You are not alone. Everyone makes mistakes in social media. Fortunately, if you are not a rock star, billionaire, sports celebrity, or running for president, your mistakes will be lost rather quickly in the Internet and social media noise.
It is OK to make mistakes. I encourage you to do so. If you are not making mistakes, you are not taking risks. You are not moving forward and finding the rewards in social media. Here is a list of a few of the mistakes I’ve made through the years in social media. Trust me, I can’t remember all of them.
1. Rush to publish a post. I’ve done this a number of times. Once you develop a following, you will have followers that can spell and understand grammar better than you. Over time, every blogger will have a Lucian or two. You may find it annoying, but these folks will keep you on top of your game and only make you better in the end.
2. Sharing my political views. Unless you wish to be known for your political or religious views, don’t share them and don’t comment on your followers’ political posts. I’ve learned to select a few people who I know from as far back as high school to share such thoughts on their Facebook streams. So, unless you follow a link saying I commented on someones else’s post, you will not be faced with my thoughts on controversal topics.
3. Hit send before you are done writing. It happens to all of us. Don’t panic, just calmly delete the post as quickly as possible. If you don’t say anything most likely no one else will either. If it is a direct message, finish your thoughts in a second message.
4. Beg for votes. I’ve kept it to a minimum, but I’m guilty of trying to get people to help a client or my company win a contest or two. Yes, we have won big prizes for clients and you have been a great help. Honestly, I should be very careful how often I do it. Ultimately, make it a very rare request.
5. Oops, I shared it with everyone. Recently, I shared a message to a friend with everyone on Twitter. Sometimes using third-party applications, especially on phones, are a little confusing. I thought I was sending a private direct message and it was a full-blown tweet to 11,000 people. It wasn’t offensive and no one said anything. I didn’t discover the tweet until a few days later. I didn’t say anything, I just calmly deleted the tweet.
6. Wrong information. I’ve shared, tweeted and reported the wrong information a few times through the years. As fast as information travels today in social media, it happens to all of us. If you discover you have made a mistake, correct it. Let people know you have an update correcting information shared earlier. Be proactive rather than apologetic, or worse, ignoring your error. It can even make for a good blog post.
7. Misread post. Sometime I’ve misread a headline and reacted inappropriately. This is when you apologize. I will say I’m sorry and explain exactly what I did. I read and reacted too fast.
8. Thinking I know more than my followers. When people start to follow you, at some point you may be declared an expert or guru. For a moment or two you might start to believe it. I’m guilty of sometimes forgetting that some of my followers are experts, too. In many cases, they know much more than I do on certain topics. Share your thoughts, but don’t forget to learn from your great resource of followers.
9. Being impatient. I’ve started new projects online and become frustrated when they didn’t get as popular as roshsillars.com or my Twitter feed in a few months. I’ve been writing my current blog for four years and tweeting for five years. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. No matter what you do, it will take time.
10. Wondering why my social media following is not bigger. The bottom line is there will always be someone more popular or less popular than you. Don’t chase the popularity dream. Just be the best you can be for your niche. Not every person holding a camera cares about marketing their pictures. I am fortunate that thousand do and look to me for a little advice. I’m grateful for every one of you.
What have you done?