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.