The Real Social Media Rules of Engagement


Image Credit: HazellCottrell.com

Ok, so we all have at least used some form of social media outlet. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., we just can’t get enough of it. Wikipedia noted “social media became one of the most powerful sources for news updates.” Yes, everyone can be a star, advance their way to potential new job or business opportunities.

Myself, as a budding free-lance writer, using these tools benefits my work for the various websites that I write for. However, despite the potential power of social media, many often will neglect basic common courtesies when posting material online, or get bogged down.

Here is my “Social Media Rules of Engagement.”

1. DO Post your own work in the Facebook or Twitterverse: Publish all your works on all social media outlets you use. You will build a strong personal brand and business contacts.

For example, I write for Cleantechnica, Rant Gaming, and now Triple Pundit. When I post something to Twitter, the first thing I use is the company’s twitter handle, then a hash tag (#) subject, then a shorten link. For shortening links I use the Google version, as its very simple and user-friendly.

So here is one case of a recent article I did for Triple Pundit which I promoted on Twitter:  adamjohnstonwpg ‏@adamjohnstonwpg First article for @triplepundit about the which way the #renewablefuels industry could go over the #RFS http://goo.gl/dvzB9 Do not use hash tags out when linking on Facebook as it looks unprofessional.

2. Do engage respectfully with your audience: Respond to your audience’s comments when possible. This shows that you care about your audience. while also bouncing off ideas for future articles for your blog (if you have one). However, be mindful and respectful of others. It is better in the long run and will build good rapport. Limiting swearing is also good too, when possible.

3. Do NOT Incite racial, homophobic comments or slander: It’s not cool  use racial, homophobic comments against someone, or slander. South Africa’s Human Rights Commission was flooded with complaints over racist social media comments this year. Meanwhile, George Stroumboulopoulos wrote a good post about homophobic social media slurs. Bottom line folks, it’s 2012, NOT 1950.

4. Zip Your Lip about your Sexual or Drunken Escapades:  Any one that has a brain should know that. No one needs to see drunk photos of you on Facebook, or how smashed you are on your iphone on the Twitter app. Potential employers may look at this and think “Will this same person be like this at work?”, or “will this person embarrass potential clients who I need to keep my business going?” It’s ok to have a fun time. But the other 7 billion people do not need to see you, either. Just ask the US Service, who recently updated their social media policy after their embarrassing Colombia escapades.

Image Credit: Webgreeter.com

Other quick rules: Do use LinkedIn: This website is a living, breathing resume for future business contacts and employers. Engage with others I have been able to get two of my freelance jobs from LinkedIn. Shows the Internet can work in your favor.

Do Be efficient: Efficiency matters in a 24/7 world, this means no playing Angry Birds all day long.

Do Take Time For Your Self: We all love technology, but take a break for yourself and your love ones.

Hope this guide helps.

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