Does social media have rules?

Last week I looked at Twitter and Facebook and several folks offered comments on their preferences. From my own observations, it seems that writers use both venues with success. Regardless of your choice, it seems wise to understand the ‘rules’ involved. It is probably wiser to use the word ‘practice’ rather than ‘rule’ since there is no real enforcement.

Most of us jump onto these tools and bumble around for a while trying to figure them out. How often should I tweet? Or retweet? Should I follow if someone follows me? Do I need to ‘like’ something just because someone asks me to? Should I comment on each and every item my Facebook friends put out there?

Fast Company magazine included a brief article about the rules of social media that were solicited from industry experts and readers. A few of them stand out for me.

Be interesting. Be kind. Be consistent.

Make your info short and sweet for maximum interest and sharing potential.

Before you tweet/post/share, imagine saying it in person.

Connections are formed by conversations. Think telephone, not megaphone.

K.L.O.U.T. matters: knowledge, likeability, openness, understanding, trust.

Less shouting. Less selling. Less badmouthing. Less complaining. Less is more, when you’re social.

I’ve picked out ones I like and ones I think apply to both Facebook and Twitter. If you’re interested, you can jump onto Twitter and search using the hashtag #therules.

2 thoughts on “Does social media have rules?”

  1. The thing that annoys me most (and many others too!) is when people mass include you in their “events”, which means you get spammed for books you don’t want to buy.
    I know a lot of authors get into these Facebook and Goodreads events and think it’s a great thing, and don’t realise at first that their fans are being spammed. By the time they do, they’ve lost followers.
    That and adding everyone to a Facebook group without asking them!

    1. Thanks for this, Sonya. The mass messaging activities are SO ANNOYING. Perhaps I should dedicate a few blog posts to Marketing 101? (Not that I’m an expert!!) Of course lots of companies are still trying to figure all this new media stuff out and they make mistakes too. A young friend of mine has the title ‘digital content strategist’ which means she’s assigned to a brand with the task of creating useful, amusing, informative brand enhancing content for them (she’s with an advertising company). So she searches out all sorts of articles, pictures, ideas and so on that they/she thinks folks buying that brand will enjoy. Interesting concept. As you point out, we have to remember that people can opt out as easily as they opt in.

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