Using Social Media for Business Without Bleaching Out the Social

Social networking is something of an enigma: on one hand, business pundits insist that a viable social networking presence is valuable; on the other, they offer scant advice as to just how to create and sustain a social networking presence that adds real value. Beyond ominous warnings to keep your social outlets squeaky clean or to offer strategies (and service offerings) to push negative publicity far off the first couple pages of a Google search, it’s tough to find a simple, practical, “do’s and don’ts” of social networking for business. Clearly it’s unwise to post negative comments about your customers or fringe political statements on your Facebook profile. But treating everything as if it were a digital marketing brochure takes a lot of the social aspects out of social networking and hobbles you from realizing its full potential. There is an obvious balance between a staid, bland, joyless page and one that forever tarnishes your reputation. Just where that particular balance lies depends in large measure on what you hope to accomplish in terms of your brand. Here are some rules that allow you to advance your brand without taking all the fun out of life.

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