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Social media is a useful marketing tool, but it can do your career or business more harm than good unless you use it wisely.

Here are some simple tips to avoid the pitfalls:


  • Use social media to alert your current and potential customers about new developments, and maintain dialogue with them.
  • Use Facebook as your main social media channel if you're a typical SME or professional practitioner.
  • Use Twitter and Instagram only if you're a high-profile public figure (eg. sports star, show biz celebrity, politician) or your organisation is actively involved in large-scale consumer promotions (eg. new products/services, special offers, competitions);
  • Maintain a Facebook 'commercial' account (one that other account holders can 'Like' without obtaining your permission) as well as a 'personal' account (one that requires others to send you an 'Add Friend' request);
  • Use your commercial Facebook account only for corporate or professional posts;
  • Post something relevant at least monthly, if not more frequently;
  • Use social media to send visitors to your website when you have news on your website by posting a 'teaser' with the headline, first paragraph and a link to the web page;
  • 'Share' your commercial Facebook posts on your personal account;
  • Be a genuine Facebook 'Friend' on your personal account by clicking 'Like' on others' posts or comments with which you agree, adding helpful comments, wishing them happy birthday and Merry Christmas, etc.;
  • Acknowledge any legitimately critical posts or comments, promise to take appropriate action, and invite the person to contact you directly to resolve the issue;
  • Respond to unjustified criticism in a firm but civil manner.


  • Use social media as a substitute for a website (click here to find out why).
  • Duplicate your commercial account posts on your personal account.
  • Post personal political or social opinions unless they're supported by the overwhelming majority.
  • Use offensive language (eg profanity, blasphemy or discriminatory or abusive comments) on your accounts or anyone else's.
  • Waste time engaging in lengthy debates.
  • Be defensive or abusive when someone posts a negative comment about you or your organisation.
  • Tolerate 'trolls' (vexatious critics) or offensive posts or comments on your Facebook account by putting a statement on the 'About' page that access may be denied to these people.
  • Let your work or business suffer because you're spending too much time on social media!

In general, act as though you're holding a megaphone that anyone can hear – worldwide!


Click here for more information about social media.