Tell Us Your Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

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Are you looking for ideas on how to leverage social media for your business?  You’ve got your Facebook Fan Page, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter account and YouTube Channel.  But how do you make the most of all these social networking resources?

No worries.  We’ve gone out and asked some experts to share the latest and greatest Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for small business.  These aren’t last year’s tips; they are new and improved.  We promise you’ll find a new twist on how to get your investment in social media to pay off.

Read through our list; then add some of your own (see bottom of this post for instructions).

In a few weeks, we’ll combine all the tips into a handy FREE download that you can keep and use throughout the next year.  And we’ll hold a random drawing and 3 lucky people who contribute tips will get a fabulous HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One printer (details at bottom of this post).

Social Media Dos Donts

Mari Smith, Social Media Keynote Speaker & Trainer, author of “Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day

  • Do chat live with your Facebook fans. Your fans will love to interact with you live from time to time. Use the Vpype or Ustream apps to stream live video and get your fans to interact and chat. Also, try out the Clobby app (Chat Lobby) to chat real-time with your fans. Your fans will love you for the personalized, live element, and you’ll stand out from others on Facebook!
  • Do make use of Facebook friend lists. To better manage your friends, control your privacy, choose who sees what content and filter your News Feed views, segment your Facebook friends into lists. For example, create a list with specific influentials, and you can more easily view your News Feed each day and quickly Like and Comment as appropriate to continue nurturing your important relationships.
  • Do provide an area for your Facebook fans to promote themselves.To honor your fans and to help minimize any possible spam posts on your wall, give your fans their own forum using the Discussion tab. Specify exactly how and where you want them to post. For example, I have a long-running, popular thread encouraging fans to promote their Twitter accounts.

Chris Brogan, author of Social Media 101 and blogger

  • Do listen more than you speak. Use listening tools to listen for opportunities to be more helpful. Google “grow bigger ears” for ways to do this.

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, LLC, and author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.

  • Don’t rely on Twitter as a marketing platform to promote your products, services and blog posts. Users are now following thousands of people, so your message will get lost anyway.
  • Do have a strategy when you create a Facebook Fan Page so you can measure its impact on your business and know how much time you need to invest in it.
  • Do accept every LinkedIn connection because it increases your second- and third-degree connections, widens your network, and establishes social proof.

Rick Itzkowich, The LinkedIn Guy, Co-founder Productive Learning & Leisure

  • Do claim your personalized LinkedIn URL for your name. If that is taken, use a keyword that relates to what you do. LinkedIn’s default is something like$78.
  • Do make sure you have a professional headshot on LinkedIn and that you change it periodically. Every time you make a change, your network will be notified, giving you enhanced visibility.
  • Don’t ask people who don’t know you well for a LinkedIn recommendation. That’s the fastest way to lose your credibility.
  • Don’t have your company logo – or anything other than a professional headshot – as your picture on your LinkedIn profile. This could cause you to get suspended from LinkedIn. Besides, people want to connect with you the person, not your company.

Melinda Emerson, Author and Host of #Smallbizchat, (@SmallBizLady)

  • Do use a 4:1 ratio of tweeting other people’s content before posting your own, to build a community on Twitter.
  • Do be careful how you use auto DM (direct messages). People are leery about clicking on links of people they do not know. The worst thing you can do on Twitter is try to sell to someone before you actually have a relationship or are a trusted resource to them.

Scott Allen, Coauthor, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online Social Media Strategist, OneCoach

For LinkedIn:

  • Do proactively make introductions. Be aware of the core people you know who provide services that you can recommend, and introduce them to your network.  Seek out opportunities for others, not just for yourself.
  • Do join the conversation. Become a valid participant within someone else’s conversations.
  • Don’t just start a new group without getting to know what’s out there first and seeing if there’s an unmet need. You may be able to get much of the same benefit of starting a group without the maintenance overhead.
  • Do keep your profile information current and use relevant keywords so that you rank at the top when people are searching for specific terms. Passive presence does work sometimes, and the effort to keep everything up-to-date is minimal if you’re well organized.

For Twitter:

  • Do use search and lists. Search and lists on Twitter let you manage your attention so you can focus on the most relevant people and conversations.
  • Do have casual conversations on Twitter – instead of e-mail – if the topic isn’t private.  This way, you’re pulling other people from your network into the conversation.  Creating conversations on Twitter will grow your network and get you indexed in search engines for your business.

Tamar Weinberg, Social Media Marketing Consultant,  Techipedia (@Tamar)

  • Don’t (overly!) self-promote.
  • Do give value first and foremost; then people will want to see what you’re all about.
  • Do reward the people around you with tips and tools to make their lives easier. These small rewards don’t have to pertain to your business. If you’re super helpful all the time, they’ll want to know who you are and what you’re about.

Shashi Bellamkonda, Head of Social Media / Brand Evangelism at Network Solutions (@Shashib)

Setting up a Twitter account is easy. First, search for your friends in your contact list and connect with them. Then send an e-mail to friends and colleagues that you have joined Twitter. Once you’re on Twitter, do these three tasks:

  • Do set up a Twitter search for keywords that are important to you (for example, your name, company name, products, competitors).
  • Do check  and reply to mentions of @yourTwitter ID.
  • Do reply to DMs.

Niall Devitt, Co-Founder of Tweak Your Biz (@TweakYourBiz)  

  • Do integrate your online networking with your offline networking. Endeavor to make every virtual LinkedIn connection a real-world friend; it’s as easy as picking up the phone, meeting for a coffee or saying “Hi” at that next networking event. Always remember, social media is about the people, not the tools.

Shawn Hessinger, Chief Moderator for (@BizSugar)

  • Don’t be a stranger. An important aspect of social media is connecting on a personal level, so on social media sites like be sure to fill in a profile, tell people about yourself, and upload a photo instead of the default avatar or “mystery man” image. A personalized avatar and complete profile gives others someone with whom to relate… and a personal brand to remember. Those who take the time to upload a custom avatar typically connect better on a personal level and consequently get more votes, comments, followers, likes, fans — whatever. 

