Social networking has been looked at by many professionals as a blessing. They see each new friend or follower as a potential customer. But too often they let their efforts stop with that initial connection. Many fail to realize just how detrimental social networking can be to one’s success when not used correctly. How can something so unifying and so easy to use do more harm than good? If you are wondering about that question, then you either haven’t been using social media long, or you haven’t been using it correctly. Because to know how to make it work for you, you have to know first how it can work against you.First of all, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can make online professionals lazy. They can see their follower count or list of friends rise, sometimes by a hundred or more per day, and they think that success is inevitable. Meanwhile, they look at how sales and revenue are coming along, and they are shocked to discover they are worse off than before. The reason for this is that they forget that social networking relationships are very basic, and that turning these individuals into buyers requires one to develop a deeper relationship.Secondly, social networking sites create a lot of noise. There are hundreds of millions of people across the world using these each day. Many have 100 to 1,000 friends. With all that noise, it can be very difficult to get one’s message heard, and as a result, you get drowned out in the static. Instead of making social networking a numbers game, it is better to surround yourself with a smaller group of people, who are actually solid contacts. People, who will help you spread your message, service, or product to the world.Thirdly, social networking takes away time from one’s site or blog, the real online sales tool. People get so caught up playing social media games or checking on what other people are doing that they forget to be productive with the site that truly represents them. Instead of getting sucked in, it is better to work on content. Make it compelling and give people a reason to get off the social networking pages and on to your own personal site. There is a lot less noise there than on a place that has more than 500 million users. When people are at your site, they will actually hear what you want them to hear.The more that you know about the pitfall of social networking and how it can actually do more harm than good, the more effective you will be when you use it. Keep that in mind the next time you get excited about a new follower or friend.
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