I’ve been back into blogging since March or April this year, and with that I’ve been back on social media quite a bit more than I was before. And I’ve noticed some definite things to not do on social media by watching others (and myself!).
Social media is a great tool, but honestly there are some things that just make me a little frustrated. I am definitely guilty of most of these that I’m about to share, but I hope I’ve gotten over them by now!
We all have a learning curve when we first begin to enter the social media realm. Sometimes I think that we all just need take a step back and laugh at how silly we can be when we start. We take ourselves way too seriously, I swear.
So, to save you some of the struggle that I went through when I was first starting, here are some of the things that I hate when people do on social media. Don’t make the mistakes I made!
Don’t ask me to share/retweet your stuff
I cannot begin to explain to you how awkward this is.
I get so many DMs on twitter or messages on facebook saying something like “hey! I love your stuff! Can you retweet/share (link) for me?”
I hate getting these messages, because I feel used. I feel like when you say that to me, you’re only telling me you like my writing so that I’ll do something for you in return!
That’s not how the blogging world works–I will happily share your stuff if I like it and I decide on my own that my readers should see it, too! Please don’t ask me to share your stuff–it puts me in a really awkward place.
Don’t flat out ask me to follow back
Same as the above. It’s the specific asking that bothers me, too–the ironic thing is, generally I would have followed you back, but because you flat-out asked me I found it really awkward, so I didn’t feel comfortable following you. The proper thing to do is to say something like “Hey! (your name) from (your blog) here, just wanted to say I love your stuff! Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing what you post in the future!”
See how your information is there, but there’s no awkward coercion? That’s a lot less pushy and rude.
Don’t only follow me so I’ll follow you back
Even if you don’t actually ask me with your words, if you’re only following me so you might get a follow in return, that doesn’t build community very well. The reason I enjoy blogging is because I love having a group of bloggers to talk to and get to be blogging friends with–you just using me for numbers is, quite frankly, somewhat offensive. I don’t mind following you back and helping both of us out by increasing our numbers, but I want it to be because you actually enjoy my writing and I enjoy yours–not because we’re both racing to the next milestone on twitter followers.
Don’t send me automated DMs with a link to your site.
I really love getting DMs from readers, but automated ones where you’re just promoting your stuff? I actually have un-followed some people because I felt they really weren’t interested in my blog, just in getting more readers for theirs!
Automated DMs aren’t the issue in my book—I have gotten a few that started conversations that I thought were great! But ask yourself: does this build community, or use my followers just as numbers?”
Be real once in a while
This is probably more of a personality thing. I’m an ENTJ, and, quite frankly, I don’t really thrive in the whole “perfect hair, perfect house, perfect clothes” world that is female social media.
Why do we, as girls, always have to say so many “nice” things that don’t actually mean anything? Why can’t we just be real for once, and just post what’s on our hearts? Do you all seriously not eat breakfast without taking 70 minutes making it look nice first?
Don’t get way too personal about my life
I get very uncomfortable when people try to tell me things about me. When I wrote my post about being an ENTJ girl I got many people trying to debate with me what my personality type actually is, or what my sister’s is. Although I know that it may be interesting, or seem like it’s just fun, I find it very unsettling and very inappropriate. I’ve also gotten e-mails analyzing Connor and my relationship. Again, while I see how it could be fun to try and get to know someone online, I just find it really creepy, to be honest! How would you like someone analyzing every last detail of your life at you?
Please remember to understand appropriate boundaries.
Don’t use social media as an emotional outlet
There is a very large difference between stating an opinion in a respectful, calm, composed way, and using twitter as your personal battle ground. Ask yourself not “will everyone agree with this?” but “will anyone be hurt by this?” If you are writing something that could hurt someone because you are phrasing something wrong, re-think how to say it so that you still get your point across without being inappropriately abrasive.
So those are my rules for professionalism on social media. What are your best tips? What are some rules you’ve broken, and what did you learn from it?