Tyler Garns, VP of Marketing at InfusionSoft (@TylerGarns)

  • Don’t blatantly sell. Nobody likes the person at the party who always talks about herself. Social media is a party. Don’t be the party pooper.
  • Do sell. But not in the way you’re used to doing. Feel free to share your expertise with others.  Let them discover your expertise without you pushing it on them.  Once they discover your expertise, make it easy for them to consume more and more of it–and pay you for it.

Brent Leary, Partner at CRM Essentials and coauthor of Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Small Business (@BrentLeary)

  • Do be mindful of your Net Promoter Score (NPS) on Twitter. NPS is a term traditionally used as a customer service metric to signify whether customers would recommend you to friends and colleagues. I think of it as a way to determine if I’m tweeting too heavily about myself, and not enough about great information coming from others, like my clients, colleagues, partners or other great resources.  If I can keep my NPS to around 50% (self-promotional tweets at or under 50% of my overall tweets), I feel like I’m adding more value to folks who follow me by pointing out others who are doing great stuff.

Grant Wickes, VP Marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies (@gwickes)

  • Do automate your video uploads to over 20 sites. YouTube is great, but don’t forget the other video sites. Using a tool like Tubemogul makes uploading videos to multiple sites a one-step process. In many cases, the smaller video sites combined can get you more visitors than Youtube.
  • Do measure the results of your social media; otherwise, you will not be taken seriously.
    To date, measuring social media campaigns has been expensive and time consuming. New products are starting to surface that are effective and inexpensive like Unilyzer. If you do not track ROI and business justification, you might not be in a social media role very long.
  • Do remember, social is not just electronic interchange. Use the various social sites for interaction and connection, but develop the relationship further.  Face to face opportunities are an important way to solidify the online relationship and build a much deeper interaction.  When you travel for business and even vacation, reach out to your key contacts. It’s amazing how accommodating your online contacts will be and how interested they are in meeting with you.

Lisa Toren, President of Inside Track Marketing & Media

  • Don’t start without a plan … for how social media marketing is going to solve specific business problems! Instead, develop strategies and tactics that are objective, methodical and measurably tied to the bottom line

* * * * *


We’ve shared the above Do’s and Don’ts to jump start things — now give us yours!  Here’s how to participate:

(1) Add your Do’s or Don’ts in the comments below! Or…

(2) Tweet them to us on Twitter.

Deadline is October 15, 2010 at 11:59 pm Los Angeles, CA time.

* * * * *


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Eligibility for random drawing: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY & PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCE OF WINNING. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF 50 UNITED STATES, & THE DC, 18 YEARS OLD. Void in Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, possessions and where prohibited by law. Employees of Small Business Trends, Prize Provider, its subsidiaries, affiliates, their immediate family and household members not eligible. Entry constitutes agreement to rules and all decisions are final. Taxes are winner’s responsibility. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Entrants release and hold harmless Small Business Trends, Prize Provider its subsidiaries, affiliates, and their officers, directors, employees, agents from any claim arising out of entry or prize receipt or use.


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

82 Reactions
  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Ivana: What a great list!

    Do: Ask yourself the “Why” question. Why do you want to become a social media enthusiast? Learn how to become a true trader and start to exchange ideas, information and values.

  2. DO use free and low-cost tools to help you work more effectively. Tools like Postling ( let you post to all of your networks from one place, respond to all of your @replies and mentions, see all of your streams for easy re-posting, and schedule posts to publish in advance.

    Got questions? Let me know!

    VP of Customers

  3. Ivana,

    Awesome idea! I love this collection (which is about to get even better) of great social media tips that we all can use.

    I can’t wait to see this ebook!

    The Franchise King

  4. DON’T make your last message on a social media site (before you leave for a while or go home at end of day or go to bed) be a throw away comment. “G’night my twitter pals,” or a reply “that’s a cool link, I’ll check it out later.” These last messages and updates are often the first thing a person sees on your profile, and on sites like Twitter – it is often one of the first things a new or potential new follower/contact sees when deciding to follow you or not. So….

    DO make your last message or update on a social site count, especially at the end of the day, or when leaving a site for a while as it is often the first thing someone sees about you. Say goodnight, then post a last useful, interesting, fun, helpful message – with or without a link. Tips are great – every time I tweet a short version of this tip at the end of the day – I get several retweets, new followers or comments/replies back. But I will admit, it is hard to remember to do.

    Bonus Tip: It even works with blog posts – if you know you have a ton of new client work coming up and won’t be able to get your blog for a while – make sure that what your post last rocks! So that even if the post is a month old – it still grabs your readers attention.

    Cathy Larkin @CathyWebSavvyPR

  5. Do monitor your brand/business name mentions and respond to both positive as well as negative comments.

    Do use URL shorteners whenever you post a link, to keep track of the action on your links in order to see what topics are the most popular amongst your audience.

    Don’t be irrelevant to your products and services. If you are a disaster clean up company, don’t fill up your wall with motivational quotes.

    Don’t just post for the sake of posting. If you don’t have anything of value to add, wait until you do.

    Do ask questions of your audience to initiate 2-way communication.

    DON’T link your Twitter posts to your LinkedIn status! Your business connections do not want to see a new status update from you 15 times per day.

  6. Use Twitter as a teaching tool. Help others become more successful. Since I specailize in sweepstakes marketing, I have four tips I like to tweet:

    TWITTER CONTEST MARKETING TIP 1: Always remember to add in the contest/sweepstakes link. #marketing #sweepstakes

    TWITTER CONTEST MARKETING TIP 2: Use hashtags to attract additional attention to your promotion such as: #WIN a great #PRIZE!

    TWITTER CONTEST MARKETING TIP 3: Keep the contest message under 120 characters so nothing gets cut off when retweeted.

