It’s a murky world, that social media. New things popping up all the time – between the Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging, Tumblring and such like, we often spend more time communicating online that we do in the so called ‘real world’. As it all develops, we’re starting to notice what one might consider, online faux pas that get us momentarily riled to the point we might send an angry tweet and promptly forget about it 23 seconds later. So if you’re struggling to navigate the murky waters that are social media, here are a few hints and tips to help you get it right.
- Be it Facebook or Twitter, you should have a picture on your profile and it should preferably be you. Being shy about having your pic out there is like sooooo 2007. Get over it. It’s not like it needs to be a professional studio shot (says the girl with a professional studio shot as her profile picture), but just give people an idea of what you look like.
- Don’t have a picture of your kid as your profile pic. Just don’t. We get it, you love ’em, but it’s just weird. You have your own identity outside of being a parent. Also, if you go to add an old school friend on Facebook, don’t be surprised if they don’t accept the request from the pic of a four year old boy – you can get locked up for that stuff, you know what I’m sayin’?
- Be mindful of the kind of pics you put up. If you’re over 20 and still posting pictures of your drunken nights out with your tits out, tongue out and sticking a middle finger up, reassess your whole life. Seriously.
- Oh sure, your cousin Suzie might love you in real life, but that doesn’t mean she wants you all up in her online business. Real life friends don’t always translate to online friends.
- If someone unfriends/unfollows you, just let it go. Don’t start stalking them, demanding to know why they did it. Also, don’t complain to your whole timeline that you’re being unfollowed – that’s probably the quickest way to lose a few more followers. Stop your moaning. Not everyone’s gonna like you in life. Most likely you’re probably getting upset over someone you’ve never even met before in your life. Think about it.
- People are not obliged to follow you back. Give them a reason – having an interesting timeline helps.
- In the past someone told you you were good and the only person who heard it was you and the person who said it. Now, if someone tells you you’re good on Twitter, you can retweet the bejesus out of it so everyone knows that someone else thinks you’re good. The only problem is, that makes you a bit of a twat. Sure, the occasional RTing of a compliment is fine, but when that makes up 95% of your timeline, it’s time for you to get off line and literally stroke your own ego.
- On that same note, don’t retweet every Follow Friday mention you get. You’re doing it for no other reason that to show off, but you’re telling people who already follow you that other people recommend following you. It’s insanity. Please stop it.
- On Facebook, if you include a group of people in a message, please ensure said people know how to not use the ‘reply all’ button.
- It really pays to stop before you tweet/Facebook update and ask yourself ‘do people really need to know this?’ – this especially applies to new mothers, anyone with a particularly unpleasant medical condition and people who mistakenly think anyone cares about a minute by minute account of their existence. Take a step back.
- Social media is great for networking but do it in the right way. It’s fine to make an initial point of contact on Twitter for example, but don’t then try to pitch me an idea in 140 characters. If you want to work with me, be professional and send me an email.
There are probably a million more things that are considered faux pas in the social media world. What are some of yours?