You do not have to be regularly attending a business networking group like 4N to know that in business we should all aim to build relationships based on knowing someone, liking them and trusting them. Coincidentally, KNOW – LIKE – TRUST is the 4Networking (or 4N if you prefer) mantra which is as it should be for any form of networking.
How you engage on social media can have just as much of an impact on building those relationships as it does in the real world. In the online world, however, it is easy to forget someone is observing how you engage. In particular, there are socially acceptable ways to do/say things in the real world and there are socially acceptable ways to do/say things in the virtual world. So how do you keep clear of the No Nos in social media? In short it is pretty much commonsense but as we all know, common sense ain’t so common.
Here are some of my No Nos:
- Avoid swearing liberally on social media – it is not a good look and can turn people off. The odd word here and there might get your point across but should be avoided or kept to a bare minimum if you want to be seen as professional.
- Avoid automatic welcome messages to your followers – they are just so insincere an do not build know, like and trust in any way at all.
- Avoid spamming other social media pages with links to your website – it is nothing more than cold calling on line and will only guarantee you annoy and turn others off.
- Avoid barging in and dropping links to your latest sales page and breezing out when engaging in targetted Twitter on line hours or Facebook groups and communities. Instead, try a little foreplay first: say “hello, how are you” and enjoy a little light-hearted chat. You will slowly get to to know the people you engage with as they will return the favour. In general it will attract a more positive response and is a great start to building those relationships.
- Avoid hijacking threads or going off topic in Facebook groups in a specific thread to create an argument. The thread can get completely out of control and will often mean an Admin has to step in and shut it down. If this happens you will only make yourself unpopular – perhaps even get labelled a troll – and you might get kicked out of the group. More importantly, remember many people watch/listen and take notes but do not comment.
- Avoid a constant stream of direct sales posts without any preamble. It will be wasted effort and get lost in the virtual noise.
With this in mind, and remembering to share great, fresh content,you should steadily grow your audience and enjoy positive social engagement.