    TWITTER CONTEST MARKETING TIP 4: Add in eligibility such as: countries open to, how many entries & end date (eg CAN&US, 1x pp, ends JUL 31)

    What is your speciality? What tips can you share?

  7. Do: Be yourself, including the fun stuff that makes you unique.

    Don’t: Overreact or get offended. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

  8. Do: get your technical communicators involved. They know how to communicate, and they know your products and services.

  9. One more from me…

    Don’t give up! A social media program will not produce results over night, maybe not even in 3 months or more (and by results I really mean leads) – but don’t give up, follow the best practices, consistently re-evaluate your goals and methodology and keep truckin’!

  10. My advice on social media do’s and don’ts:

    Do remember that it’s called “social media” for a reason. Don’t make it hard for people to contribute to your conversation.

    Do respect the privacy and professionalism of your colleagues. Never say anything online that you wouldn’t say offline, in front of your mother.

    Don’t think you have to be everywhere, all the time. Remember that people want to get to know YOU, not your Facebook page or twitter account.

    Don’t be fooled into believing “real time” means real time. I may not read your tweet or Facebook note for several days. Give me time to respond, before you bash me for being uncommunicative.

  11. The Do’s:
    – On LinkedIn:
    1- First and foremost define a strategy on why and how you want to use LI: as a business development, increase contacts, marketing tool, establish credibility, find partners, looking for a job etc…
    Familiarize yourself with the rules of LinkedIn by going through the “LI Learning Center” that is under MORE at the top of the profile page. Also take the time to read the LI blogs that have a link at the bottom of the page of the profile
    2- People build relationships with people like them and that is the base of LinkedIn, so when creating your profile, create a personal profile with your first and last name, then attach a company profile to your personal profile
    3- Add the “Company Buzz” Application to your company profile
    4- When you add your websites on the web resources (3 offered on your profile) make sure to personalize the URLs and not just leave it as My website/ My blog. Use Keywords that can also help you in your SEO.
    5- Use the Events application as much as you can
    6- Optimize your profile with keywords starting with the tagline that should be your USP to every section in the profile to increase your chances of being found.
    7- Monitor Who Viewed my profile and how many times you appeared in searches module as it is a measure of your effectiveness especially that now LI has added profile stats to who viewed my profile.
    8- Add all your Email addresses to your profile including the business one, but choose a personal one as a primary Email address to avoid creating multiple profiles.
    9- Help, help and then help others without pushing your message, be active in the Q&A for exposure.
    10- Don’t Import all your Email contacts to LI as LI by default send a message to every single person in your list and keep sending reminders that annoy people and you will have to withdraw them manually one by one
    11- Don’t disguise a marketing or selling message as a question, people read through it and label you as a spammer
    12- Don’t link ALL your tweets to your LinkedIn profile, as it clugs other people status updates and get annoyed to the point to remove you as a contact, instead choose the option to only shows the tweets that show #LI or #LinkedIn
    – FaceBook:
    1- Start by your own friends, then build your network outwardly through their connections
    2- Personalize your invites
    3- Do search for whatever keywords you are looking for
    4- Use the FB analytics to see how you are doing
    5- Optimize your profile with Keywords
    6- Share others events/ comments/ articles on your wall it will be appreciated
    7- Interact with every single person that likes or answers a comment you post- it builds relationships
    8- Don’t over-advertise yourself
    9- Don’t post comments. remarks. slurs that are offending
    10- Don’t post pictures that you can regret later
    – Twitter:
    1- Use the lists
    2- Make sure that the number of followees is higher than the number of followers
    3- Post only interesting posts/ links that can help other
    4- Interact with people on personal basis
    5- Twitter is not a social media network as their CEO said but rather a real time search engine so use that
    6- Personalize your profile including the name of your business and don’t use – or _ in the profile names
    7- Best time to tweet between 8A till 8P eastern time
    8- Don’t use automated DMs as people don’t like to deal with robots
    9- Don’t spam people the minute they follow you
    10- Don’t follow people so they can follow you to increase your numbers then unfollow them. there are sites like “” that help identify those

    Finally each social media network has its own audience and should have its own strategy so don’t blindly link them all to each other, or use platforms like Tweetdeck but be selective on what updates you post where. Always measure your progress.

  12. One tip is:

    Do have a regular and consistent presence in a few places to build relationship rather than a fleeting appearance in many of the social sites.

  13. You’ve got great tips here! I currently have a small business and I use social media in marketing my RTWs. I post pictures and details of my products through Facebook and Twitter. I believe that contractor leads the business line when social networking sites are used as a tool for establishing brand and for marketing. And oh, take this as a tip from me: always be friendly to those who ask about your products and don’t be annoyed if they just ask and didn’t order any. Who knows, one of these days he/she might be your customer or client. Everyone is a potential market when it comes to social media.

  14. Don’t fill up your wall with “Thank yous” and #followfriday names.

    Do thank people in a DM instead of with every single tweet.

    Do #followfriday by sharing a reason why you should follow one or two people as opposed to a simple #followfriday @name @name @name x 10.

    Don’t send a DM a link to your website as soon as someone follows you. That’s like a kiss on the first meeting of a blind date.

    Do mix it up in your tweets / statuses. Some links, some RTs, some tweets without a link.

  15. Do: Focus more on building community than building a following. It will get you more satisfaction and influence in the long run. Don’t: Be careful not use negativity to get noticed. Not good for your personal brand or your soul.

  16. DON’T feel the need to be socially active every day, especially as your # 1 priority is running your business. As long as you have a strategy and deliver against it (even if it’s Social Media Saturdays) you will set and manage expectations with your customers.

    Senior Director of Marketing,
    CityGrid Media

  17. Here are a few of my “Don’ts”

    Your Name #1 – Don’t put anything extra in your name as that violates your agreement with LinkedIn(R) How do I know? They reminded me by shutting down my account for 4 days!

