Social Media Tips from Lewis Howes – Five Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Reputation

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allow us to connect with the players in our market.  But, when used improperly, social media can be a dangerous platform for entrepreneurs to ruin their reputations.

Here are five ways social media users can destroy their online rep, and tips for steering clear of these costly mistakes:

1. Boring posts.  A boring post is anything that lacks your unique personality or perspective.  Giving a fresh perspective to an old topic or going against the status quo is what gets noticed.

So ask yourself how you can infuse your own character or sense of humor into each post.  This is the essence of branding.  The last thing you want to be is forgettable.

2. Disrespecting others.  Social media is not the place to work out your problems with people.  It’s no different than yelling insults at someone in public or raising your voice at a retail store employee.  Yes, it gets peoples’ attention, but that’s not the kind of attention you want.

Unfortunately, the higher you climb in social media, the more people will want to throw stones at you.  But don’t retaliate publicly.  Simply delete the negative comment, block the person and then decide if you want to address the issue privately, or just move on.

3. Failing to promote others.  When it comes to building your business and developing a powerful network, you’ll want to develop a reputation as someone who highlights others.  Not only does this give credit where credit is due, it also communicates that you’re secure with your success and have the ability to promote others in your industry.

Some effective ways to highlight others:

When someone gives you a great piece of advice, post it on Facebook or Twitter and tag that person.

Utilize the Endorsements feature on LinkedIn and begin endorsing people within your network.

4. Not replying to comments.  Not replying to comments on your blog or other social media is no different than starting a conversation with someone and then ignoring their response.  Actively monitoring comments and questions on every post can be time-consuming, but even posting one follow-up comment per post can show you care and that you’re engaged.

5. Being tagged in questionable photos.  Most everyone has been captured in a photo that should be titled, “This is not how it looks.”  As funny as some photos can be, think twice about allowing yourself to be tagged in questionable photos.  As a business owner or salesperson, be mindful of how you want to be perceived publicly.  Untag or delete yourself from any inappropriate photos.

Your best ally in creating an image that attracts the right kind of people and attention is to simply use common sense, which usually is not so common.  As long as you’re consistently infusing your unique style and communicating with the same class that you would in public, you’ll do just fine.

10 Things You Should Be Tweeting About

Apart from creating a vibrant branded Twitter account for your business, you should consider creating your own personal account on Twitter.  Fans and followers often want to connect with the person behind the brand.

Giving customers and prospects a glimpse into the entrepreneur’s life and mindset can allow them to cultivate a deeper relationship with customers separately from the brand.  The goal, of course, is to increase customers’ loyalty to your brand.

Here are 10 things every entrepreneur can tweet about, which can allow your clients and prospects to see another side of you:

1. Personal news: Share the big events of your personal life — vacations, weddings, births — the type of info you’d share with close friends.  It can help keep your followers feeling like they’re “in the loop.”  You’re also more likely to make a connection with followers who have experienced something similar.

2. Mistakes and lessons: Sharing mistakes and what you learned is a sign of growth, not weakness. Try doing a “What I learned this week” tweet and see how your followers respond.

3. Answers to questions: If someone asks a question on Twitter and you know the answer, share it.  This can also be a way to develop a FAQ within your industry, which you can later point them to via a link.

4. Links to articles: The key to sharing articles is to also include your unique opinion.  Let others know why you liked or didn’t like an article.

Just remember that your opinion paints a public image, which means you should be cautious about which opinions you choose to share — ideally only those which are congruent with your market and your industry.  Keep the rest to yourself.

5. Pictures of unusual things you see: If something catches your attention, it’s probably going to catch the attention of others, too.  So why not share it?  This includes visually impressive products, food and architecture.

6. Wisdom from the book you’re reading: When you hit a “golden nugget” of wisdom in a book, share it.  It not only shows that you’re well-read but that you value wisdom.  Those are two things that can only enhance your reputation.

7. Interesting advertising: When a billboard or any other advertising catches your attention, take a picture and tweet it.  Everyone can benefit from seeing smart marketing.

8. Fun purchases: Sharing your recent purchases, such as music, video games or sports equipment can stir up comments and conversations from others that have bought similar items and enjoy the same kind of entertainment.

9. Share wisdom from outside the world of business: Quotes from sports heroes, military leaders and artists can teach us about innovation and leadership, which are essential to business success.

10. Your work: The greatest links you can share are links to your personal work, but don’t limit that only to what you do professionally.  If you have a hobby or passion for something creative, share it.


By: Lewis Howes,

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