Social Media is a great way to gain exposure and build an online footprint, but stand out for the wrong reasons and you can damage your brand and reputation. Are you guilty of any of these social media mistakes?
- You are not using social media at all – which can mean you don’t exist! If people cannot find you, they will move on to the next best option. Don’t waste your networking time, if you have no online presence to back up your efforts. Start with LinkedIn, if nothing else.
- You are using the Set and Forget approach – while a Profile is great, if you are not monitoring it, you can damage your reputation by being unresponsive. Work out which platform you will commit to and stick with it. LinkedIn is an obvious choice in business, but Twitter may be a better match for your target network.
- Inappropriate content is in the wild – Social media is on the web, even if you have your settings locked down, nothing is fully private. If it is out there, it will be found, and if it isn’t for public consumption, especially that of your potential clients, then don’t post it. Not understanding privacy settings, coupled with content that should not be online can damage your brand and your name. Think before sharing photos from that wild night out, or before voicing an extreme opinion which could offend many people in your network.
- Exaggerations and inaccurate claims are made – Pushing the limits of the truth beyond the boundaries is another way to damage your brand. If you are not accurate and honest, there will be someone who spots it. Saying you are something you have no real experience in, will raise a question as to the truth of the rest of the Profile. Use self-proclaimed titles wisely and ensure if done with fun, ensure that humour translates to your target audience.
- Being reactive rather than proactive – waiting for issues to come up or responding too quickly, without thought can have a negative impact. It is always best to pause before hitting send or post, especially where emotions are involved. Misunderstandings account for many issues in business, which came about from reactive emotional response rather than a well-planned updates.
Set up and monitor your chosen Profiles. Be honest and authentic, and think before posting a response or rant. Relationships are built on being open and honest, so don’t fluff up the truth, keep it real and relevant, while being conversational.
Jo helps experienced professionals connect and communicate with their target market using the right strategy and right online tools. She is a LinkedIn coach and trainer with a passion for learning, and has an online LinkedIn learning program.