Social selling came into vogue as a demand generation tactic a couple of years ago when businesses realized social media is more than a broadcast platform. With the adoption of LinkedIn groups, Twitter chats, Reddit streams and Slack channels, there is no shortage of places to convene with people online looking for your products and services.

Now, instead of getting ‘dressed for success’ and driving to face-to-face meetups or events, we can hide behind our devices and create equally powerful business relationships. That said, when you remove the good ol’ fashioned handshake from the equation and instead rely on a social media bio, it becomes critical to ensure your social profile delivers the same first impression. And when it comes to social media profiles, language and images matter a great deal.

Why we fall into the ‘buzzword’ trap:

When using social media to network and drive demand for a product or service we become immersed in the common language we see in our industries and our social circles. Buzzwords thrive in our circles because:

  • We become accustomed to seeing, reading, hearing and using them
  • We lack time and awareness to focus on standing out as unique
  • Industry specific buzzwords are a way to show that we belong in a group
  • Buzzwords are used as cover when we’re not confident of a concept we’re conveying

In a nutshell, buzzwords lack creativity and we inherently know that but they’re easy to default to and everyone does it so we fit in. However, when networking online, it’s not advantageous to recede into the background – you have to standout to get noticed.

How to standout on social:

There are some very important strategies for standing out on social such as posting relevant content, learning to write social media posts that cause users to click, engaging with other social accounts by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts and… drumroll please… making sure your own bio is read-worthy and interesting.

Words to avoid on your social media bios:

LinkedIn has a tremendous amount of data at their fingertips and sometimes they cull it for interesting information. That’s what happened a few months ago when they determined which words are overused on user bio pages. Here are four overused words to avoid along with some alternatives to consider:

  1. Strategic

Origination: Greek circa 1815 – 1825

Definition: characterized but the nature of strategy, an action or movement in a game made with the intention of winning

Other options: diplomatic, deliberate, critical, important, adept, shrewd, savvy, thoughtful

  1. Experienced

Origination: unknown circa 1560 – 1570

Definition: having learned through doing, skillful and knowledgeable in a particular area

Other options: Skilled, knowledgeable, qualified, seasoned, expert, practiced, accomplished, well-versed, practiced at

  1. Creative

Origination: unknown circa 1670 – 1680

Definition: having the ability to originate a concept via the use of imagination

Other options: original, visionary, ingenious, unique, innovative, inventive, inspired, leading edge, cultivated, refined, resourceful

  1. Focused:

Origination: Latin circa 1635 – 1645

Definition: a central point of attention, fixation on a point or topic, not adverting attention and/or directing someone else’s attention

Other options: concentrate, hone in, spotlight, aim, purposeful, align, steer

If you were attending an in-person event, chances are you’d pay attention to detail of your appearance, breath, and demeanor. You would likely make sure you were well rested, in a good mindset and put your best foot forward.

The same idea applies online especially since you don’t have the opportunity to see the body language or interact directly with the people looking at your social profiles. If you’re not sure about your online appearance in images and words, ask a trusted friend, advisor or mentor for their honest opinion and make the changes they suggest but at the very least, avoid the buzzwords!

More business productivity tips can be found on our blog. If you’re looking for copy and print solutions in the Athens, Cleburne, Belton, Tyler, Waco, Palestine or Corsicana areas, contact us, we’re here to help!