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Don't destroy yourself with social media

stressedman19185193.jpgSocial media websites have really opened the doors to businesses and it has helped to provide a number of businesses with a great way to strengthen their reputation and their relationships with their customers. Social media sites are great but they can have a destructive influence on your company if you aren't careful in the way you use them. Here are some things to avoid when you are using social media sites so you don't end up hurting your company:

1. Auto-generated posts. The thank-you message or generated message when a person starts following your twitter or Facebook page is really annoying and people really do not like them. They can tell they are created by a computer and they want to have personalized relationships. Never use the automated messages even when you want to post ads and other things. Its not a good way to strengthen your reputation or to strengthen your ability to sell to your customers.
2. Not using LinkedIn. If you want to find great employees and interact with people that can really help your company, you need to have a LinkedIn account. Some businesses don't get on LinkedIn because they don't really understand it and they don't think it's nearly as relevant. If you do use LinkedIn, do not make the mistake of auto publishing to this site. Remember this is a business networking site and it's where businesses and interested individuals are heading to not where people are posting information about what their lunch was like. Auto publishing can get you into trouble with LinkedIn users as they really do hate generated content. Be very selective in the information you are posting and make sure it is something that your customers desire.
3. Failure to respond to customers. When you join a social media site, you have to pay attention to it. Never sign up and assume you can just leave it be. You have to get on the site daily and monitor it. You also need to respond to the messages and posts on your page. This will help you to strengthen relationships with your customers and it helps you to maintain a positive image and reputation.
4. Failure to post. You need to try and post at least 1-3 times a week. This will help you to keep in contact with your customers. If you aren't posting people will think that you simply do not care about your social media pages and they will stop following you. Posting frequently helps to remind your customers that your company does exist and that you are here to make an impact. On the flip side, flooding the social media pages with too many posts can also hurt your company and your ability to make an impact.
5. Inability to listen. This is one of the biggest problems companies have with social media sites because they simply do not pay attention to the needs of their customers. They aren't taking the time to listen to what their customers are talking about and to find out what they can do to strengthen their relationship with their customers. Monitor the discussion boards and conversations that are going on so you can see where you need to engage with your customers and to start building your relationship and strengthening your name.
6. Boasting about your company. You definitely want to talk about your company and provide information about your strengths but you don't want to boast about your company because it will ruin relationships. You have a blog and a website where you can boast about the amazing accomplishments of your company, don't fill up your social media site with this information too.

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