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.
- 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.
- 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