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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

7 Mistakes of Social Media Wimps

Here is an article that I thought would be good for all to read as we really enter into this social media boom.

via Sally Hogshead by Sally Hogshead on 3/28/11


To be honest, I wanted a different title for this article.

Instead of using the word “wimp,” I wanted to say, “7 Mistakes of Social Media Wussies.” But, I wasn’t sure if the word “wuss” would cross the line of good taste.

So how did I test “wimp” versus “wuss”? I went straight to social media itself, and posted the question on my Facebook page. I asked: “Is wussy a socially acceptable word? Or, like, kinda pushing it?”

And 47 comments later, well… as you can see, I decided to tone it down, with “wimp.”

But part of me wonders if I made a mistake.

Why? Social media isn’t about being toned down. It’s the opposite. It’s about unleashing the full force of your unique perspective, and offering up something different than everyone else thinks or says.

In social media, if you blend in, you fail. You kill your message. Or worse, you dilute your personal brand.

Social media isn’t “part of” your personal brand. It IS your personal brand.

So let’s talk about you. What do your messages say about you? Below, 7 mistakes you could be making, each one guaranteed to dole out a big ol’ dose of Ambien to your readers.


"Oh, sorry, I was just reading your latest tweet."

1. Fear of criticism. Hey, it’s easy to censor yourself. But resist the urge to play it too safe. Playing it safe on social media is like trying to make a splashy cannonball in a swimming pool without getting wet. Seriously, it makes no sense. The whole point is to put yourself out there so that you spark attention and earn relationships.

2. Serving overcooked mushy white rice. Are your updates so watered-down and bland that nobody wants to read them? Blecchy. Yuck. Social media is your opportunity to get spicy— to reveal quirky opinions, flaunt your offbeat history, and highlight your unexpected experiences. If you’d rather avoid these things, well, to be honest, you’re probably better off putting your marketing efforts into a traditional paid media strategy such as billboards or radio.

3. Oversharing. Really, it’s great that you just ate leftover fish tacos for lunch. Awesome. But if you’re trying to reinforce relationships with customers and acquire new ones, is this culinary repeat really the message you want associated with you? No? Then find a message that works hard on your behalf, by reinforcing your personal brand. While it’s fine to give us a few glimpses into your personal life, remember why you’re in social media in the first place. Give a really clear idea of who you are for your customer, and why you matter.

4. Making it all about you. Yes, you can use social media to sell. Absolutely. But don’t do it in an obnoxious or consistently blatant way. Otherwise, you’re building your ego, not your relationships. The whole point of posting, tweeting, and blogging is to get people revved up and raring to participate with you.

5. Constantly regurgitating other people’s content. Don’t rely only on repeating and retweeting other people’s content. That’s a crutch, one that stops you from developing your own unique point of view. (That said, if you occasionally read a genius insight from a colleague, or see a startling piece of news, bring it on— we want to know about it. Especially if you add your own dash of spicy insight.)

6. Anti-social behavior. It’s called “social media” for a reason: it’s social. Don’t lurk in the corner. Express the full spectrum of human communication: Talking, playing, teasing, praising, asking, flirting, speculating— and on occasion, even critiquing or condemning, when it’s appropriate to take a strong stand.

7. Trying to be all things to all people. If you are all things to all people, you mean nothing to anyone. Establish a point of view, and then deliver on it, backed of your inimitable experience, attitude, and knowledge— and charisma.

If you’re still feeling a bit timid, here’s good news: Everyone is still fairly new at this, relatively speaking. Try a couple of different forms of media, find your groove, build your base (and your confidence), then expand from there.

And whatever you do, when you write a post, pick a title that you really love. Don’t wuss out and use a word like “wimp.”
Thank you Sally Hogshead for these great tips.  So don't sensor yourself. Write what you love to write about and leave some comments here!

See you all when I get back, And I will have lots to write about.

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