social mediaLet me tell you, I was one of the first Twitter proponents. Well, not real-life first but recruiter first, Midwest first, first in my group. I loved that this channel existed for everyone and by everyone and that you could select and deselect the sort of information you both created and consumed.

When I had reached the depth of relationship that Twitter provided, I turned to Facebook and enjoyed getting to know a whole lot of professional friends on that platform and even began posting work stuff on my personal page (until everyone told me to stop it). I was in awe of the way that these relationships could be stoked on the regular until you saw the person again in real life. It didn’t seem to matter whether it was a family member, old high school buddy or new remote colleagueif you both had Facebook, you could communicate.

LinkedIn was actually my first love, but I didn’t truly appreciate it until this past year, poking through those who had viewed my profile with gleeful abandon, searching out contacts for friends with ease. I appreciated the fact that even if I lost the business card of that CEO who wanted to hire me, I still might be able to connect with him… professionally.

Blogging as a practice was something I dabbled in on-and-off. Don’t get me wrong, I started strong and officially I’ve been blogging for seven years but I haven’t always blogged blogged (for myself, I write content like a fiend for literally everyone else). Either way, I appreciated the opportunities it gave me and the people to which it exposed me.

All of the above to say, I looooooooooved social media. Was crazy about it. Thought it was actually the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s a fair comparison, because it revolutionized and globalized my careergotta’ give credit where it’s due. And ever since I first signed up for any of these services, I have been adamant that no one’s rules should apply to me. In fact, when I make a list of rules, I try to make them helpful suggestions. But dang…

When you’ve made a career of being nice it’s awful hard to say what I am about to, but here it goes:

  • Do NOT buy Twitter followers and then preach about “growing community.”
  • Do NOT expect big social media results in the first 6 months when you have 30 followers.
  • Do NOT retweet articles you haven’t at least SCANNED. (In my old fashioned mind, a RT is an implied endorsement.)
  • Do NOT use your platform as a bully pulpit to get what you want.
  • DO focus on building real relationships, following the same arc you would follow in person.
  • DO learn how to be persistent when trying to grow a following.
  • DO produce SOME of your own content instead of retweeting everyone else’s.
  • DO an analysis of your updates. Are they overly negative? Casual? Caustic? If so, consider what brand you want to put out there.
  • Do NOT expect LinkedIn leads to look like Twitter leads to look like Salesforce leads. The consumers (even B2B ones) are smarter now. If they wanted to buy today, they would have called you on the phone. Be patient and recognize that a social lead is someone who probably wants to learn more.
  • DO create a space where people feel okay with disagreeing with you.

Disagree? Leave your comments below. After all, we all have an opinion….or two.

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