This one’s for the folks who are confused about what to do or not do in social media.

Social media is about sharing resources, building awareness, networking, being real, and connecting with like-minded people. It’s used for customer service, prospecting, sales, building community and more.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts that may help your overall strategy.

Don’t try to buy your fans or followers. Credibility and trust is earned, not bought. Social media is about being social. Join the conversation.

Don’t be in social media “Just Because.” Just because your competitors are all over social media is not the reason to hop on and do the same. Instead take a step back and ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish in social media. Think about how your clients use the Internet and social media.

Don’t make selling your first priority.

Don’t use industry jargon

Don’t just talk to one person

Don’t spam.

Don’t rant. Or be negative. Or get involved in arguments. Everything you say and do reflects on you or your brand.

Don’t use others.

Don’t neglect replies and mentions. Period

Do determine your goals every time you’re in one of the social networks. Is it to warm up your prospects? Promote an event? Connect with industry leaders?

Do share information, tips, and resources. Fans and followers love how-tos and useful tips, which are usually more effective than sharing a link to a service or product.

Do ask your followers and fans to share their comments about your product or service. Or ask them to share their own tip.

Do shrink links in Twitter to shorten those posts and make it easier for retweets. Bit.ly is a good link shortener.

Do block and hide fans and followers to protect your brand

Do keep things conversational

Do be respectful of all opinions. You’re bound to connect with people who have different values and opinions than you.

Do include a call to action. Ask your fans to “like” an update or share your content. Do thank them when they do.

Do be interested and genuine. Take the time to build those relationships. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Do shake things up. Constantly posting text gets old after a while, so post videos and photos.

Do have an online reputation management plan. There’s a seedy side to the Internet and it can be mean and nasty. Be aware.

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