This could be referred to as 'the idiots guide to social media'. But I would not dare to refer to anyone brave enough to try something new as an 'idiot'.
By the time I write this entry my advice will be outdated. I am certainly not an expert in social media. But, for all my friends who are brave enough to embrace this new world of communication, here are a few simple tips:
1. Never use negativity in any group forum, post or blog entry
2. Post less than 20 times a day
3. Update your status daily
4. Be a Resource not a Sales Person
5. Share your charitable cause
6. Don't be afraid to share your personal interests
(1) We post something in a group discussion, someone misunderstands it, insults us and our natural reaction is to 'crack back'. Don't! There are people with too much free time who patrol the Internet looking to project their self dissatisfaction. By responding to their bullying nature you empower their discontent and enter their world of self pitty.
People go to Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, etc...to escape the stress of their current worklife for a few minutes. They are looking for opinions (not expertise). Give them something that inspires them and they will look for you again.
(2) If I am following you on Twitter and you post more than 20 times a day I will unfollow you (with the rare exception of Laurie Ruettimann & Guy Kawasaki). There is no way there is that much to say. Be concise and informative. Don't waste your followers time with 'dribble'. Learn to use the 'Direct Message' feature...no one wants to read personal comments between you and your podiatrist.
(3) Linked-In users: Update your status daily. Use this feature to let your professional network know the slightest strategy improvement you made today......David is finalizing organizational strategy with a major financial organization. My way of saying I am presenting a proposal to Charles Schwab.
(4) Pushing products is death in the social media forum. There are tons of people with large networks that can discredit you as a 'hack' with one post. Help people with strategy rather than dumping product. It will enhance your sales approach and build trust among your network.
(5) We all have a charitable foundation that we support. Show people you are human by promoting your cause and use your network to promote their efforts. People feel less obligated when not contacted directly and will support to said charity if the cause effects them personally. This may also build additional personal attachment.
(6) You love Brett Favre - let your network know on a Sunday. In any meeting you can convey your expertise. Your personality can be a key determinant in building a mutually beneficial long term partnership. Don't be afraid to put the consulting aside and let people know you have a life. What if the person is a Green Bay Fan you ask. Ask yourself, do you really want to partner with a Green Bay Fan??? Sometimes disqualifying partnerships before they begin can save you years worth of stress.
Social Media is about bravery. You may let your temper get the best of you, post something that your company frowns upon or 'friend' someone who annoys you. The key is to try. Your confidence will be boosted when you enter a community, share an idea and have it adopted by a stranger across the world. In sharing we grow and in growing we influence. Be brave enough to put yourself out there and develop a Rock Star fan base. There is more to professional development than the four walls of your office. Is there someone you want to be professionally but your job title or company prohibits you from being that person?
You can be a Superhero in the virtual world and no one will ever know you wear a pocket protector.
Go Bravely and Fear Not the Mistakes you Might Make!
Don't Forget to Remember,