Twitter et al. Dos and Donts

Just in case you haven’t read enough articles about how to compose yourself on social networks, here’s another one.

Rule # 1 – No stalking. Don’t create anonymous profiles for the sole purpose of snooping on an ex, someone you’re dating or a coworker. It’s creepy. And besides, when you focus so much on others you neglect yourself.

Rule # 2 – Respect others’ wishes. If you’ve got friends and family members who are terrified of or put off by social media because they percieve them to be invasive, respect their feelings. Don’t include photos of them on your sites and don’t refer to them by name. Let them make the decision on their own to enter that world.

Rule # 3 – Be nice. Don’t be the ass who posts unflattering pictures of people. If you want to post a picture of someone while they’re drunk, sleeping or looking a mess – make it a picture of yourself.

Rule # 3 – Introduce yourself. On sites like Twitter it’s easier for people to follow or unfollow others without ever having had a conversation; on Facebook, not so much. Whatever site you frequent, try introducing yourself to the people you follow or friend. You’ll be surprised at what you learn when they introduce themselves back.

Rule # 4 – Shout your people out. Friends trust friends. If you know of someone on a social network who is doing big things and offering immense value, tell your friends about them.

Rule # 5 – Yes, it’s spam. If you constantly send Facebook friends the same old link to your page, trying to convince them to “like” your page, it’s spam. And if you tweet the same tweet to more than 5 random people back to back, it’s spam.

Rule # 6 – Keep porn on the porn sites. I cringe every time I click on someone’s thumbnail only to have it expand into a huge image of ass and boobs. Social networking is not an alternative for the meat market or the hoe stroll. And if your intent is to meet a significant other online, you won’t get far by showcasing all your goods..

Rule # 7 – Lighten up. It’s called social media for a reason. Even if you use your profiles primarily for professional purposes, don’t be afraid to show your personal side. Just as in face-to-face situations, people receive you better if you show different dimensions of yourself, not just the work side.

Rule # 8 – Your friends and family don’t care. Don’t force them to connect with you on Twitter, or MySpace, or LinkedIn, or on any other site unless they genuinely want to. Unless it’s a spouse, they typically don’t care that your company is starting a new business line, or opening a new branch. Don’t badger them.

Rule # 9 – Watch your mouth. In person, you can gauge a person’s personality and sense-of-humor better than you can online. So watch you say. You never know what will be offensive to others. (Until you lose a gang of followers).

Rule # 10 – Have fun. Connect. Be yourself.


2 thoughts on “Twitter et al. Dos and Donts

    • Thanks Tori! I think the “experts” get caught up with the same old topics and forget to look at things from the eyes of “regular” folks.

      I’m looking forward to sharing my perspective on more Social Media and communications issues.

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