Social Media is definitely social. There are some accounts or people out there on Twitter or Facebook, that think simply because they have an account, with a logo, they are good to go. Oh, how wrong they are.
Social Media is still in its infancy and many people are still learning how it can have any effect on business. We are all certainly learning that there are Manners to follow, depending on which platform you are using. I wanted to delve into each one and talk a little about the manners used for them.
Posting on Facebook a trillion times, like you might do on your Twitter account (which I will talk about in a moment), is just plain WRONG. And frankly, it’s actually quite rude. The community on Facebook is such that likes an update here and there, but nothing as often as every few minutes. If you are using a service that links your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and everything you tweet posts to your Facebook profile, you should stop it. Right. Now. No one wants to log in to their Facebook feed and see 300 new updates from the same person. Try limiting your Facebook posts to 1 or 2 every few hours. If you want your Twitter and Facebook accounts linked, make sure that *Facebook* is posting to Twitter, not the other way around.
Manners on Twitter dictate that you are friendly, courteous, outgoing, and just plain ‘ol nice to people. You do not go to Twitter to talk all about yourself, all the time. People will not follow you. (Notice, I said “People”.) Sure, you may have 500 followers, but if all you are doing is talking about yourself, your life, your business, those numbers are probably bots en masse. A bot is a computer program used to produce spam. Sometimes, they are actual people, but most times, they are just computer software programmed by someone who thinks its cool to say “Check out my link” and send links for utter nonsense, that no one is interested in. If you want to talk about yourself, that’s fine, but “everything in moderation” is the key rule in Twitter. Make sure you are thanking people that have talked about you, or mentioned you. Make sure you are connecting with those people and that you are engaging with them in conversation. Follow accounts and people that interest you, or have something to do with your industry or field, and jump into a conversation. Be polite. Once in a while, throw out a little blurb about why your company is the best, and then jump back into conversations and thank-you’s and retweets. You’ll get a lot further doing it this way, than expecting flocks of people to follow your account simply because you’re there.
I’ve heard different ideas about what LinkedIn is for, and how you are supposed to use it. Some people perfer to use it as an online resume. That’s what I use it for. I know of others that like LinkedIn for connecting with peers in their chosen field, and to jump into industry-related conversations. Some businesses use LinkedIn for hiring. The idea behind LinkedIn is that it is a Professional Atmosphere. You don’t use LinkedIn to post pictures of your cute new puppy or that girl you like in the office. You don’t talk about going to that party last week, or how you need a raise. LinkedIn users like to connect in a courteous, professional manner, just like you might at a convention or a trade show. It’s almost like handing someone your business card. Be sure to think of LinkedIn as your portal to networking with other professionals, and you should be fine.
Honestly, I joined G+ when it first began and the excitement was running rampant. The design and layouts were interesting, and of course, they were and still are working out kinks. I personally don’t use G+ that much, if at all, and can tell you that some people feel the same way. Others love it. The manners on G+ seem to follow that on Facebook with a slight mix of Twitter. You don’t want to post on Google + like a madman, but when someone comments on your posts, you need to make sure and engage with them about what they might have said. You can create “circles” and share information with certain people. If you want to use Google +, you probably need to figure out what your intentions are, first. Is this going to be a friendly, personal space? Or will Google + be all business and industry related? When you figure out which way you want to use Google +, you can follow the rules related to Facebook for personal use, or to LinkedIn and Twitter for business use.
Here, I have discussed the four main and most currently popular social media platforms in use today. Of course, all of these platforms are constantly on the lookout for something better, and so this information may change. The “rules”, as it were, may grow. As long as you can use Common Sense by paying attention to how other users are acting, and what kind of content they are sharing or creating, you will go a long way in Social Media. We’re all still learning the In’s and Out’s, so don’t be afraid to make a mistake or two.
Thanks and Good Luck!