Saturday, June 6, 2009

10 Social Media No-Nos

Things that will (at least) earn you a bad rep or (at worst) get you fired

Social Media can both be a very forgiving and a very unforgiving environment for a newbie.

It can be forgiving when users are genuine in their interactions and confess their sins, own up to their errors and behave politely. Under these circumstances it is likely their community will understand and forgive them.

Social Media can also be unforgiving when it senses someone is behaving in an “anti-social” way. While many of the acceptable norms in Social Media are obvious, some may be less so.

Therefore here are 10 Social Media No-Nos. Commit any of these sins and watch your reputation slide, or worse if you are publicly representing a business, you may get fired:

1. Not Listening: This happens a lot in life and Social Media is no different. If you want to get more out of your interactions with others you need to be a good listener. For a great take on this see Five Levels Of Social Media Responses

2. Not Responding: Just as in life it can be rude to not answer someone who is talking to you. There are rare exceptions: When someone is being rude to you, they do not always deserve a response.

3. Not Responding Appropriately: You should always respond in kind (or better yet take the high road). If someone says something you disagree with privately question them. “Flaming” someone (engaging in an ugly public debate) will leave everyone charred.

4. Not Being Genuine: Social Media lives on the Web so if you choose to be less than “real” you will be discovered. Fakes do not survive long in the ultra-connected world of SoMedia.

5. Not Being Humble: Your life may be the best and your successes too numerous to count, but nobody likes a public braggart. Your ego may fight you on this, but you need to remember Social Media is about everyone else and a certain equality of ideas and opinions.

6. Not Being Responsible: Social Media can be a powerful tool. With power comes responsibility. Be a jerk, slander someone or be hurtful online and it will come back to haunt you.

7. Being Rude: Manners cost you nothing but some forethought and consideration of others. If you truly don’t know the right thing to do in a given situation you can always try the searchable database at The Emily Post Institute.

8. Not Being Sympathetic: Life is hard. People make mistakes and suffer misfortune. Being seen as unsympathetic will earn you a bad rep in life – online that rep will spread even faster and further.

9. Not Sharing: If you are fortunate enough to have expertise or access to resources that can help others please share them. Social Media rewards those who share with good Karma points. Many of today’s online superstars got there by being good at sharing themselves and their resources.

10. Sharing Too Much: Conversely, there are those who share too much detail, too much noise and too much irrelevancy. Know your communities and understand what it is about you they most want to hear.

Related posts
10 Commandments for Social Media
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
Social Media disasters

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