaign ever begins without a plan - Social Media is no different. You must plan before starting or using Social Media. Some questions absolutely require an answer: Why are you on Social Media? What do you hope to accomplish? What is your competition doing? Who is your audience? What type of content will you discuss?
Those are my thoughts...what are yours? Let us know in the comments! Meanwhile, tomorrow we will publish the seven things to absolutely do!