Let’s be honest for a second; social media is a big deal. If you’re a part of the two percent of people who are not on social media in any way, shape, or form then that’s something that should be acknowledged. But, what if you’re looking to join the social media club? With all of your friends, colleagues, family members, and co-eds using social media, signing up for at least a Twitter or Facebook account seems pretty unavoidable.
However, social networks come with a lot of rules, most of them unwritten yet pivotal in navigating an online social experience. Social media has become the new high school in a way with its own set of do’s and don’t. Let’s go through the top ten rules to keep in mind when establishing a digital presence.
Rule #1: Don’t be Afraid to Socialize
It’s called social media for a reason. People rarely notice the individual who stays to himself. Don’t be afraid to engage with your with friends or followers on social media and get to know more about them. Congratulate them on their new job or “like” their photo announcing their recent engagement. Some people might find this strange but it’s a part of the social experience. The best way to attract attention is to make yourself known.
Rule #2: Diversify Your Post From Time to Time
You’d be surprised how redundant going through someone’s profile can get after only a short period of time. That’s usually because certain individuals will post the same thing repeatedly. The best way to attract others to your profile is by switching up your posting practices from time to time. Post different pictures, quotes, poems, video, or opinions to show your social media friends just how diversified you are. I guarantee they’ll stop in more often to see what interesting thing you’ve posted now.
Rule #3: Always be Respectful
This one seems like a given but can be very difficult on a platform that allows everyone to freely express their opinion. Keep in mind that you’re not going to see eye to eye with everyone you come across on social media but that doesn’t mean you should ever belittle others. In the event that you do find yourself in a disagreement with another user, remember to approach it from an educational perspective rather than a defensive one. A dispute handled correctly can be a great learning experience for both parties, and if all else fails, it never hurts to just walk away.
Rule #4: Be Mindful of What You’re Posting
People can tell a lot about who you are based on the things you post. That being said, be mindful of what you post on social media. If your boss or parents follow you on Twitter, then maybe it’s not the best idea to post about how crazy last night’s party was. It’s also advised to stay away from controversial subjects like politics and religion as this can rub some people the wrong way. Being mindful of what you’re posting can prevent some pretty awkward conversations or interactions in the near future.
Rule #5: Try to Avoid Coming on Too Strong
Remember what I said about socializing? Well, there is such a thing as socializing too much. Try to avoid messaging someone multiple times if they haven’t given you an initial response. Stay away from starting controversial conversations, as they have the potential to turn sour. Posting a comment to a user’s every post or direct messaging someone too much can lead to that person blocking you, which is never a good thing.
Rule #6: Don’t Be a Salesperson
While social media can serve as an excellent promotional tool, coming off as a salesperson to your friends and followers is an easy way to lose their attention. No one enjoys constantly trying to be sold something. Disguising a sales pitch as a genuine message is offensive and posting the same flyer over and over again can get tiresome. It’s ok to promote your business using social media but try to do it in a way that provides others with useful and engaging information in the process.
Rule #7: Share Your Interests
The great thing about social media is that it provides you with the opportunity you share your interests. People are more likely to interact with you when they discover that you share the same taste in movies, TV shows, video games, clothes, etc. Don’t hesitate to let others know that you’re fan of Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. In the end, you never know what other individuals you may meet as a result.
Rule #8: Try to Keeps Things Positive
The world can be a depressing place and everyone knows that. The last thing a user wants to see when logging onto their feed is your dark and cynical worldview. There’s nothing wrong with using social media to express your feelings but try to keep things on a positive note. People would much rather hear good news over your complaints and problems.
Rule #9: Think Carefully About Which Sites You Use
Before jumping onto social media, think carefully about which websites will work best for you. For example, if you’re looking to expand your professional network, then LinkedIn may be a perfect choice. On the other side, if you’re big on visuals and taking pictures, Instagram is a great tool for sharing photos with others. Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones and serve as a good starting point to get your feet wet. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for out of a social networking site, you can begin to shape it in your vision.
Rule #10: Have Fun!
Using social media can be a wonderful experience if you allow it to be. It enables you to interact and engage with billions of people while receiving news without having to leave your home. Use whichever social networking site you decide to go with as an opportunity to learn more about others, promote your personal brand, and most importantly, enjoy yourself. An entire network of news, entertainment, and fresh experiences await you.
Best of Luck on all your social media endeavors!