The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for the People of Earth

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for the People of Earth

The Do's and Don'ts of Social Media - Blackboard graphic

photo credit: Corey Leopold via photopin cc

Whether you want to admit it or not, social media is here to stay. Initially dismissed by many as just a fad, the practice is becoming more mainstream as more people and companies are starting to embrace it as part of their day.

People use it to connect with likeminded folks, to research things, explore their passions, ask questions, and keep friends/family updated with their lives. Companies are using social media as part of their marketing toolbox, connecting with customers, sharing valuable content, and giving a voice to the usually perceived cold and uncaring corporate behemoth.

Using social media isn't rocket science, but as with anything, there are Do's and Don'ts with using it. Below is a brief list of social media do's and don'ts for individuals in no particular order.

DO: Follow / Engage with likeminded people or organizations.

DON'T: Follow just anyone. Be specific. Follow people or companies who talk about things that are of interest to you.

DO: Post and share useful information. Ask questions.

DON'T: Spam.

DO: Be polite, respectful and courteous to the social community.

DON'T: Post just to post. Think about what you have to say or share. Think about the value you want to provide or the interaction(s) you want to garner.

DO: Remember what you post online is available for everyone to see, regardless of your privacy settings. Think before you post.

DON'T: Harass. If you don't get an answer right away, don't pester someone repeatedly.

DO: Be appreciative. If someone shares your content, be sure to say thanks.

DON'T: Flame. If you don't agree with something, that's ok. You can comment or provide feedback, but don't be belittling, berating, or mean.

DO: Reciprocate. It's ok to re-pin, retweet, or repost things that you like. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due.

DON'T: Automate everything. Social media is meant to be social. Spend some time personally responding to messages, posts, or tweets. While there are tools that make doing social media easier, it doesn't mean you have to use them religiously or at all.

DO: Search for topics or interests that you can participate in. Watch any TV? Lots of shows have online communities where you can participate with other fans. Do a search for their name or hashtag e.g. #CSI, #SURVIVOR, #TheVoice, etc. Interested in a particular topic? Do a search for #Marketing, #GraphicDesign, #Recipes, etc.

DON'T: Get discouraged if you don't get responses. It takes time to build a following. See “Don't Harass” above.

As with anything, you get what you put into the endeavor. The more time you spend participating or engaging, the more successful you're going to be. Now what say you? Do you have any social media do's or don't worth sharing with the community? Agree with my list? Let's discuss! Comment below!

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