Sam & I have to accept some of the responsibility because we encouraged you to get started, to join the main networks and to actively engage with people. We also introduced you to lots of automated tools to make life easier.
Unfortunately in a desire to be helpful, we may have misled you as to how best to use each of the main online networks and the automation tools, so you get good results for your business.
Here’s what we mean:
Too Much Too Soon
Using an automated ‘welcome’ tweet to direct me to your Facebook page or profile is irritating and inappropriate. Just because we’ve just connected on Twitter doesn’t mean I want you in my LinkedIn or Facebook network as well. Give me time to get to know you better first!
Social networking is not a numbers game.
If I met you for the first time at a networking breakfast, you’re not very likely to invite me round for lunch on the following Sunday, are you? And yet you expect me to become a ‘friend’ or link to you as a fellow professional before I’ve had a chance to find out if I really want to.
Overdoing the Automation
One of my personal pet peeves is visiting someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile to find nothing on their wall but a long list of tweets. This happens when people link their accounts together and delegate their updates to the automation tools. I’ve even seen people using Twitterfeed to broadcast updates from authority sources and doing nothing else!
That’s a bit like sending someone else to attend all in person networking events on your behalf, and expecting that will build personal and business relationships.
Social networking is about being ‘social’ with your connections. You need to take part, and that means listening as well as broadcasting.
Updates Should be Different Depending on the Social Network
Your communities on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are very different from each other and need to be treated accordingly.
Twitter is fast moving and ‘in the moment’ which is why it works so well for breaking news. It’s also useful for sharing snippets of information and links to useful and interesting stuff.
Facebook is much more friendly and has become a place for publishing, sharing and commenting on personal observations, inspirational quotes, videos and photos.
LinkedIn is known as the network for professionals and provides opportunities to connect with fellow professionals. I classify small business owners as professionals too.
If you use Google+ you’ll know that ‘Circles’ allow you to differentiate what you share with whom, but the same feature doesn’t exist (yet) for other online networks.
You wouldn’t share exactly the same information with each of your family, friends, colleagues, networking contacts and prospective clients. Nor should you send exactly the same updates at the same frequency to all your social networks.