    Your Name #2 – Maybe you need to go incognito if you

  18. Do:
    Use Facebook in a consistent fashion. For example, if you have tips on Tuesday, Thursday discussion on media related to your business and Friday’s for contest or giveaways customers will look for you on those days. Naming the special days “Tuesday Tire Tip” and using a graphic will be eye catching.

    Do: Ask questions, engage creatively somehow related to your business, keep it relevant, keep it positive, keep it simple.

  19. Don’t use auto-DMs in Twitter. Instead take time to send a personal direct message to thank someone and launch a genuine connection and conversation.

  20. 1. Don’t talk about or post anything about confidential matters–personal or business–at all on your social media sites. Once posted, there are “no secrets.” In a business situation it could be a “CLM”–that’s “Career Limiting Move!”

    2. Don’t become so dependent on/reliant on social media sites (e.g., Facebook) that you ignore real live, person to person contact. Studies have shown that about 70% of communication is non-verbal, and even if you use photos, you are still relying on only 1/3 of the communications being in words “only,” and that is no way to effectively build or sustain a relationship. Misunderstandings can happen far too easily.

  21. Another Social Media DO for small businesses is to consider backing up your tweets and social media messages. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Both as a record, and in case you have a problem with an account. Inc Magazine had an article on it today:

    I know a solopreneur who had built up a nice active several thousand person network on Twitter then lost access to her account (I’ll skip the details, but nothing nefarious on her part). All her followers/following were seemingly deleted. She started a new account, go 35% of the people back within two weeks or so, and eventually got her full account back – a month or so later. Not the ends of the earth, but she conducts significant business with some members of her network; it was a disruption, The solutions in the Inc article would have been helpful.

    Also with potential prospects or biz partners that you meet on one site, consider connecting on another site. I’ve met some great folks through twitter. Once we have the feel of each other on Twitter over some time, one or the other of us will ask to connect via email, or on LinkedIn or Facebook. These secondary connections step the relationship up a notch and have lead to work and partnering on projects.

    I also use Friend Feed as a mini backup – that is I connect with selected folks there. You can interact there, and it gathers activity from various social networks. The archive doesn’t go back forever, but my tweets went further than twitter does – when I was trying to research a specific couple of tweets from a conference.

    Cathy Larkin

  22. Prasad Thammineni

    Facebook don’t:
    When you set up your company’s Facebook page, don’t use your personal Facebook account as the admin. Instead, create an account with your company email as the administrator. That way, when you log into Facebook to manage your company’s page you won’t get sucked into seeing which of your friends just had babies or went on a trip to Hawaii. Also, it will enable your real personal account to comment on the company’s page as YOU and not just as your company.

    Facebook do:
    Get a customized Facebook URL. It is great for SEO purposes and also makes it a lot easier for your customers to find you on the site. Here is how you do it:

    Twitter do:
    Do respond to upset customers on Twitter! But don’t have the entire conversation on Twitter – instead, provide your email so they can reach you that way and resolve the issue out of the glare of the Twitter public.

  23. Maria Marsala, Business Coach

    Figure that I should add a few “do’s”

    Before you even touch social networking, this is my advice:

    1) You MUST create an Ideal Client Profile and know everything humanly possibly about them. Demographics, Technographics, Pschographics, and Geographics. Why? This will help you determine the difference between putting up a profile on a specific SN (Social Netoworking) site and putting up a profile and spending quality time on the site. It’s about leveraging your time wisely and spending it where you’ll get the biggest bang for your time. Remember — time is money. If your arbitrary hourly rate is $200 per hour, and you spend 4 hours a week on a site where your ideal clients don’t hang out, you’ve wasted $800

    2) You MUST remember — you are marketing, you are using your time to grow your business. Find ways (calls to action) to get the folks you’re prequalifiying as potential JV partners (joint venture) or clients from your LinkedIn profile (or any other SN site) to your ezine, or blog’s Rss feed.

    3) You MUST create keywords. Now you don’t have to be a SEO Guru to create keywords for your SN site. (Although if you are a sEO Guru, GREAT!) Take out MS Excel. Column 1 – Results Clients Get Column 2 – Features of my Services/Products Keep typing the words till you’re exhausted. THEN email your clients to ask them how they’d look you up on the web. Add those. (You should always know how someone found you, including what words they typed. That’s a good question to ask, and ask often.)

    Then when you create your profile — and I mean all of it, titles, summary, experience, etc. etc. sprinkle your keywords throughout your entire profile. Take one peice of the profile at a time. So yes, there will be duplications.

    NOTE: Your profile MUST make sense to your readers. It must read well. If it’s laden with keywords, that won’t read well and folks will wonder what you’ve been drink’n 🙂

    Profiles take time to create. And I have to tell you that I created my first profile and this year hired a content writer to help me make it better.

    Once you have your profile done well, I recommend my principal #2 in the Marketing Full Circle(TM) Method. It’s called The Power of 10 Principal(TM) Find 10 other places you can use that great, time consuming information that you (or your assistant or social networking marketer or copywriter) just created. Leveraging the time it took you to create all that good stuff will in time save you time and bring more pre-qualified prospects to your website.

  24. Do: Be personal & authentic
    Don’t: Be obsessive about the numbers. Instead focus on greater engagement among existing fans/followers and building relationships.

  25. Do remember that you are out to serve the world: more than 1,966,514 Internet users.

    Do focus on what will help your community GROW (preferably beyond borders).

    Do maintain a certain degree of edginess and consistent relevance in your field of expertise so folks keep coming back for more.

  26. Please Use your REAL name! Especially on Twitter and Facebook. I hate replying to “cutecheeks”. If I need to DM or send a message I want to speak to you, not your logo!

  27. From the word itself :social media

  28. DO include tracking information in links to articles on your site. It’s important to know which social media channel is responsible for the website traffic.

    DON’T forget that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others are only social media channels. They can (and will) change in popularity over time – think MySpace – so you shouldn’t put all of your emphasis on one outlet. Your overall social media marketing strategy should be channel agnostic.

