Dos and Don'ts of Social Media

dos and don'ts

By Alan Dodson, “Wedding Wizard”

To start out, let’s put some real numbers in context for reference:

If you’re going to be on social media, you better make it count. Social Networking sites and application are an increasingly entwined part of our everyday lives. It really can be a useful business tool, as long as we follow a few dos and don’ts.

DO:

  1. Use Exercise Good Behavior: While it may “seem” private, social media is forever, even if you go back and delete things. There are a number of website time machines that routinely capture content and store it forever.
  2. Practice Positivity: Nobody likes a “Negative Nancy” or “Debbie Downer”! Keep your posts positive and upbeat. If there are bad or negative things going on in your personal life, keep them personal. Seek assistance from your real world friends and family rather than posting for the world to see. You will generally not receive true sympathy from social media.
  3. Maintain Your Accounts: Daily if possible, but no so much that people begin to ignore your posts. Always post something of interest, never blatant advertising content.
  4. Be Engaging: Participate with your peers in a positive manner. Answer questions (or ask questions) to help create conversations. In social media, you should talk WITH people not talk AT them.
  5. Be Consistent: Make sure that all your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others all reflect the SAME information about you. Job history, profession, current work status, etc. Match your business cards, resume and promotional materials so that you are telling the same story everywhere.
  6. Have a Strong Password: Use at least 10 characters, including a symbol, capital letters and numbers. Change it on a random, regular basis.

DON’T:

  1. Share Too Much: (TMI) Sharing lots of personal information, including when you are out of town or on vacation, can be a trigger for criminal activity.
  2. Be Careless or Sloppy: Proofread your posts before hitting enter. Don’t use slang words and watch out for grammar and spelling errors. On social media you are judged by your posts. You could easily be seen as careless or illiterate by the very people you need to impress.
  3. Be Inappropriate: Never put ANYTHING on social media that you would not want your grandmother to read. What you think is funny may deeply offend others.
  4. Use Multi Posting Programs: There are websites and/or software that will duplicate your posts on all of your social media accounts from a single posting. This is BAD. Those posts can be easily taken out of context and contribute to the “white noise” of unneeded postings.
  5. Use Wrong Name Types: Facebook personal profiles are supposed to be in your REAL name only, not a “business” or “job description”. This is pretty easy, look at your driver’s license, use that name! There are business pages for your business, use them. On LinkedIn, use ONLY your professional real name. Never your business. It is a highly professional business platform. The posts you make on Facebook & Twitter do not belong in your LinkedIn stream.
  6. Let Social Media Dominate Your Life: There is still “real life” where actual conversations exist and personal social interactions occur. Go visit with your peers, meet for coffee or lunch and actually talk. Tip: Turn off your “online world” when conversing in the real world.

Hope this helps and guides you somewhat. Remember these thoughts when posting: Is it true? Is it necessary? Will it help someone?

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