This article is the inspiration for this blog post.

Social media, on a very basic level, is a polite conversation. You and your audience should be having a fulfilling two-way conversation. That’s how it should work. Unfortunately, there are people there that like to hear the sound of their own voice. They butt into online conversations in order to do a bit of self-promotion. Tut tut!

For example, I make sure that on Twitter I only post one sales post per day. I want my audience to feel valued, know that I want to engage with them (I do!) and that I don’t just want to flog them my latest product. This interaction is achieved with conversation, asking questions and responding to their posts.

Your audience isn’t stupid. they know the only reason you have a business social media account is to make money, to grow your business and reach people that are interested in your industry. That doesn’t give you permission to be blatant and sale-sy (I know that’s not a word).

I’ve noticed recently that a number of people use a cold-calling-esque social media approach. I do not like it. It’s the complete opposite to having a conversation. Why not pick up the phone…yes…*gasp*…a phone. Old school I know! But, if you really want to do business with me, at least contact me in person and not with a generic sales tweet that has obviously already been shared with at least 10 other people.

People who tag connections into posts that are nothing to do with them, in the hope that they will be retweeted or shared, are also misusing social media. Trust that people will share your post without being nudged into it. We feel obligated. That, again, is not polite conversation.

Be polite, make it about ‘us’ and not me, me, me!