5 Social Media Don’t’s to Increase Your Effectiveness Online

Posted August 1, 2013 by Irene Kotov in Networking Buzz
Social media is the hot new buzzword everywhere you look, you’re told that your career will benefit from a healthy amount of sharing, posting, liking and connecting.

But just like any hot new trend, social media gets misused and abused, causing a lot of detriment to those who follow wrong advice and to the wider community.

I’d like to share with you a few no-no’s of social media, which will help ensure that you’re noticed by potential employers and are viewed as an expert in your field.

1. Being Random.

You’ve just taken a photo of your brand new shoes and uploaded it to Facebook. And then you checked in at the local restaurant. That’s great. But why?

Do you know what end you’re serving? Is this action congruent with your personal brand? Is it relevant to your audience? Do you know who your audience is?

Posting content just to “get likes” and hoping for a poorly defined goal is a waste of your time. Start by asking yourself, “how do I want my career and personal brand to look in 3 years’ time?” When you get that clear vision, work backwards to understand which social media actions you need to take today.


2. Being A Preacher.

It’s easy to tell others what to do. You can get caught up in the whirlwind of posting and retweeting advice, dispensing tips on how people should live life.

There’s nothing wrong with helping people with your expertise, though you need to balance advice with real communication.

People wan to hear from the human & authentic you. And that real “you” doesn’t always have all the answers, does she? Sometimes you’re stuck. Sometimes YOU have questions. Which is not something you need to hide.

Reveal the true you to the people in your social network; don’t take the easy route, which is hiding behind a wall of advice.


3. Being A “Getter”.

Networking is an exercise in discovering how people can mutually benefit each other. Social media – essentially another way to describe online networking – follows the same principle.

Never connect with someone just because they have something you want. Learn to look for ways you can solve another person’s problem while helping yourself. Creating “win-win” relationships is the key to your social media success.


4. Being Unappreciative.

Would you arrive at a party and act like you’re a movie star, taking accolades, listening to people say how much they like what you do, and not acknowledging them back at all?

Of course not. So why wouldn’t you say “thanks” back to someone who just shared your post?

Even movie stars spend time signing autographs and acknowledging their fans, so don’t forget to do the same with people who RT and like you.


5. Being Numbers-Focused.

Numbers of followers can be addictive. Just like in life, it’s possible to have a lot of hollow connections and still have no real network. You can have the numbers, but none of them will ever do anything for you.

I’d rather have a deep connection with a following of 100 people than a nonexistent one with a following of 100,000. Focus on discovering people who are aligned to you in views and creating genuine partnerships with them.

About the Author

Irene Kotov

Irene Kotov is the founder Arielle Careers and she helps senior executives get jobs in exciting companies. You can catch up with her on Google+.