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10 Things Not to do Online

Published on 8/12/2010 by

And How to Best Represent Your Business

Social media has provided an entirely new way to interact with others online.  By setting up a Facebook Fan Page or business Twitter account, you can now reach more customers and potential customers each day.  You can also become a social media disaster.  Here are ten things you should never do on any social media website.

1. Don’t become a public Farmville expert

If your Facebook page is used for business purposes, be professional and focus on business things.  Don’t let your Facebook profile become littered with Farmville achievements, gifts or silly things.  If you must play Farmville, do it on your personal account.

2.  Don’t focus on the number of followers you have

Asking for followers and blindly befriending strangers in hopes of upping your Twitter or Facebook Fan Page counts looks desperate.  Don’t focus on how many people are following you, but instead on how you’re interacting with the world.  If you provide quality content and have a little patience, you’ll grow an authentic list of followers who will really care about your business and what you have to say.

3.  Don’t install Twitter apps on other networks

If you tweet more than a few times a day, do not install Twitter applications that push those tweets to other social networking sites.  Each time you send out a tweet, your other social networking outlets will also be updated, which can become the equivalent of spam.

4.  Don’t ignore your followers

People have chosen to invest time reading your words, so don’t ignore them.  If someone posts a link you found interesting or helpful, thank them, and then share it with others.

5.  Don’t worry about the unfollowers

Social media has a high rate of turnover.  Some try to play the social media game only to inflate their own follower numbers.  Don’t worry about who’s unfollowing you.  Websites like Qwitter can be helpful in identifying spammers or spambots, but don’t become so obsessed with who’s following or unfollowing you that you fail to get your message out there.

6.  Don’t talk politics

Unless you’re a politician, nobody in interested in your political commentary.  You will not gain friends by posting your political ideology on any social networking site.  If you must talk politics or religion, use personal social networking accounts for that, and stick to business on your business accounts.

7.  Don’t be an ego maniac

Yes, people want to know about you and your business, but they’ve connected with you online to make an actual connection.  Don’t spend all of your online time pimping your latest blog post or product.  Interact with followers by asking about their business, commenting on a post they made or forwarding links they’ve shared.

8.  Don’t be an annoyance

The golden rule of social media is that you never update any one account more than ten times a day.  Each time you tweet or plurk or write a status update, you’re taking up people’s valuable time and space.  Make your contributions worthwhile.  If you have so much to say that you can’t stop yourself from posting twenty updates a day, start a blog.

9.  Don’t stray from your principle values

Just because everyone is talking about Lady Gaga or some politician’s love life doesn’t mean you have to join in.  You’re representing a business with your social media profiles, so stay professional.

10.  Don’t forget your sense of humor

Don’t be afraid to have fun online.  People love to be entertained, as well as informed.  Show all sides of your personality just as you do in real life.

Social networking is a powerful way to reach your target audience if you know how to manage yourself online.  If you’re focused, professional and charm your audience, you can take your business to a whole new level.