I was driving home tonight and had to avoid a highway due to an accident.   It got me thinking about how to avoid Social Accidents.

The Three Most Common Social Accidents: 

1.   Talking only about your offering, service, product.   Social media is about forming relationships and every relationship is about both listening and speaking!.   Did you know that you can spot a healthy relationship by paying attention to how well the two people listen to each other!.   Don’t have an accident and have everyone avoid you by only talking and not listening.  Share other’s content and promote others’ ideas as well as your own.

Action:   If you communicate 6 things socially, 4 of those 6, or 67% should be showcasing content from your influencers. The other items you should be showcasing are your Point of View or Subject Matter Expertise .  Something of value!

2. Being inconsistent.   What an accident occurs when you have a professional picture on LinkedIn but a causal beach pic on your facebook?    Be consistent with your brand just as you would consistently in person.     Remember, every experience with your brand is non neutral so make each one count toward your brand goal.

Action:  Think through purposefully what you want your brand to stand for. Always ask “is what I am doing right now consistent with that brand value”

3. Not having a social media policy.    Companies who do not have a policy usually do not have strong employee usage of social because no one knows what they can and cannot do.  A policy empowers employees to speak on your brand’s behalf.  And employees are your biggest brand ambassadors!

Action:  Create a Social Computing Policy!   Check out IBM’s! http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html