Have you ever noticed that eight of the ten Commandments (80%) are things not to do? Thou shalt not…

Just two of the Commandments are affirma­tives. In keeping with roughly that same ratio, to go with the ten don’ts of my earlier post, I offer three affirm­ative rules for using social media in business:

  • Social media is like a cocktail party. What works or doesn’t work in one of these venues applies equally in the other. Good cocktail party behaviors include: Asking questions, actively listening, engaging in conversa­tions and building relationships. The same is true in social media. Bad cocktail party behaviors include: Talking all about you, introducing yourself and then completely shutting up (or down), and any form of active (or passive) selling. Again, the same is true in social media!
  • P.I.E., an acronym that comes from the radio business. “P” stands for “personality.” Social media is about people connecting with people, so be a real person and display some personality! Have you heard the old sales adage that “People buy from people”? That’s what this is all about. “I” and “E” stand for “interesting” and “entertaining.” That’s what attracts and holds their attention. If you’re boring, they won’t follow you for long. Practice P.I.E.
  • And the toughest of the three rules (this is where most business social media initiatives fail): Pay it forward. Start by creating value first for your target audience. Only if your initiative is valuable for them will they continue to follow what you do. With that attention comes the opportunity for a relationship.

If you follow these three simple rules you’re far more likely to connect with, and retain, your business target audience. And that means the potential for more business.