A Guest Post by
Like it or not, itâs political season in the United States. We must sort through the debates, talking heads, and town halls, and do our duty as citizens.
There are clear rules to being a good citizen of the US. Obey the law and vote, and youâre pretty much good. Throw in some volunteering, and thatâs even better.
Online, in the social world, itâs a different story. Depending on where you are, the rules are different, and often unwritten. It can be tricky.
But donât fear, Iâm here to give you some simple tips that will keep you out of the Internet version of Turkish prison. Weâll cover Twitter and LinkedIn today:
- Fill out your bio – itâs the equivalent of politely introducing yourself.
- Replace the âeggâ with an avatar – you donât walk around town with a mask on, do you?
- Donât use auto-direct messages – unless youâre getting hundreds of new followers every day, you can spare 5 minutes to send a personal greeting.
- Donât order people to âlikeâ you on Facebook – need I say that this is rude?
- Vary your stream – donât just be all retweets, all quotes, all broadcast. Throw in some mentions, replies, original thoughts.
- Donât follow hundreds of people at once – itâs best to grow your following organically, over time. Get to know them first, then add more. Also, if your ratio of following to followers is way out of whack, you look desperate.
- Help people – if you see a Tweet like, âcan anyone recommend a good Chinese restaurant in Phoenixâ and you know one, jump on it!
- Go in with a plan, are you open or not – if you decide to accept invitations from people you havenât actually met, you are a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker); most people do not accept invitations from strangers, so tread carefully.
- Be a contributor – when you first join a group, donât make your first post a âpromotion.â
- Webinar spam – likewise, donât make your first contribution a webinar announcement.
- Donât direct-link your Twitter stream to your activity stream – if I see you in both places, I want different content; come on, itâs not that much work!
- Answer questions – go to the Answer section and help where you can; remember your manners and thank people who answer your questions as well.
- Be generous with your recommendations – this falls into the âgood karmaâ category. Spread your good recommendations where theyâre appropriate, without expectations. Trust me, itâs good.
If you keep these guidelines in mind, youâre well on your way to being a solid social citizen. And donât forget to vote.
Author’s Bio: Rosemary OâNeill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out their blog. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Thank you, Rosemary!
ME “Liz” Strauss