By now, social networking plays a huge role in the advancement of your career both online and off-line, yet there is much to be said for practicing social etiquette and avoiding a few crucial Internet mistakes that could cost you your job or reputation…
How to Avoid Social Networking Mistakes
- Don’t be too professional: Is there such a thing? Yes, it is important to network professionally and put your best foot forward, yet other colleagues and peers on social media websites want to get to know the real you to establish a long-term connection. You need to be willing to put yourself out there and start conversations on websites like Twitter and even LinkedIn so that you can reach out to more people in your industry and open doors for your career. The whole point is to be as genuine as possible and always respond or reciprocate in a conversation.
- Don’t be a wallflower: Much of the success found in social networking is purely social, so it is perfectly acceptable to start conversations with strangers, ask questions, jump into conversations, and get to know people online. Even a very simple website like Twitter can provide you with a wealth of connections and business opportunities if you are willing to put yourself out there and get to know people.
- Don’t market heavily on Facebook: Each social media website must be treated entirely differently, so it does pay to observe before joining in on a conversation. Twitter and LinkedIn are business-oriented networking websites, while Facebook is often intended for personal use. It is greatly beneficial have a presence on Facebook, yet much of your success in networking on Facebook will be found through attracting people to you as you get to know them versus blatant self-promotion.
- Don’t forget to stick to your message: While it definitely pays to be genuine and honest when networking online, you still need to stick to your message of what you represent in your career or industry. Many people get tired of goofy content and spam on websites like Facebook and Twitter, so you can set yourself apart by passing around relevant and interesting content that relates to your industry, as well as partaking in legitimate conversations with your peers or colleagues online.
The truth is that social networking is an invaluable tool to create an online presence and reputation no matter what industry you may be a part of. Even if you happen to be happy and content in your present career, making yourself available by networking online can often open the door to many new opportunities that you may not have been able to access before. Of course, all of the above tips will ensure that you have a positive experience when it comes to networking in social media!
Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that co-owns her own business, The Coffee Bump.