    Hope this helps!

  29. Great question.

    DO : think about what is the result you wan to achevve and be clear when you are posting, does this contribute in ways that I want to be remembered. (it is your digital file cabinet folks can go back and see what you said for time to come)

    DO: realize only so much can be said in 140 characters, so if a tweet seems off, snarky or could lead to a misunderstanding then ASK FIRST before you react…tell me more? how did you come to that conclusion? clarify what you mean I am not sure? (you get the drift) so much easier than assuming and having a flame war online for everyone to see.

    DO: take time to read someone’s bio and stream before you start asking them questions.. DON’t be a lazy networker, do your due diligence -you will be seen as savvy.

    DO: take a minute when joining a twitter chat to read the previous tweets if you just joined and catch yourself up, imagine hosting a chat, answering questions and also catching everyone up as they came on board-takes multitasking to a whole other level. Again do not be lazy, you want to receive value form chat then look to see what is being said before you waled into the room.

    You asked for tips and I love to see what others say as well as leaving room for others to contribute.

    These all came from what we talk about in Social Media Manners #SMmaners every Mon 10pm ET, love you to join us 😉

  30. DO remember that social media is all about relationships and building a community. This is NOT the place to sell your wares. Use your website for that.

  31. Leonid S. Knyshov

    Do: Consider repeating your tweets about 4 times in a day. Twitter is very transient, so it’s likely you will reach a different audience at the next time period. Don’t forget to exclude these tweets from your linked account to Facebook.

    Don’t: Have no tweets in-between. 4 identical tweets will not look good in your stream.

    Do: Optimize your bio. Leave “Dad, mom, husband, wife” and other similar fillers out of it. Keep it focused. If you do many things, mention your key business.

    Do: Get a API key and enter it into your Twitter client. Track your social media engagement for every link you share.

    Do: @reply people who do not follow you if you have a statement that will add to the conversation. Twitter becomes a lot more interesting as mutual following patterns start to expose non-public tweets.

    Do: Use dedicated Twitter software. Attempting to get by with just the web interface is simply too hard.

    Do: Participate in #hashtag conversations. This is especially powerful at conferences as many of the active participants will connect with you without even running into you in the conference hall and should you meet them in-person later, you won’t be strangers. I recommend TweetChat for that.

    Do: Remember that Twitter can also lead to heavier engagement on sites like Quora and

    Don’t: Follow people who contribute nothing to your stream. At a certain point, it becomes too difficult to separate content from noise.

    Do: Follow automated accounts using a second account. You can always run a search on your main account to retweet the information, if necessary. My secondary account follows about 85 accounts and that keeps a lot of non-essential data out of my main Twitter stream.

    Don’t: Use a shortened link as your main URL. I want to see at a glance what your website is. Alternative could be a custom shortened link such as

    Don’t: Fill your stream with quotes. That’s noise. Noise gets canceled.

    Do: Ask yourself if your update passes the “so what” test. Will my followers say “So what?” in response to this?

    Do: Keep your tweets to 120 chars to facilitate easy retweets.
    Leonid S. Knyshov is known as @Wiseleo on Twitter. He’s the CEO of Flatrate Helpdesk based in Silicon Valley. His $40/mo web-based scheduler product helps business owners manage the overwhelming influx of business due to successful social media campaigns and promotions through sites similar to Groupon. The product comes with a pre-packaged social media presence.

  32. I have three golden rules.

    1. Put others first.

    2. Tweet others nine times for everytime you promote yourself,

    3. Give credit where it’s due. The second comes from @chrisbrogan.


  33. Don’t set up accounts on too many social media sites and then not participate. It’s better to pick one to get started, create a plan and fully engage. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand to other platforms.

  34. DO
    -SELL (your ideas and resources :-).
    -Educate those interested in your market or niche.
    -Use a mixture of personal and business. You are human, demonstrate that.
    -Guard your time on social media like a bulldog, be disciplined, and remember that social media is one more spoke to the hub (which should be your site).

    In all things, balance.

  35. Don’t promote other people to get something from them. Promote other people to get to know them.

  36. – Do remember that every tweet and post potentially lives forever and contributes to, or detracts from, your overall brand. Think before you post.
    – Don’t use “push” marketing techniques on Social Media sites. An introduction, or linking to someone, is not an invitation to subject the person to a barrage of sales messages.
    – Do keep your branding consistent and coherent. If you have 3 areas of expertise, make sure they build on each other and resonate consistently in all postings that you do. If you wish to protect your Intellectual Property – consistent use of names, slogans, logos, art, are essential to that protection. Inconsistency can lead to your valuable IP being unenforceable.
    – Don’t ever forget when building an online business (or any business) that nothing is forever. There will come a time when you will want to, or have to, step away. Exit strategies and succession planning need to be part of your planning from day one.
    – Do participate in Social Media in a genuine way – it has to be YOU. If you are not genuine, particularly across platforms, it will become apparent sooner rather than later.

  37. I like Travis’ comment just a few above mine. Good stuff.

    Here’s mine:

    Don’t believe the logic that you should focus on quality over quantity in terms of followers. Here’s why: There are only a handful of people who will actually see your tweets on any given day, so your chances of reaching a “quality” person, prospect, customer is reduced if you have only 100 or 1000 people in your following. The reality? Quality is found in the Quantity.

    Plus, you can have both quality and quantity; it is simply a lot more work.

    I’m not trying to be contrarian or argumentative with this comment. Take a look at the top Twitter influencers. Do any of them have small followings? Do you think they could have limited their networks? Do you think they have an intimate relationship with each and every one?

    The Point? Go for Quantity as you Filter and Search for Quality. But you never know where the quality will come from, even though you can guess on some where it won’t come from.

  38. Shannon Gburzynski

    Do: Re-ignite your public relations and content with Social Media. Reach a more robust audience of people in their preferred media, while allowing them to help spread your message by utilizing new concepts including social press releases, and social press rooms.

