Have you jumped into social networking yet? Perhaps you are a little more involved with your LinkedIn account, or you have asked your teen to help you create a Facebook profile. You are making some friends,
checking things out, but it feels like there’s something missing.
Whether you are spending a lot of time with your social networking or just dabbling, make sure to check out these mistakes so that you don’t do the same thing most people are making.
Social networking is a powerful place to build quality relationships with great people. These relationships are the foundation for building a tribe of raving fans who can’t wait to promote everything you do and what you stand for. Isn’t that what we all want? It is completely possible through social networking, when done right. And relationships are based on WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHAT YOU DO. It is the little things, like what you do on the weekends, where you vacation, what books your read, what movies you like, are you a family person or not. THESE are the reasons people connect. Preferring you over your professional peers for expert advice comes later.
But don’t feel bad if you read this list and find you have made some of these mistakes. We all have. Most people learn by their mistakes.
1. Ever sent a “friend request” without a message that clearly connects you to the person? In my research, over 90% of all friend requests are anonymous, even with people who know you. Even though we have too much stuff on our plate, we have to slow down if we want to build quality connections over the internet. First make sure you have reviewed the profile of the person you are attempt to connect to. If you can’t see their profile, then do a quick google search. You must have a reason to connect with someone and let them know what it is. Social networking is not about quantity. It’s about quality. Second, include a personal note in each friend request connecting you to them.
2. When you post comments on someone’s one or send them a message, do you include a “signature” with a link back to your web site? Survey after survey shows that social networkers consider this spam. Only include links when it is relevant to the conversation at hand.
3. When someone asks “what do you do”, do you refer them to a sales page for more information? Or copy the sales content into a message? Social networking is not about selling. It is about building quality relationships. As I mentioned earlier, build the relationship first and your friends will want to purchase and share when the time comes.
4. Do you spend all of your time making new friends in your social networks? Because we look to our peers for information, there is an expectation that you will share good information. This information should be a combination of expert advice from yourself and others. Because there is so much information in the Web 2.0 world, we rely on each other to help help sort the relevant information from the trivial and unimportant information.
5. Do all of your comments and messages direct people back to YOU for more information? In my research, the main reason people delete a friend, is because that person comes across as selfish and self-absorbed. The social networking world is a cooperative environment based on sharing. If you can’t get past yourself, or you feel like everyone is competition, then it is probably not the place for you.
I am sure you have heard me talk about the two reasons people visit the internet: connections and content. In this world of information sharing, people are looking to the peers for advice and direction. So building a network of peers for this purpose is necessary. To build quality connections, make sure to “fix” these problems quickly.
The best news about social networking is the community is very forgiving. If you make a mistake and it’s brought to your attention, apologize and fix it. And then go on. None of us are perfect. Even when we know the rules.