Brand Development Tips: Social Engineering – What NOT to do with your brand name

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It’s no big secret that social networks like FaceBook and LinkedIn or other top communities/forums like NamePros provide huge potential for new start-ups/brands to get more exposure. In some cases, when you run your social campaign properly, your brand name can go viral. By “Viral” I am simply referring to when others share/refer your brand with their friends/family/associates/followers organically.

There are thousands of bloggers writing articles with instructions on how to launch a social campaign, but regrettably, not many address the negative aspects or things you should never do. That’s where this article comes in.

You can read about all the strategies that you find on the internet and try to sort through the misinformation or you can start with what you should never do to avoid self-destructing your brand name before it even gets started.

Sometimes when we analyze things, it helps to start with the don’ts before you start with the do’s. The tips will be slightly different for a forum community then it will be for a social network. I’ll address both.

Forum Communities – What NOT to do with your brand

Below is a list of things you should NOT do when participating/campaigning on a forum community.

  • Never send unsolicited private/direct messages to members – This is considered spam in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Never post your product or service for sale/lease/rent/free outside designated and targeted marketplace forums. – This is considered spam in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Avoid heated debates about politics/religion/war/etc. – Such debates can tarnish your brand name if you aren’t careful.
  • Never conduct unethical business practices – This is a very serious rule violation in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name forever.
  • Avoid not responding to questions/reviews about your brand – This is considered shady in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name due to lack of support.
  • Be very careful posting any controversial images/topics – This creates a negative vibe in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name if you aren’t careful.
  • Never forget to read all the rules/policies a community has in place and follow them – Even small rule violations you overlooked can paint a picture in the minds of those viewing your brand name.
  • Avoid cheap/controversial looking avatars and profile pictures – This can be an instant turn-off for anyone seeing your brand.
  • Avoid short one line comments/replies that don’t contribute to a discussion – Post fluff or post padding is frowned upon in most communities. This can devalue your brand and make it look less authoritative.
  • Avoid off-topic comments/replies – This can devalue your brand and make it look less authoritative.
  • Never lose your temper and rage post/comment – It can be hard sometimes to keep composure, however, if you lose your temper and post/comment out of rage, it will reflect on your brand negatively.
  • Never abuse a communities feedback/trade review system – Such abuse is not only against most communities rules, it also affects how people view your brand when you use questionable smear tactics.
  • Never make claims against a member or another brand without solid evidence to back it up – Without evidence, it’s just a smear campaign and your brand can suffer for attempted defamation.
  • Avoid typos/bad grammar – I know it can be hard to catch them all, but if you don’t use spell check and have bad grammar all the time, it can devalue your brand
  • Avoid random comments/posts without thought process – It’s one thing to reply with a long well thought-out comment that sparks inspiration in readers and another to post generalized gibberish. This can devalue your brand.
  • Never copy/paste anything without giving credit to the original source – Lack of respect for others copyrights and failing to credit authors paints a negative picture for a brand.
  • Avoid using the member tagging feature if the member wasn’t involved already in the topic – This is considered spam in most communities and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Avoid only posting advertisements as your contributions – If you never engage people in a community with your wisdom and knowledge and only advertise, it devalues your brands authority.

Social Networks – What NOT to do with your brand

Below is a list of things you should NOT do when participating/campaigning on a social network. Most of this list is a repeat of what I explained above in the forum community list, with a few additions that I added to the top of the list so you can easily locate them.

  • Never forget your friends/connections birthdays and anniversaries – If you never connect with people on a personal level on a social network it can stagnate your brand due to the lack of compassion or caring.
  • Never add people to a social group/page without their permission – This is considered pre-spam list building in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Never tag/added people to your posts claiming they were with you if they weren’t – This is considered spam in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Avoid sending random connection/friend requests to strangers – This is considered pre-spam list building in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Never post your product or service for sale/lease/rent/free outside designated advertising areas/groups. – This is considered spam in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Never send unsolicited private/direct messages to members – This is considered spam in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name.
  • Avoid heated debates about politics/religion/war/etc. – Such debates can tarnish your brand name if you aren’t careful.
  • Never conduct unethical business practices – This is a very serious rule violation in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name forever.
  • Avoid not responding to questions/reviews about your brand – This is considered shady in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name due to lack of support.
  • Be very careful posting any controversial images/topics – This creates a negative vibe in most social networks and a good way to tarnish your brand name if you aren’t careful.
  • Never forget to read all the rules/policies a social network has in place and follow them – Even small rule violations you overlooked can paint a picture in the minds of those viewing your brand name.
  • Avoid cheap/controversial looking avatars/covers/headers/profile pictures – This can be an instant turn-off for anyone seeing your brand.
  • Avoid short one line comments/replies that don’t contribute to a discussion – Comment fluff or post padding is frowned upon in most social networks. This can devalue your brand and make it look less authoritative.
  • Avoid off-topic comments/replies – This can devalue your brand and make it look less authoritative.
  • Never lose your temper and rage post/comment – It can be hard sometimes to keep composure, however, if you lose your temper and post/comment out of rage, it will reflect on your brand negatively.
  • Never make claims against a member or another brand without solid evidence to back it up – Without evidence, it’s just a smear campaign and your brand can suffer for attempted defamation.
  • Avoid typos/bad grammar – I know it can be hard to catch them all, but if you don’t use spell check and have bad grammar all the time, it can devalue your brand
  • Avoid random comments/posts without thought process – It’s one thing to reply with a long well thought-out comment that sparks inspiration in readers and another to post generalized gibberish. This can devalue your brand.
  • Never copy/paste anything without giving credit to the original source – Lack of respect for others copyrights and failing to credit authors paints a negative picture for a brand.
  • Avoid only posting advertisements as your contributions – If you never engage people in a social network with your wisdom and knowledge and only advertise, it devalues your brands authority.

Remember, everything you do in life (Online or offline) reflects your brand name. You are an extension of your brand on multiple levels and need to lead by example. Any time you (As a founder, CEO, Freelancer, etc.) do something questionable, your brand will suffer.

The lists above are in no way comprehensive and there are lots of other things you should never do with your brand. It’s my hopes that I was at least able to provide a friendly reminder to those of you that may have forgotten the basics and a checklist to those just starting out with a new brand.

Be sure to do more research on building and protecting your brand name.

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Eric Lyon

Entrepreneur, Freelancer, Domain Investor/Developer, Brand Designer, Brand Manager, Founder of Scorpion Agency™, Founder of OfficeDrift™, And A Father.

Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries.

LinkedIn: Profile/Resume - FaceBook: Profile/Social

Eric Lyon

Entrepreneur, Freelancer, Domain Investor/Developer, Brand Designer, Brand Manager, Founder of Scorpion Agency™, Founder of OfficeDrift™, And A Father. Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries. LinkedIn: Profile/Resume - FaceBook: Profile/Social

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