socialnetworkimagesSocial networks are amazing tools for growing one’s business.  However, it is possible to do more harm that good on networks like Facebook, Linkedin or even Twitter.  Here are the top five ways to actually lose clients on social networks:

  1. No profile picture– Let’s be honest here, talking to a faceless person is just plain strange, if not spooky.  In fact, that is very much like showing up to a networking event with a ski mask on and handing out business cards.  Those without pictures on social networks are very often rejected when they send friend requests.
  2. Murky description– It is imperative that professionals provide clear and concise information about the organizations that they represent on social networks.  Be clear, post links to the website and even media such as video or pictures when appropriate.
  3. Not being “social”– Simply logging on once a month and making a few updates is not going to cut it.  Anyone that is not making genuine connections online is simply wasting their time.
  4. Inappropriate Comments– This is a big one. While the point of social networks is to be “social”, one should keep in mind that they are opening themselves up to the ENTIRE WORLD.  I’ve seen status updates on Facebook and Twitter that have been amazingly inappropriate made by business professionals and even future political figures.  Professionals should assume when writing anything that they have a huge bullhorn in a large crowd.  Furthermore, statements are recorded forever.  I personally know of many individuals that have tarnished their image with online networks and they likely do not even know that they have driven potential clients away that were either offended, or generally lost respect for them.
  5. Hard Selling–  Say it with me- “SOCIAL networks!”  No one wants to be advertised at on social networks.  There is nothing wrong with promoting a business, but it should not be in the 1980’s method of billboard advertising of just plain being repetitive.  No one wants to develop a reputation as being “that annoying guy” that is always trying to sell someone something.  Those people are constantly deleted, unfollowed (Twitter) or even marked as spammers.  Professionals on social networks should always aim to be one or more of the following:
  • Interesting
  • Entertaining
  • Informative

Be likeable, be clear and ad value!