3 Things to Never Do With Your Social Networking Profile

Do you do social networking? If so, is it helping you build business, or does it seem like a waste of time? Social networking can help you grow your business, but you have to do it right. Here are three social networking mistakes you should avoid.

So let’s have a heart to heart about this social networking thing.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You might even be doing it. But the real question is, are you doing it right?

You see, social networking can be a lot of things. It can be a waste of time or a huge marketing tool. (Note, I’m referring to people using social networking primarily for business.) Whether it’s a waste of time or getting you new business depends on how you’re using it. And one of the ways to make sure you’re using it as a marketing tool is to post effective, results-oriented social networking profiles.

So how do you do that? Well, let’s start with 3 things you should NEVER do.

1. Not sharing enough personal details. Remember, social networking is about connecting with people. The way we connect as humans is by sharing things about ourselves. Therefore, make sure you add a few details about your life, your hobbies, your preferences, etc. Do you have kids? Dogs? Like to travel? To cook? To read? Whatever it is, make sure you put it on your profile.

On that note, you should also make sure your personality comes through. Don’t just list a dry and boring nuts-and-bolts description that would be better suited on a resume. Get your personality in there — let people know who you are and if you’re someone they’d like to get to know better.

2. Sharing too many personal details. There was a King of the Hill episode where one of the main character’s friends (bear with me, I don’t watch this show so I don’t know any of their names) put up a MySpace profile. He said, “I share things on my MySpace page I wouldn’t tell my closest friend.” Then he realized what he said and added, “Don’t go looking for me on MySpace.”

The moral of the story here is if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing this at a networking event, then you probably shouldn’t be sharing it on your social networking profile.

I know, first I say too little than I say too much. Here’s a good rule of thumb — imagine having a conversation with a client. What types of details about your life would you feel comfortable telling your client? Those are good ones to share on your profile. What types of things would you NOT want your client to know about? Leave those off.

3. Selling too much. Again, picture yourself at a networking event. Someone rushes in, thrusts their business card into your hands, maybe a brochure and a sales letter as well, and rushes to the next person. Feel like hiring them?

Well, selling too much on your profile or in your social networking activities is much the same thing. Remember, the idea behind social networking is building relationships. You build the relationships, the business will come.

Now that doesn’t mean you can’t sell at all, but building relationships and connections should come first. Selling should come second. And when you do sell, make sure you keep the relationship-building up.

By all means talk about your business and describe what you do, but do it in a fun, non-threatening, non-hype-y way that shows your personality. And don’t forget to sprinkle in a few personal details so your friends and followers can get to know you as a person.

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