Social media is fantastic, brilliant, amazing and all the positive adjectives under the sun, for connecting people with people and essentially being a ‘social’ platform.  But, there are occasions when social media stops being social.

  1. In public – imagine you are giving a talk to a group of people.  You look round the room and half of your eager audience are on their iphone, Blackberry or other smartphone of choice.  This is now a common sight.  Granted, they may well be tweeting about the great talk they’re currently listening to.  But, are they really listening if they are typing away.  When in a face-to-face social situation, put the phone away!!
  2. The big sell – social media works on a social level, not an advertising level.  Can you imagine flicking through your friends Facebook statuses to find every second one is an offer available or a new product.  The more this happens, the less you go on Facebook.  Keep your statuses and tweets offer and product free, at the very least until you have created a following who trust, respect and are interested in you and your company (even then avoid if possible!).  Keep your tweets/statuses engaging and you will find people naturally migrate towards your site to find out more about you and your business.  DO NOT set up a direct message telling people what you can offer them as soon as they start following you!
  3. Going AWOL – if you are part of a social group, club, etc and don’t attend for a few weeks, you will quickly find yourself out of the scene.  The same is true of social media.  Be present.  Don’t dip in and out when you have the time or inclination.  Being present, preferably everyday, is a sure fire way of creating a trusting following.
  4. Not listening – I’m sure we’ve all been at a party or social gathering where you get talking to one person who does nothing but talk about themselves and doesn’t even give you breath to respond, let alone ask any questions about you.  The same is true of social media.  Don’t bombard people with what you are up to and links you find interesting.  Listen to other people’s updates and respond.  Converse, ask questions and be SOCIABLE!!