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Saturday, March 16, 2013

7 Etiquette Tips for Twitter & Social Media in General

One of the things I get asked, probably on a daily basis, is how to use social media.  I think that the first thing people have to remember is that it is "social" media and not just media.  So, in order to be social, as the good Dr. Sheldon Cooper would tell us, "social convention says" we first need to remember that we are interacting with people.  Yup, people!  Sure we are using computers linked to networks that enable us to reach people around the world, but the purpose is to connect with people at some level. 

When using social media think about how you interact with people on a daily basis.  Hopefully you make good use of the etiquette that your parents taught you as a child!  Good manners never go out of style.  So, here are 7 tips to get you started on Twitter:

1.  Develop relationships rather than focusing on numbers.  Far too many people want to have large networks thinking it demonstrates that they are popular or something.  This is not necessarily the case.  Keep in mind that some people "buy" followers.  I have strong personal feelings against doing this, but that is a whole other blog post! 

2.  Follow people who are of interest to you.  Seek out people who are in your industry or stand for a cause that you believe in.  Follow them.  Listen to them and ask relevant questions.

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3.  Don't follow people just to increase your count and then unfollow them. Again, think quality versus quantity.

4.  Complete your profile.  Complete your profile.  Yes, I said this twice.  Remember, you are building relationships, so tell people who you are.  What do you do?  What are some hobbies? What City do you live in?  Show some personality.

5.  Use a photo of you for your avatar. Whatever you do, don't leave the egg avatar as your graphical representation.  Instead, choose a photo that will help people recognize you should they have the opportunity to meet you in person.

6.  Be polite.  This should go without saying, but sadly it does not.  Say thank you to people.  Be nice.  Don't spam people.  Don't auto Direct Message them selling them something.

7.  Engage.  Don't just talk at people talk to them.  Ask questions.  Respond to people's questions.  Offer help.  Ask for help.

These are just some tips.  There are many more.  What ones would you add to the list?

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