Three common social media mistakes professionals and their firms make

How you use social media is very much a personal decision. So long as you have a plan and are clear about what you’re doing and why, then you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

However, three of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen professionals and their firms make are to do with inactivity.

1. Incomplete personal profiles: If you are on LinkedIn or Twitter for business purposes make sure you have a complete profile. Professionals need to be mindful of the fact that social media profiles rank highly in search engine results. If a potential client types in their name and the person is on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, or has a blog, these will usually appear towards the top of the search results. This means prospective clients or referrers may click on one of your social media profiles rather than your website. If they do, what will they find? An incomplete profile looks bad and you’ve missed the opportunity to impress them.

2. Inactive or infrequently maintained Twitter account: A number of professionals and firms have set up Twitter accounts but have either never tweated or tweat very infrequently, and then simply to broadcast a new blog post or firm development. While I am a Twitter novice I’ve definitely noticed that I’m getting more traction on Twitter now I have direct conversations with others and thank them for valuable content they share. If you follow the right people, Twitter can be a really useful source of great information that you can pass on to your own followers – by ‘retweeting’ useful information produced by others you generate goodwill and your followers benefit. When I see accounts that appear ‘abandoned’ after three or four months worth of tweets I wonder why – and I have to ask the question: is that the person or firm’s attitude towards their clients? Will they start off with gusto only to let things fall by the wayside down the track? While that might be unfair, first impressions count so, if you’re on Twitter, what sort of impression are you making? If you no longer wish to use it, close your account.

3. Blogging but not inviting a response: There are a number of great legal and accounting blogs out there. However, I do think some of the authors of these are missing the opportunity to engage with their audience because they don’t invite a response at the end of their posts. I would recommend anyone with a blog to ask a question at the end to try and initiate discussion – it could simply be – What’s your view? or What other things do you think are important? While you may not get responses on every post, when you do you have a great opportunity to engage with these people and build your professional network.

What other mistakes or missed opportunities have you noticed professionals and their firms making? 

What other tips would you share? 

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