let’s have a heart to heart about this social networking thing.
sure you’ve heard of it. You might even be doing it. But the real
question is, are you doing it right?
see, social networking can be a lot of things. It can be a waste of
time or a huge marketing tool. (Note, I’m referring to people using
social networking primarily for business.) Whether it’s a waste of
time or getting you new business depends on how you’re using it. And
one of the ways to make sure you’re using it as a marketing tool is
to post effective, results-oriented social networking profiles.
how do you do that? Well, let’s start with 3 things you should NEVER
Not sharing enough personal details. Remember, social networking is
about connecting with people. The way we connect as humans is by
sharing things about ourselves. Therefore, make sure you add a few
details about your life, your hobbies, your preferences, etc. Do you
have kids? Dogs? Like to travel? To cook? To read? Whatever it is,
make sure you put it on your profile.
that note, you should also make sure your personality comes through.
Don’t just list a dry and boring nuts-and-bolts description that
would be better suited on a resume. Get your personality in there –
let people know who you are and if you’re someone they’d like to get
to know better.
Sharing too many personal details. There was a King of the Hill
episode where one of the main character’s friends (bear with me, I
don’t watch this show so I don’t know any of their names) put up a
MySpace profile. He said “I share things on my MySpace page I
wouldn’t tell my closest friend.” Then he realized what he said
and added “Don’t go looking for me on MySpace.”
moral of the story here is if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing
this at a networking event, then you probably shouldn’t be sharing it
on your social networking profile.
know, first I say too little than I say too much. Here’s a good rule
of thumb — imagine having a conversation with a client. What types
of details about your life would you feel comfortable telling your
client? Those are good ones to share on your profile. What types of
things would you NOT want your client to know about? Leave those off.
Selling too much. Again, picture yourself at a networking event.
Someone rushes in, thrusts their business card into your hands, maybe
a brochure and a sales letter as well, and rushes to the next person.
Feel like hiring them?
selling too much on your profile or in your social networking
activities is much the same thing. Remember, the idea behind social
networking is building relationships. You build the relationships,
the business will come.
that doesn’t mean you can’t sell at all, but building relationships
and connections should come first. Selling should come second. And
when you do sell, make sure you keep the relationship-building up.
all means talk about your business and describe what you do, but do
it in a fun, non-threatening, non-hype-y way that shows your
personality. And don’t forget to sprinkle in a few personal details
so your friends and followers can get to know you as a person.