5 Tips On How Business Professionals Should Engage Socially!

t_ready_for_lift_off_188This question was posed to me on Friday night: “How does a professional ethically use Social Media effectively?” Then as fate would have it, an experience on how to not be socially active shined like a big flashing beacon – and here we are.

The following are 5 suggestions to consider when traveling social media channels:

Stay focused-I try to be as human as possible with my posts and talk about Social Media from a bird’s eye view. However it is important to be a real person and talk about hot topics (Bubble Boy, H1N1, Sports, Movies, etc). But for the most part, stay on task with at least 60% of your posts being on topic. However, don’t be a bot and beat your chest incessantly about your product, brand or what you are peddling. Find a balance between being on topic and a real live human. Warts and all!

Be humble– I think it is safe to say that self love is a very undesirable human trait. With a fair amount of success in the Social Media space it is easy to get a giant melon! Don’t do it. No matter how successful you are, be humble and stay accessible, even if you think someone is small potatoes. Social Media has leveled the playing field, even the smallest marketing budgets can be successful in 2009, and allowing your brand to be elitist is the kiss of death!

Be open to serendipity- say yes often –A few years ago Jim Storer used the word “serendipity” as a benchmark for Twitter. The amount of serendipitous business opportunities that land in his lap was how he qualified the amount of time he spends on Twitter. I agree. I have met some truly fantastic people. Most of which are open to networking and learning about new opportunities. While some, well let’s just say they have fallen prey to No.2 and have let their ego get in the way! So say yes often, meet people, share with people, send out opportunities to connect with complete strangers, most of them won’t be strangers any more.

Don’t be judgmental – The social space is still in its infant stages and not all professionals or businesses are going to get it right out of the gate. Don’t turn your nose up at them, and don’t force your opinion on them, help them! Be ready to answer questions when they ask.  It is really easy to judge in these channels and I can tell you it is also another kiss of death. Serendipitous business opportunities will close quicker than you can say “serendipitous” if you are judgmental.

Engage as much as you share– You need to comment, share and engage with others as much as you share your own unique content. I am guilty of this and have to actively make sure to not be a 2000 marketer. Making time to comment, read and engage is something you need to be cognitive of. Commit the time!

I hope this is helpful for new companies and a good reminder for the veterans out there. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments. Happy chatting!

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7 responses to “5 Tips On How Business Professionals Should Engage Socially!

  • Jim Storer

    Hey Derek – Thanks for the shout out! While I like all five of your suggestions, it’s #5 I think people need to be reminded about more often than not. It’s easy to use socmed as a megaphone, but it’s comments and conversations that make it all work.

    Jim | @jimstorer

  • Adam Cohen

    Excellent post. Also agree with Jim on #5 – all too often (and seemingly much more so as social graphs proliferate) I see a lot of folks getting caught up on broadcasting. I’ve even started to unfollow a few – even if they are smart ones – because I’ll see people I know engaging in their conversation and will be able to catch up by participating if the topic they publish is relevant.

  • Mark Wallace


    I agree with everything you, Jim, and Adam state. I also enjoyed your “melon” reference. So true.

    More brands have jumped into social media and it seems that has resulted in more broadcasts lately. To that end, I think there is a ton of education left to do and posts like yours addressing thes issues is extremely valuable.


  • Brent Raymond

    Hi Derek,

    Appreciate the post, when I first linked over I was wondering how you would approach a topic that itself could be an ongoing newsletter. Thank you for knocking the topic down to more digestible key and relevant points. Hopefully you can follow up with more detail in #1 on how to balance a healthy combination of on topic:character/human.

    I for one would love to see more of us business professionals emote in text while offering a devastating statistical analysis and proof of concept all in three paragraphs.

    be well,

  • derekshowerman

    Brent- thx for writing! The answer to section 1 is 60%/40%. 60% you talking intelligently about your industry creatin g unique . Bookmarking, sharing and engaging. The other 40% of the time is sharing industry topics, off topics of interests, bookmarking relevant and non relevant topics. I have found that I am off topic on weekends which helps contribute to that 40%. If you spend half your time off topic I have found you will lose followers and interest. So stay at that 40% level. I have also found 70/30 is too much beating your chest and not enough being real. So it is a delicate balance. Did this answer your question?

  • Aurora Palesca

    great post, as always. Thanks, Derek!

  • Alaina

    This is a great post, points well taken all around. I think we’re all guilty of at least one of these. 🙂

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