Etiquette: 9 tips to make the most of social media

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Social media Etiquette. Image from http://www.slideshare.net/AwesomeBizOnline/quick-and-dirty-social-media-tips

We live in a time when social media has become an integral part of our lives. Some people are in all social media known to man and some are in just in a few either by want or design. Facebook is the easiest to use and hence more middle and old age people are on it. Social media enables us to connect with friends out of town, get breaking news, and follow up on your favorite celebrities and many others. For some people, etiquette goes out the window when they sign up onto a social media site. Some will do this because controversial people get more attention or they think they can do whatever they want now that they are behind a screen.

In the spirit of using social media for good with the just concluded OLX Social Media Awards, here are some pointers on how to use social media.

1. Pick your profile picture carefully

Your profile picture should reflect who you are. It can either be a photo of you, something you cherish, or a quote you live by. Do not put photos of you drunk or having derogatory messages or pictures. For professional social media sites like LinkedIn use a professional photo of you. Keep duck faces and peace signs on Facebook and twitter.

2. Don’t tag people in photos without asking for their consent

It is courteous to ask a person if they would like to be tagged on a photo of a ripe avocado. I kid you not I was once tagged in a photo of an avocado by a person I do not personally know. Most people after taking photos with them will ask you to tag them when you upload them on social media. If no request was made, kindly ask before tagging.
Respond positively on someone’s request to be untagged from a certain photo. This might be because of various reasons but because they asked kindly comply.

Social media Etiquette. Image from http://www.slideshare.net/AwesomeBizOnline/quick-and-dirty-social-media-tips
Social media Etiquette. Image from http://www.slideshare.net/AwesomeBizOnline/quick-and-dirty-social-media-tips

3. Use hashtags appropriately

The use of hashtags makes your tweet or Instagram photo visible to a wider audience. Some people use 2 hashtags per post and some use 28 hashtags. The recommended maximum amount for an instagram post is 11 and for twitter it’s 2.

Do not jump onto other people hashtags if it does not relate to your tweet. People use these opportunities to get to a wider audience. Use a hashtag that relates to the tweet or photo.

4. Keep status updates on LinkedIn professional

LinkedIn is a professional site and just because of that everything should be kept professional. Do not post about your child playing in the mud or a photo of your breakfast if it will not help anyone grow professionally. All updates should add something to your professional connections.

5. Consider your audience

Your audience is anything from you friends to potential employers. Some employers go through social media sites of their interviewees to know if they will employ them or not. All updates should be easily understood by your audience and should not offend any of them.

Keep in mind that the sarcastic comment you shared with your friends over lunch and laughed your heads off might be misconstrued on social media. This is because sarcasm does not really translate well in written words. Share those in your Whatsapp groups.

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6. Share several times a day in a spaced out manner

Sharing content a lot of time is okay but the spacing matters. On twitter you can do 30 tweets a day on instagram and Facebook that is too much. People on social media want to see various opinions and not only your own. So do not bombard your followers with a lot of posts as you are not the only person they follow. Space out your updates so that they can have a chance to see updates from other people.

7. Be respectful

Social media has been used for bad too many times that it has become sad. This is because of the anonymity that it fosters. A person behind a Pikachu profile picture will dish out mean comments to people because they wouldn’t know who he is. Social media is a social setting and what you wouldn’t say to a person in person don’t say it on social media

8. Keep confidential messages and details to yourself

News about your divorce, marital problems, and family problems should be reserved for those circles only. People on social media will not help and in most cases will actually make things worse.

9. Read the whole post or video before commenting

Some people only read the title and get to the comment section to give their opinion. Your opinion will be more correct if you watch the whole video or read the whole post before commenting. Comments are always welcome but those comments have to come from someone who has all the facts.

Use social media for good and continue fostering the social integration that it offers. It is meant to bring us closer not draw us apart.

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