Yes, it is possible to be too social. Too anti-social; too unsocial; and even just too.
The amazing tools of social media, from Facebook, to Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and of course, blogging, (along with others) will help you connect, communicate, and build relationships …They can also turn clients into adversaries and total strangers into your lifelong enemies.
The damage to reputations, relationships, careers, and business potential that can be done through irresponsible use of a social media site is not limited to teenagers on MySpace. Consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs, and other businesspeople can use social media tools in the wrong way and do major damage to client relationships, image, brand, and business.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when you use social media tools to reach your market that will help you avoid being social media road kill:
- Be personable but don’t give people a reason to dislike you. Mention your dog or your kids so that consumers see you in a dimensional way; skip over religion and politics where you are sure to make enemies no matter what you say.
- If you are going to use social media sites—then use them. Don’t make them a one-way street where you talk but don’t listen. Social sites such as Twitter and Facebook are for communication so pay attention to what others are saying, respond to questions and comments, and interact in a way so that you engage others and elicit participation from them … that is the very definition of social.
- Remember that the world wide web can be a very small and transparent place. Consumers will inevitably match up the “Bill and the barmaid photos” on your personal site with your professional and business persona. Don’t even think about being able to maintain multiple identities unless you are prepared to go far underground with your personal profile, using only pseudonyms, never using your real photos, and never, ever referencing your locale, profession, or other clues to your real self.
Here’s a video that is making its way around the internet virally. It’s from espresso at http://brandinfiltration.com and it makes the point well.