    Don’t: Silo your social media efforts. To truly activate and benefit from social media, you must integrate it with all of your current business objectives and initiatives.

    Do: Utilize social media in your customer service efforts, doing so decreases costs, increases your credibility, and allows you to pulse your customers in real time.

  39. Do use your time wisely. Social media management tools can make it much easier for you to be engaged with your network by putting all the information you need in one convenient location. Utilize tools that let you schedule updates and post them throughout multiple channels at once.

    Don’t rely solely on your friends and family to find success as a small business using social media. Find others that are already interested in your business or industry and make connections with those that are truly interested in what you have to say.

  40. From Paul Mosenson, President of NuSpark Marketing, Author of “The Digital Marketing Primer for B2B” available for free on

    DO: Make sure you have a strategy; understand your audience needs and drivers. Provide content that is relevant and engaging.
    DO: Use programs like Google Analytics and Google’s URL Builder to track website referrals, content, offers,and goals.
    DO: Complement social media dialog with advertising opportunities if you wish to promote. YouTube Promoted Videos, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Pay-Per-Click. We’ll see what happens with Tweeter’s ad programs..
    DO: Extend your social media presence to your other marketing channels, emails, print ads, business cards, and email signatures.

  41. Do a status shout-out to someone who has helped you in any way. They appreciate being recognized and may payback as your biggest supporters going forward.

  42. DON’T: Limit yourself to just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media is constantly changing, so it’s best to focus on your strategy first before selecting the tools. Consider your customers’ objectives and overall business objectives, and then define your new media objectives. A combination of open social tools may still be the answer, and/or investing in a community built on social business software could be a better fit for your enterprise.

    DO: Make the most of any opportunity to customize and brand your page, channel, or profile, while remembering to consider design and user experience best practices.

  43. DO: Offer value to your followers. Remember, various people follow you for different reasons (get deals, discounts, release dates..). Understand what their motivation is for following you.

    DO:Engage with your followers. Keep the self-promotions to a minimum and try to engage by provide meaningful information to your followers

    DON’T: Get lazy (keeping things static) because you are happy with the number of followers. Remember to continuously update your pages with content that is relevant to your industry.

  44. DO: Interact. Ask questions, answer questions, participate in the exchange.
    DON’T: Waste people’s time with inane posts. Determine the root of an idea that answers the question, “Why should I care?”

  45. so many great additions to an already fantastic article. I would simply say that, on Twitter, Friends don’t let Friends Auto-DM. Take the time to view a new follower’s profile and respond with something relevant. Or Mention them: give them a nod to your existing community.
    Remember to spend some time every day sharing and helping others: RT on Twitter, Share on FB, and invite to groups on LinkedIn. The more you give, the more you receive.
    The first word in Social Media is Social!

    Thanks for a great post!

  46. DON’T feel the need to be on every social media site. If your clients and customers aren’t on Twitter and instead are on LinkedIn then focus on that.

  47. Do keep in touch with old friends.

    But Don’t forget to use facebook and twitter to make new ones.

  48. Do: interact with your followers, comment on their activities and show genuine interest.

    Don’t: say “I’m on twitter” as your facebook status update and viceversa.

    Do: spellcheck your own and other people’s tweets when you re-tweet

    Don’t: be too personal and say “7.15am brushing my teeth” or worse…

  49. Don’t tweet about the number of followers or fans you have.

    Related, don’t ask people to help you reach a “milestone” number of followers (specify a deadline for bonus hatred credits 😉

  50. Forgot about another pet hate…

    DO retweet useful or interesting posts.

    DON’T mangle perfectly constructed tweets by editing them before retweeting. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to edit (i.e. almost never), just hit the retweet link!!!!

  51. Dave Curry – great point (retweets)
    DO – keep your tweets short enough so they can be retweeted without an edit (i.e. about 110 characters) I agree that editing is not a lot of fun because you don’t want to mangle someone else’s message

    DON’T – Tweet the same thing and just re-word it. No one is fooled by this 🙂

  52. DO – Run a social media based promotion that is in line with your overall marketing goals.

    DON’T – Run a social media based promotion without consideration of your overall marketing goals.

    DO – Learn your promotional campaign types (see pretty and informative chart):

    DON’T – Think that just because you have accounts on social networks, people will care.

    DO – Appreciate your network.

  53. Do: Have a strategy so you don’t waste time, energy or money. Ask yourself questions like: What do I want to achieve? Where do my clients hang out online? Who are the influencers I need to connect with? What’s my value proposition and how will I deliver it? What resources am I willing to invest?

    Do: Be consistent. Your blog and social networks won’t grow by itself unless you are engaging. Remember that even a few minutes a day to connect with a few people, can result in hundreds of quality relationships after a year.

    Do: Learn to use time-saving tools. Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple accounts on multiple networks so you can leverage your time and information sharing. Create a customized “My Alltop” page of blogs you follow and you have a constantly updating document of interesting links to share, without having to search.

    Do: Reach out to media on their blogs and on social networks. They may not read your email or press release but most of them will engage with you on social media. Build a rapport that way first and watch your PR success increase.

    Don’t: Ask before giving. Relationship building takes time, whether in person or online. Plant many seeds and reap the bountiful harvest in time.

    Don’t: Be obsessed by the numbers. It’s much better to have 10 raving fans that 1000 people who don’t care about what you say or do.

    Don’t: Pretend to be anyone but yourself. In this day and age of authenticity, we can google almost anything about you.

    Don’t: Be boring. Be bold, outrageous, provocative. Stand up for something, shout out your passions, share the love. And watch us come in droves.

  54. Just three tips that I always offer:

    1. Define Your Audience: You need to know if your audience are participants or promoters. Why the need to differentiate? Simple –

    * Participants are social media users that may use numerous social media sites and applications, but don

  55. DO: Be a leader. Sure, listening is important, but the world needs more passionate leaders.

    DO: Embrace small talk. Relationships are built between humans. And humans talk about more than “just” business.

