Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do's and Don'ts of social interaction when building relationships online with your business

This is an excerpt from my talk that I will give at BEA this year-

Many top companies have failed at social media. They have the wrong idea of how to interact with people. They see millions of people out there and they want to reach out to them, but they lose site of the ever-changing landscape of social media and the rules that continue to evolve in that medium.

There are hundreds of social media sites that you can have a presence on. Each of those sites have a different group of people with different expectations. Study the site. Know what opportunities are there. See how people are communicating with each other. Look, first, to learn the accepted way businesses are communicating with individuals. Some sites will work for direct sales. Some will work best for branding. Know the difference.

Do's and Don'ts


Do have someone be personable on your profile.

Do know your community.

Do interact when you have nothing to sell.

Do blog about things readers will find interesting.

Do join groups with interests that match yours.

Do have an interesting profile with pictures and items of interest that match your target audience.

Do have a positive and supportive attitude about your community and let that show.

Do monitor comments and approve them before they go out.


Don’t act like a business on a social profile.

Don’t be something you’re not. People will ferret you out if you pretend to be a person recommending books and you’re really the publisher of the books. Let them know you’re the publisher. Transparency = trust.

Don’t SPAM!!!! It doesn’t matter what you think is SPAM. It matters what the community thinks is SPAM.

Don’t bog down your profile with so much material that it takes forever for it to load.

Don’t be insensitive to the social media site you’re on. If you’re on MySpace, don’t put up YouTube videos if you can help it. Do you think MySpace will feature your profile if you’re advertising for YouTube?

Don’t be a friend whore. Don’t do “whore trains”. Whore trains are like online chain letters that gain friend additions instead of dealing in money. You won’t get your target audience. It will pollute your bulletins. You usually get undesirable people on your friend list.

Don’t add people under 18 if you are selling adult material.

More and more companies are utilizing social media sites as out reach programs. By following some simple rules that can be accomplished without compromising relationships with potential customers.

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