The 7 Social Media Mistakes that are Hurting Your Influence

According to Career Builder, “Social media recruitment is on the rise. Fifty-two percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up significantly from 43 percent last year and 39 percent in 2013.” And, “Forty-eight percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate (Career Builder, 2015).”

Here’s something that we can’t take lightly: Even though many of us are our own “boss,” we can’t dismiss the fact that we would not have a business were it not for the clients who purchase our products and services. It’s these people that are allowing you and your business to thrive or die. And it’s your posts on social media that will either lead them towards you or away from you.

And it’s not just about the clients who purchase your products and service, but what about the Director who wants to hire you to speak at their event? The CEO who wants you to come in and share your expertise with their organization? The business owner who wants you to guest post on their blog or in their magazine? The literary agent that’s looking to partner with you for your first or 10th book? Or even more important, the “picture” of Jesus that you are portraying through your online posts?

Influential people are watching your platforms and your posts are either opening doors for you or closing them shut.

We have to be very discerning when it comes to our online influence. We have to stop and think before we post and before we respond to a comment. Part of being someone who is worth following, is someone who is discerning.

Here are some of the most common social media mistakes that are causing far too many business and ministry women to miss out on opportunities that could have been theirs, had they been more discerning with their posts and comments:

Too Emotional: Yes, we all have those people in our lives that rub us the wrong way, but please know that social media is not the place to air all of your dirty laundry like your family issues, disagreements, ministry challenges, etc. You may be trying to prove a point via your post, but truthfully, all it’s doing is making you look bad. And when it comes to being too emotional, I think we have to remember that being negative is a part of this too. If every one of your posts is negative (and yes, this includes political posts too), then you know you have some work to do. A social media platform that is filled with nothing but negative posts will immediately leave people with a bad taste in their mouth. No one comes to social media to see all of your negative posts.

 Taking part in online conflicts: Here are some questions to ask yourself: Is this really going to matter in the long run? Is it that important to get your point across or to have the last word? Does the online world really need to see and read this? Is this conflict worth me losing a client or opportunity over? Or even worse, is this conflict really moving the message of Jesus forward or is it causing people to cringe when they read it? Social media is not the place for conflicts. All it does is make you look bad. Avoid them at all costs.

Trying to separate your personal and professional life: We would like to believe that we can separate our personal and professional lives online, but it’s not possible. Everything you do and say reflects who you are as an individual and who you are as a professional. What you do on a daily basis gives insight into you as a business owner, ministry leader and follower of Christ. What you post gives insight into how you will communicate with others. Don’t fall for the lie that these two areas can be separated; they just can’t.

 Complaining about your clients: Unfortunately, this is becoming the norm; I see it every day. And what most professionals don’t realize is that it’s closing doors for them on a regular basis. The Director for that dream speaking engagement may have been interested in you and learning more about you, but as soon as you posted that negative, whiny complaint about your client (leader, boss, etc.), that door immediately shut. And then you’re left wondering why doors keep closing for you.

Being Pushy: Want to lose the interest of people really quick? Post on their Facebook wall about your upcoming event, product, service, webinar, etc. Nothing aggravates people more than business owners who become pushy when it comes to their business. Also, don’t send direct messages to people you have never engaged with or have hardly engaged with, telling them about your business. This will get you ignored and put a sour taste about you and your business in their mind.

 Insulting Others: Your posts should not destroy people, but instead, encourage and lift them up. One of the most important skills to have on social media is the ability to “talk” to others who disagree with you. Please don’t act like a child by name calling, insulting, and destroying people. Remember, you don’t have to attend every discussion that takes place online. You be different. You be the one that takes the higher road.

Being Manipulative: Before posting, always ask yourself, “Am I posting this because I hope ‘that someone’ will see my post?” Are you secretly trying to get back at someone via your social media posts? Are you secretly trying to “say something” to that “someone” through your posts? If so, don’t post. Your motives are not right and you are not bringing honor to God. Ultimately, He knows your heart and why you are posting the things that you are posting.

There are so many opportunities that are available to you and people are watching to see if you are a good fit for what they are looking for.

As I write this, I’m reminded of a message I received one day from someone who decided to move forward and take part in my Social Media Managers Training Course that I was offering. Her email said:

 “I just want you to know that over the past weekend, I realized how much you have taught me over the last few years. That’s all been by watching you online, and I am truly inspired and ‘want to be you when I grow up!’”

 This client, who I now consider a friend, was watching me from afar for years before she ever decided to do “business” with me. She was watching what I wrote, what I shared and how I responded to comments. And after a few years of doing this, she decided to move forward with what I offered.

And this isn’t the only example. I can’t tell you how many times people have sent me a message stating that they have been “watching for years.”

Remember, #BeDiscerning. People are watching you too. They are checking to see if you are worth following. And if you win their trust, then not only will they become a client, but even more important, they just might ask you about this hope and freedom you have in Jesus.

Share with me below, What doors of opportunity are you wanting God to open for you?

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Social Media/Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

Comments

  1. Jen: Great post and points that I have thought about and you have confirmed here. I love it when you say that we try to separate our business, ministry and/or personal lives. Lately I have also seen posts from fellow Christians that make me cringe or want to crawl under a table. Continue to influence Jen….love reading your posts!

    • Thank you so much Silvia for sharing your thoughts. I think it’s SO important that as Christ followers, we truly #BeDifferent. And our posts play such a big role, one that is bigger than I think most of us realize. Like you, at times I want to crawl under a table too!

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