    DO: Experiment with creating media and content. Content is the blood of social media. What can you create? Videos? Audio? Photos? Articles? Something else?

    DON’T: Make he content about your products. Why? Because (bluntly) nobody cares. What kind of content spreads like wildfire? Educational, entertaining and/or inspiring.

  56. Do make sure that your social media presence is not at odds with your website.

    If you are active on social media sites from which you link to your website, your website needs to accurately reflect your social media presence.

    Otherwise there is a big disconnect between what you are doing on social media and what you are doing on your website. And disconnects usually make people feel uncomfortable.

    To avoid this disconnect:

    Have your name clearly visible on your website.

    Use the same photo for yourself on your website that you use for your social media profiles.

    Have your social media icons prominently displayed on your website home page if not on all pages of your website.

  57. DO own your own database. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. are not public utilities but private corporations and today’s Facebook could be tomorrow’s MySpace or Friendster. Take every reasonable opportunity to get people subscribed to newsletters or captured into a CRM so that no matter what the shiny object of the day is, you have a base from which to continue building.

  58. Do put links with anchor text (keywords you’re trying to rank for) in the three slots LinkedIn gives you, to connect with your website or other accounts. Don’t just use the default “My Website” or “My Twitter”. This gives your website some inbound links, which is a major part of what impacts how high you rank in Google.

    Do give a testimonial to someone on LinkedIn first, if you’d like for them to give you one, instead of asking them for one.

    Do keep a spreadsheet of user names and passwords. You’ll undoubtedly forget some.

    Do focus in on just one or two social media platforms first, instead of spreading out all over on social media, and getting no traction.

    Do connect with local print and television reporters via Twitter. That’s the single best way to begin building a relationship that might turn into interviews of you down the road.

    Do seek out larger blogs than yours to guest post for. This is the single best way to build relationships with other bloggers and build traffic to your site, much in the same way a new band opens for an established band.

    Do only view social media as one advertising medium.
    Don’t expect social media to work miracles, especially in your first six months to a year.

    Don’t expect to learn a new platform in a day or a week. To get good at using any platform requires months of work.

    Do sit down and think about how much time you or your staff can devote to social media marketing. If it’s one hour a week, map out what you want to accomplish, otherwise you’re setting yourself up to waste a lot of time.

  59. So much great content and advice here…let me add a few thoughts from the perspective of a journalist. If you want PR–or simply want to up your profile–social media is a powerful tool that previously was unavailable to you.

    As Elena Verlee wisely notes, you may have a 1 out of 100 response rate to the news release you labored over, but via Twitter and Facebook, you can have a casual and effective chat with a journalist directly (no editors, no assignment desks, no lost release on the floor of the mail room).

    Follow journalists who might be people you’d like to target a story to. Fan them on Facebook. You’ll find rather quickly that journalists are using social media in a very direct way–not just to promote themselves and their stories, but early in the day, often, to reach out for help. Those invitations are gold. If you can help, you can make a very valuable connection.

    Don’t be shy–and don’t be formal, either. Reporters don’t want to see copy/pasted news releases posted to their Facebook wall. No. But a comment on a story that says “I’m in this business and there’s even more to this story. Let me know if I can help” may land you on the next day’s 6:00 news.

    And watch reporters early in the day. They’ll tell you what story they’re working on. If you or your business have any connection at all to this, let them know. “Covering the mine rescue today? We use the very same drilling equipment right here in town. If you want to visit the factory for your story, we’re available!”

    Oh, and don’t forget to send us a tweet or a comment after our stories air telling us what brilliant reporters we are and how you shared it with your social network.

  60. Do take the time to determine how your prospects and customers use the internet and determine the best use of your time engaging them where they are already.
    Do monitor every social media tool whether you participate in them or not – the tide changes quickly and even if your prospects aren’t there today – they might be tomorrow.
    Don’t assume what your prospects and customers want and need – go find out.
    Don’t forget basic marketing – the tools have changed the end result has not.

  61. DO: Know your “Big Why” – why are you in business? What is the purpose and your ultimate goal for serving others? Clarity on your purpose, your goals, your ideal client and how you transform people’s lives will help guide all your marketing messages on your various social networking sites.

    DO: Have a blog for your business. It’s your online real estate and the hub of all your social marketing. You own it and control the content, look, navigation, etc. You do NOT control Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site so you must have your own domain and site on the web.

    DO: Keep search engine optimization in mind – know your keywords – but don’t get obsessed. Write for your readers first, the search engines second.

    DO: Find a optimal posting schedule that works for you. The more you post on your blog, the more traffic you’ll attract. But more than frequency, focus on posting quality content consistently and constantly.

    DO: Keep the Four E’s in mind when writing your blog posts: Educate, Entertain, Engage and Enrich.

    DO: Repurpose your blog content in multiple formats like audio and video in order to leverage your time and extend your reach on the web. Your audience likes to consume content in multiple ways so give them choices.

    DO: Automate syndication of your blog posts to your social profiles.

    DO: Give your blog readers the tools to share amplify your message to their own communities. Have a retweet/tweet buttons, Facebook Like button, Digg, Stumbleupon and other relevant social sharing buttons on your blog posts.

  62. Do provide ongoing content that has real value for your followers — not just self-promotion.

    Do maintain consistency — if you’re on vacation or traveling, take advantage of tools that allow you to schedule Tweets in advance.

    Do build out your platforms to their fullest potential, whether it be a blog, Facebook, etc. Use widgets, social sharing buttons, analytics, etc. to maximize your time and commitment.

    Do look for opportunities to repurpose your materials to your different audiences.

    Do reach out with thoughtful comments/suggestions. Lurking for a while is fine to get the lay of the land, but at some point it’s time to get out there and contribute to the conversation.

  63. DO: Be authentic and transparent and genuine.
    DO: Spend time getting to know Tweeps that you connect with,you can build genuine business/freindships.
    DO: Promote others and give back
    DON’T be unaccessible and unresponsive.

