Consider the mosquito. Many a southern afternoon or evening have been ruined by this tiny pest. They buzz about annoyingly and drive you inside on an otherwise pleasant evening outdoors. And they suck your blood.
How to Avoid the Virtual Insect Repellant
As I’ve said before, social media is like a cocktail party. Does anyone invite a mosquito to a party?
Leave the Monologues to Leno and Letterman
Don’t just set up an account, sign on and start blasting. Follow others first, listen and find ways you can contribute to the conversation. Post a link, congratulate someone on a victory or just share something inspiring. Try to see things from the point of view of an outsider and post things that are of interest to them.
Don’t Be a Bot (What’s a Bot?)
There are services that allow you to post once and distribute to multiple social networks. Don’t do this. Unless you plan to go back and look for replies in each place, it’s just a monologue. And if you plan to monitor each network, why not just post there? It’s best to tailor your updates to the network, as you may have different audiences in different places.
An endless stream of nothing but quotes with no engagement or interaction is a snooze. I have my own Bible and access to all the motivational business quotes I can stand. Most people who will follow you do as well. Just spitting out Bible verses or inspirational quotes doesn’t allow anyone to interact with or get to know you. If you do tweet a quote, explain why it is meaningful to you and how it applies. Make it personal.
Don’t Be a Butt
Don’t use your platform to bash or criticize the competition. It’s a shame that it warrants a mention, but, particularly if you are a religious organization, don’t post rude comments about another ministry, denomination, or even a celebrity. I once hid updates from a Facebook friend who posted a Bible verse in her status, then shortly posted a nasty personal insult about a political figure. Snarkiness isn’t becoming.
Don’t Suck My Blood
If you think of your social media presence as an opportunity to sell, sell, sell, your followers will swat you. I’ve heard it said that, for each 10 posts, nine should be about others, and one should be about you. Probably a pretty good ratio; if you’re known as a resource, people will be much more likely to remember you positively.
Remember, its a conversation, approach it as such and don’t be rude or stupid and you’ll be just fine. Oh, and you can follow me at @bethgsanders.