8 Quick Tips: Social Media & Netiquette (i.e. don’t be that guy)
Fancy yourself a social media maven or networking guru? Just joined the ubiquitous Twitter ranks in 2013? Regardless of your social media tenure or skill level, these simple tips will enrich your online experience (they’ll also keep your 2,497 closest online friends from tearing their hair out every time they see you post).
- Keep your bodily functions to yourself.
Unless you’re living a life of alchemy & can turn your own urine and saliva into liquid gold, I assure you – no one wants to know what’s going into or coming out of your body. (Notable exceptions: Medical blogs, freak of nature injuries)
- Be relevant. Are you on Twitter/Facebook/Blogger/Instagram/<insert platform here> for a reason? Are you an expert? A pundit? Have questions or opinions? Contribute to the ongoing conversation! If you have knowledge, share it. If you seek knowledge, reach out for it!
- Have a point. If you’re not sure what your point is or what you’re talking about, how are the rest of us supposed to figure it out? (i.e. Why are you tweeting things like “smh at all y’all”, “I just dunno”, and “how she ever gonna learn?”?? A. None of us have any clue what you’re talking about. B. Since none of us know what you’re talking about, none of us care. C. Even if we were part of the super secret club that might know what you’re talking about, you’re still not making much sense. Stop it.)
- Nobody cares what you’re having for lunch on an average day. That’s right. Nobody.
- Dr. Facebook & Nurse Twitter are not at your personal disposal. Be careful of what (& how often) you share. Psychologically/mentally, virtually vomiting your every feeling (particularly of the negative variety) will drive people away. Don’t be a downer. Medically, seeking advice and answers online is the worst possible idea – you need to consult a medical professional. Also, no one wants to know what your hemorrhoids are doing today (see number 1).
- #WhatsWithTheSuperLongHashTagThatNobodyCanDecipher? Hashtags are an awesome addition to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Used as they were originally intended, they keep your voice alive in any number of online conversations (I urge you to check out #FoodieChats for obvious reasons, as well as #sbchat for sports business banter). Used cleverly, they also have their place. But hey, two things – when you run so many words together in one hashtag that they don’t fit on one horizontal line of text any more, NO ONE is taking the time to figure out what it says; and, if you’re responding to something that was hashtagged, include the tag in your response or nobody involved in the initial discussion will know you’ve got anything to say.
- Be thankful for social-media-oriented customer service departments, don’t abuse them. Tons of companies are hopping on the social media bandwagon to help meet & exceed customer service needs. These people and accounts are NOT there to cater to your incessant complaining (or to satiate your desire for free stuff every time you decide you’ve been wronged). Pass along legitimate questions & concerns and valuable feedback – both positive and negative.
- Social media is meant to be… SOCIAL! If you’re only here to promote yourself and could care less what anyone else on planet Earth is up to, you’re in the wrong place. Places such as Twitter & Facebook don’t operate with narcissists in mind. Putting other people and content before your own drives engagement.
Get out there! Get social! Really, just observe common sense rules of interacting with other human beings. If you’re unsure about something you’re posting, reconsider before you hit the send button. Most importantly, have fun & make connections!! The beauty of the Internet is its sprawling, free nature that allows you to do, say, and be whoever and whatever you want. The beauty of observing a few universal standards is that you won’t end up being that guy.
Thanks, guys, for sticking with me through to the end. Now that you’re finished reading, could you call me? I need to talk to you about my upset stomach, my killer class schedule, and the last ten companies that royally screwed me over. Love always, @amesbelle