Always tell the truth about yourself. Social networks are experiential. You need to jump in and experience it. If you are serious about establishing a social internet presence and networking, you have to be prepared to tell the truth about yourself if you want to connect with people on a real level. Using social media tools helps to establish your professional background but there’s a person that accompanies that background too.
Show yourself. If not your face then why not something about you? I don’t trust a person who wants to connect with me and doesn’t have a profile picture instead of the default photos they use on most social networking sites. And I’m not alone.
Stop cramming your business opportunities down my throat. Give it a rest. I get it. I really do get it. Quit talking about what you do and tell me about yourself. What books and articles are you reading? What television shows or movies do you like? Do you have a family? Pets? What do you do when you aren’t working? Trust me, I am not going to be more interested in your work stuff if you are always yapping about it and I’m fairly certain no one else will either.
Be as generous and positive and as supportive and nice as you can be. I don't cozy up to unwarranted negativity. Not many people do. And yes, sometimes people are just jerks and there will be times you will need to handle these characters. Do it with grace and prudence and no one will bat an eyelash. I enjoy a good, carefully crafted, humorous and appropriate rant as well as the next blogger but if all you ever do is b**ch and moan, criticizing everything, you’ve lost me and everyone else.
Remember, it’s great when you receive news that someone in your network found value in something you shared or even just that someone thought enough of you tweet hello. Be glad. It means you have a network of friends amongst the Internet hype.