As we all are pioneering into this great open space called social media we’ve found there are many trials and tribulations along the way. We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of our new semi-celebrity status. To stay current and with the times we’ve stuck with it despite the nay-sayers, the fear mongerers and the corporate doubters. Along the way we’ve found some new friends and confidants as well as realizing that some of our old friends are not the same. In my own experiment I have found that my hidden and controlled life has become exposed, my beliefs and convictions, my temperament and professionalism challenged. This isn’t just a way to connect within a like minded click of internet forum techies, this is a mass public transit of people of varying beliefs and purpose. Some want to sell, some want to learn, some want to be a part of something bigger and some just want to re-connect. How do you put yourself out there with so many different directions, how do you control your own path when there are so many viral pathays of thought? 10 years ago no one would have conceived of expressing themselves in such a public way, and many today still can’t and won’t. There have been repercussions, layoffs and I’m sure lawsuits. Many have been burned by putting out posts that should have never been entered.
Hopefully you set out with a strategy, a set of guidelines within your organization or at least a set of personal rules. Here are some potential guidelines I would recommend from my own experience of work related posting.
Be Real but be Professional. If you are posting for your organization, make it clear that you are doing so and get approval for your postings, discuss the orientation and manner of discussion you are promoting with all who will be involved and I would even suggest having regular meetings on the relevancy and course you have set out on. Social media is transparent in that you are yourself and not a marketing robot who put’s out mindless sales leads. Be real but be focused, and be professional.
Be positive and Pay-it-Forward. As said before, social media is not a techie forum for complaints. You put yourself at risk every-time you complain or vent about someone or some thing. Social media requires that we are accountable.
Inform and Educate. Don’t expect folks to flock to your account and comment on all of your wonderfully articulated posts, put something useful out, something that promotes not just you and your business but something that maybe educates folks on your industry.
Bite your Tongue. If someone posts something mean and nasty on your wall, hold on for a bit, bite your tongue long enough to let your emotions calm before posting something you’ll regret, especially if it’s a work related page. Stay professional.
Leave them Hanging – Don’t Overdo it. You don’t need to give every detail of your day. The best posts are the ones that tease or leave them hanging. The best thing about social media is that we often are all dealing with the same issues and you don’t need to say a lot to get a response “This wind really blows!!!” or “Pay Day – I’m buying!”
Give Credit. If you are re-tweeting on Twitter or sharing a Facebook post be sure to give due credit to the original person who posted.
Don’t be a SM Snob. If all you are doing is putting info out and not responding to posts on your wall or mentions, tweets or direct messages than you are no better than the celebrities who are taking over social media and turning it into just another spotlight on them. Social media is about engaging. I’m not even sure why celebrities are on SINCE MOST ONLY FOLLOW OTHER CELEBRITIES AND FORCE US PEONS TO WATCH THEIR CONVERSATIONS WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO COMMENT!!! – whoa, do I seem bitter.
Don’t Vent. Unless you are ready to laugh at yourself, (refer to above commentary on celebrities).
Don’t use All Caps. Unless you are ready to laugh at yourself, (refer to above commentary on celebrities).
Be Consistant. Don’t post once one week and fifty times the next, post on a regular basis and if you decide to “go off the grid’ for awhile let your followers know.
Don’t be a Fear Mongerer. If you are concerned look it up, research it and put out your well thought-out concerns but don’t spread panic because your accounts been hacked. Just change your password and get back to posting (and stop clicking on links that you know your friends would never, ever send you).
Avoid Politics and Religion. Remember I’m talking about work related posting. On your personal time – do whatever you want.