Mistakes to be avoided while building your presence on social media

There are certain basic mistakes that should be avoided while planning and implementing your social media strategy. I shall be discussing a couple of them here so that you can stay away from these. The aspects may not appear very critical, but they do make a difference at the practical level since members of social networking sites can react to even seemingly trivial aspects that can become a full-blown crisis. Also, your competitors will instantly pounce on the opportunity.

There are business owners, managers, employees – both senior and junior – who at times tend to over-share your company activities. Overenthusiastic professionals can do more harm than good to your brand image so you need to guard against such situations,

Divulging sensitive details about your company

This is considered a sin of pride, when people get excited about something your business is maybe secretly working on. Maybe it’s a pharmaceutical company on the cusp of developing some new formulation or perhaps an engineering firm set to develop a more efficient product design.

Incidentally, by divulging undesired details about your intellectual property on social media, you might end up tipping off your competitors who could then try to find a way to copy or discredit your research or even duplicate the product.

Also, there are hackers, controlling programmed legions of botnet that can scour your company’s defenses and exploit even a minor weakness to indulge in data theft.  The point is, you and your staffers should rather be careful in sharing sensitive information on Social Media networks. Sharing any information that is sensitive in nature can result in targeted attacks from competitors.

This mistake has often led to a debate especially in the security industry about whether businesspeople should evolve and follow elaborate computer usage policies for themselves as well as their employees with clearer norms on what is/isn’t permissible on the social networking arena.

For that very reason you should never mix personal interests with professional ones, especially when you are using a social network for both personal interaction and business purpose, where one’s contacts include family members, friends and perhaps rival business associates.

Not observing your online behavior pattern

On the other hand, there is a section of users who know little about the significance of their online presence. It’s again a mistake! There are services like Rapleaf that quietly conduct social media monitoring. The San Francisco-based firm, for instance, tracks the Web to compile specific status updates, the sites you link to, the comments posted by you etc. The monitoring firm will gather all the relevant data and convert it into a ‘social graph’.

The graph reveals your online behavior pattern. Some prospective vendors or partners may use this piece of information to dig deep into your presence on social networks. It is important that you remain discreet in your social media interactions.