There is a variety of problems with social media. I have identified the 7 mistakes that really make you look like a rookie that just learned about the Internet thingy. Dont worry if you are making some of these mistakes, you are not alone.
#1 Trying to participate in too many tools
If you are siging up and building a profile on every new thing that somes out, you better be a writer for Mashable. No one can keep up with all the new things. Find some you like and do a good job in them.
#2 Expect that just setting up an account will yield results
Guess what - you have to do more than just set up an account to get results. If I had a dollar for every person that has told me they set up a LinkedIn account and nothing happened, Id be rich.
#3 Not using the tools to connect with people
Nearly every site makes it possible to connect with other people. I think that is why they call is SOCIAL media. If you are not connecting, no one is finding you.
#4 Giving up after a short time
Social media is about making and sustaining connections. The only way you can grow your influence is long term. The more you use it, the more it will grow a community. If you grew the right community, then it will yield real business results eventually.
#5 Promoting yourself without providing value
The fact that you signed up for an account does not give you the right to push your product constantly. And it is a sure way to get people to run in the other direction.
#6 Not using the tools to link to other resources
Similar to not connecting to people, if you only link to your website or blog and never bookmark or link to other interesting resources, you will never gain the respect of your audience. Nor should you.
#7 Not intentionally building a target network
Don't pick the biggest network or the one that your kids said you should use. Find out where your current customers go and your target audience hands out online. Intentionally build value and influence in the right communities, even if they are smaller.
If you are a business person trying to get into this social media, I fully expect that you have made all of these mistakes. I know I have at one time or another. I promise you that if you get these things turned around, your popularity and influence will rise online, as will your pocketbook eventually.