  64. So many great tips here.

    The first “tip”/instruction I give clients. – Be Real. Be Human. Be Honest. Have Fun! You are building relationships, not one-night stands. Just like in dating, fake and forced get exposed quickly and your “date” will turn their back on you and walk away.

  65. Do separate your professional and personal social profiles. It is like the real world, there are certain things you will do in front of your friends and not in front of clients.

    Don’t Pitch Pitch Pitch. Instead Engage Engage Engage.

    Do Find ways to help and add value to the people in your target market.

    Do use social media technology as tools to lead back to your website.

    – Nnamdi G. Osuagwu
    Author, Social Media/Technology Consultant, & Co-Founder of
    Twitter: @StrategicGen

  66. DO: Join in Tweetchats. It’s a great way to learn about an area of interest, as well as meet new people to follow and increase your profile.

    DO: Consider starting a Tweetchat. If there is a true need for a discussion and you are willing to put in the time, it’s an excellent way to build relationships and your own visibility.

    DO: Remember it’s the quality not quantity of Twitter followers.

    DON’T: Accept everyone who invites you to link on LinkedIn, save it for people you’ve at least met. Unfortunately, after three years I’m connected to a few people who I can’t remember at all. Then when a colleague asks me for an introduction I have to admit I don’t really know them.

    DO: Have fun!

  67. DO:
    Research! Understand not just where your audience & customers are but exactly who they are. You can have many more than what you ever imagines

    Plan a Strategy! Without a clear strategy how will anyone on your team know what they need to do? Without a strategy, tactics merely flounder.

    Listen first! Learn the rules of the road, all those unwritten rules of communities that you’d never find out if you enter a community thinking you know more than them.

    Measure! Measure! Measure! Set your goals and use metrics to measure whether or not you are attaining those goals. Businesses aren’t like the Government which keeps doing things that continue to prove they don’t work! Don’t waste your resources!

    Build a page/community/twitter account and just expect your audience to follow. It’s not a field of dreams, just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come.

    Expect a community to move to your platform just because “you own the product/service/brand”, especially if the community is established.

    Forget to thank your evangelists, customers, influencers and contributors.

    Forget to add value to your engagement initiatives. Without value, you’ll get very little in return when you try to engage your audience.

  68. 5 Simple Steps to Getting the most out of Social Media

    1. DO Market Intelligence first.

    Before you do anything in business, market research should always be your first step. So find out relevant information about your market and competitors first (where are they online? How are they using social media? What CONVERSATIONS are they having? etc)

    2. DO Set your Objectives, Strategies & Tactics

    3. DO use a Social Media platform that will help you achieve your objectives. Identify which platforms your target audience are using, then GO THERE and use them to ENGAGE with your target audience.

    It’s really important to give massive value – you can do this by creating content that answers their questions or address their pains, concerns and issues.

    4. DO Direct traffic to your own pages.

    Once you have connected with your target audience ON those SM platforms, set up a LINK to direct them to YOUR web page. Direct them to somewhere that capture their details so that you can communicate with them in a more engaging way. In other words, you should be building your list.

    Your blog is also an ultra cheap tool that you can leverage to gain customer feedback and accurate market intelligence

  69. It seems there is so much really great input already, so I am going to focus on just one small area of Social Media; Online Chats.

    Here are 12

  70. PS: To previous post : I should mention there are many excellent business related twitter chats online, from which you can learn about many business related subjects from the experts and/or showcase your own business or other expertise.

  71. Do reciprocate.

    Don’t broadcast.

  72. Don’t solicit via LinkedIn or Facebook.

    Do share valuable information.

  73. Do: Remember that it can take time to develop relationships, even on Twitter. You are still communicating with real people.

    Do: Participate in hashtag chats that fit your expertise. It’s a great way to meet colleagues, find complementary professionals, introduce yourself to potential prospects and, of course, become friendly with interesting people who will expand your world.

  74. Ted Rubin @TedRubin

    DO a great Twitter behavior that is often over looked as being important… thanking people for RT

  75. FACEBOOK: Do create reasons for fans to “like” you. Use it as your company’s online coupon book. Post updates to industry-related news, info, and helpful tips. Also, give people a reason to come back – give away gift cards or free products using good ol’ fashioned promotion.

    TWITTER: Don’t “over Tweet”. Twitter allows only 140 characters for a reason. Use the Tweets as a way to push some other promotion (perhaps on Facebook) using shortened links.

    LINKEDIN: Do connect with old, new, and future colleagues. Even in the online environment, referrals still exist.

    FOR ALL SITES: Do get your businesses whole team on board. Teach then the ins and outs of how to use the sites and what to post (and as importantly, what not to post).

    AS AN ADDED TOUCH…Do post your social website links on your webpage and everywhere else you engage with your customers. Tie it all together with a powerful but simple email marketing campaign.

    -Tom Copeland, founder of Bullworthy

  76. DO: Have some personality in your interactions. At Grasshopper we have found that it creates a more friendly and approachable company image that people feel more comfortable reaching out to and interacting with.

    DON’T: Leave your sites/social profiles dormant. If you have profiles, make sure you are active on them. People are unlikely to become a fan, follow you, engage with you etc. if you are inactive on the pages.

  77. DO merge online and offline marketing.
    DO add personality in your blogs
    DO NOT try to sell on your personal Facebook account

  78. Tynnisha Hamilton

    DO: Give your business a face and personality
    DO: Meet new FRIENDS, rather than just customers
    DO: Make a profile/page just for your business/website
    DO: Share useful information

    DON’T: OVERsell
    DON’T: SPAM!
    DON’T: Ignore comments and messages. Respond and engage in conversation.

  79. Great article. The LinkedIn pointer stood out to me. I am not sure how realistic it would be to make all the friends on your LinkedIn account “real-world friends,” but it is a good point. It’s much to easy to get stuck behind a screen when networking. A face-to-face meeting, while time consuming, holds more weight.