Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

In the spirit of social media I don’t want to merely drop my own Do’s and Don’ts but also would like to hear about your own good practices. After all there is no strict rule of success in this sphere. Kindly note that my comments are concentrating on a professional use of social media as an individual. Also please consider the general usage guidelines and agreements of any platform you might be using.

I have tried out many social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and many others. All of these have a particular use case and are not good or bad. It is always what you make out of it and who you meet and converse with. I tried to write this up without the focus on a single social media network and I hope they make sense for most of them.

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Do’s

  • Consistency: Try to post in a consistent way. Whether the frequency is hourly, daily, weekly or monthly – try to maintain the same frequency. This way the expectations of your followers are managed better and they will even be looking forward to your next post.
  • Quality: Whatever you are going to post, does it add value to others? Fun matters and off-topic items are fine once in a while but in general try to add value in some way.
  • Engage and re-engage: Would you like to be replied to when you share a comment? Let others know about it. Try to close your post with a small call to action. When you find something interesting, you can also drop your thoughts in a comment. This improves communication culture and often breeds interesting discussions beyond the original subject.
  • Checklist: Certainly one can get carried away in a certain mood or momentum and forget over good practices at times. However if you would like to maintain a professional level of output, you might want to quickly check against the Don’ts below before you hit the ‘post’ button.

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Don’ts

  • Office Desk Rule: If you would not put it on your office desk, no need to post it on your network. In other words, if you would mind your boss and / or client to see your post, you should maybe not post it.
  • Religion: I will not tell you anything about how you treat your own or other’s religion but just let me share with you that a lot of users react critical to religious content and the reaction of users can be to unfollow you consequently.
  • Floods: You should not post a several items at the same time. It gives a spammy feeling to your followers’ feed and also you limit your own visibility on platforms that show only the latest post of a user in certain areas (try queuing tools like Buffer to solve that).
  • You should not automate communication with your peers on social media. Certainly you may queue up items ahead but don’t pretend to take time to send someone a private message when it was really only a canned message with a link of some sort. If you want to matter to your contacts then invest that 30 seconds and compose something yourself. Don’t make others feel like they are not even worth  30 seconds of your time. Even not reaching out to them is better than a canned message.
  • Don’t neglect negative feedback or critique. Mostly the person adding a comment has an interest in improvement. There is no motion to bash you. If you feel like the critique was not constructive you can as well just check back with the person on further details. Often this can evolve into a productive conversation.

I hope you liked my pointers and hope to hear some of your good practices. Please share your own soft and hard rules in the comments below and maybe we can build a more complete guide to social media together.

Drop me a line on Twitter if you have direct feedback or if you just want to say ‘hi’.

Thanks for reading and we are looking forward to your thoughts!

Photo credit: Grey World

Christopher Isak

Christopher Isak

Managing Editor at TechAcute
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris. I write about tech news, management subjects. Reach out via Twitter or comments, if you like. I'd love to hear from you!
Christopher Isak

@ChristopherIsak

Hell-bent for truth and progress ✖ Founder of @TechAcuteCom ✖ Journalist for Tech News + Innovation ✖ Geek and Gamer with a heart ✖ Collaboration all the way ✖
@MicrosoftUK Hi team, are the photos and videos from your articles available for press re-use or are they under copyright? Many thanks! 🙂 - 23 mins ago
Christopher Isak

Christopher Isak

Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris. I write about tech news, management subjects. Reach out via Twitter or comments, if you like. I'd love to hear from you!

  • Diana Adams

    My favorite thing on this list is “You should not automate communication with your peers on social media.” After reading the sentence immediately following that, I knew you were talking about automated DMs.

    Automated DMs have to go. LOL IMHO, automated DMs have compromised the integrity of the entire direct message system, and have left it virtually crippled if not useless.

    Then again, I love Twitter, so still, it’s a minor annoyance. I get a ton of automated DMs every day, and about once a week I just scan through them to find any “real DMs.”

    I like that you listed consistency and quality as the first 2 on the “do” list. Consistent, quality updates are what make people pay attention to your posts. It’s what keeps them coming back so to speak, and it’s what will help a peep increase his or her social media influence. The secret to that is learning how to be an effective content curator and/or creating high quality content yourself. I try my best to do both.

    As a side note (and you slightly touched on this) ~ As long as someone doesn’t put their Twitter account completely on auto-pilot, my opinion is that scheduled posts can be very effective for time management.

    This is a useful post. I hope it helps people who might be fuzzy about the basic do’s and don’ts. Of course, like you said, these are just your opinion. People will need to tweak these to fit their own personalities and niches (there are no cookie cutter answers when it comes to social media), but still, it’s a very good overview about what works and what doesn’t.

    I’m looking forward to reading more! (@adamsconsulting)

    • Hi Diana, thank you so much for taking the time to add your thoughts to the article.

      I love the DMs and even use it for team communication in the past whenever Twitter was the only thing everybody was on and could access it.

      Do you have personal Do’s and Don’ts for the use of Twitter for instance? Please feel free to share it with us. 🙂

      Many thanks, Diana! Have a great day!

      • Diana Adams

        Hi Chris, I’ve written dozens of articles about my personal use of Twitter on Bit Rebels, but the thing is, social media is constantly changing. It’s a moving target.

        What might have been considered an acceptable practice years ago, might not be acceptable now and vice versa. One of these days, I’m going to write about that too. LOL

        About 2 weeks ago, I wrote an article titled “Comprehensive Guide To Twitter Best Practices For 2014 [Infographic].” For the moment, I think that is a good guide to accompany your article.

        The link is: http://podjam.tv/2014/07/17/comprehensive-guide-to-twitter-best-practices-for-2014-infographic/

        Thank you for your feedback and have a fun weekend!