Using social media? Don’t sell out!

In author Lon Safko’s book, The Social Media Bible, it says that Social Media is all about enabling conversation. It’s word-of-mouth that takes place online. You don’t have control over these conversations. Your customers do. That’s why it’s so powerful.

The biggest faux pas in Social Media – MySpace, Facebook, LlnkedIn, Twitter, etc. – is using it to sell something outright. There’s a reason it’s called “social” media. I’ve had people connect with me on LinkedIn (who I barely knew) that started hawking their products and services to me as soon as I accepted their connection. Guess what? They’re no longer in my contact list.

It’s perfectly okay to become a fan of a product or service. Or even tweet about something you really like. But if you represent a company and blatantly try and sell stuff, no one will want to connect with you.

I recently signed up to receive tweets from a knowledgeable copywriting consultant. I expected to get valuable information from this company. What I’ve been getting instead, is tweeted to death about anything and everything they can think of. I no longer view their company as an expert offering me valuable information. I think of them as a daily annoyance, and sometimes, even rude. Why? Because they tweet me at all hours of the day and night. And they waste my time. So, if you’re going to use Social Media, please use it correctly, and with care.

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