1. Engage with other people, and don’t just use your posts as the only way to start social conversations. This one is really easy to forget, especially with everyone posting selfies and analyzing what filter to use (BTW — My favorite is X-Pro 11). Sharing your own content is fun and important, but take time to show an interest in your friends’ posts. Don’t simply click the like button, but comment as if you are really having a conversation face to face. This shows you taking an interest in the person actually posting that photo instead of the share itself.
2. Keep complaints to a minimum. While it may be tempting to tweet “@Company Your service is F***** terrible” when sharing reviews, stay calm and get your point across in a classy way. Remember, your followers can see the review, and they aren’t always in the mood to give you #humblepity. When it comes to reacting to noteworthy news topics or bad TV show endings, negative sentiment can obviously be a natural response. We are human, right? However, there is a fine line between having a reaction to an event and complaining about “how bad” something is over and over. Try writing posts that generate discussion instead of a full-on negative putdown statement.
3. Keep your social media shares fresh. While your shares are an extension of your point of view and topics you’re passionate about, don’t always post about the same subject in the same way. Imagine your social media channels as a television series based on your life. You want to have new, exciting episodes with engaging storylines. For instance, if you are a baseball fanatic and at a MLB game, first share a tweet about the game, describing the atmosphere or a specific play. Next, share a photo of the field on Facebook with a creative caption. Then, Instagram a close-up photo of Cracker Jacks, with a blurred background of the field. It takes a little extra work, but your followers will like the effort!
4. Resist impulse social reactions until you know the whole story. Do you really want to bash a politician or celebrity before knowing both sides of the story? Social media is so cool because it gives us the opportunity to share organic moments with our followers! Take a few seconds to think about what you are actually posting before clicking share. You don’t want to look uninformed and fall victim to “Tweet-and-Delete.” :)
5. Support people who are going through a tough time and sharing every detail online. While it may get annoying to see the same story about someone suffering through trials all over your Facebook newsfeed, think about how you may react under the same circumstances. Sometimes people suffer from diseases or a sudden death in the family and need an outlet to share their emotions. Offer sympathy online and try to put yourself in their shoes by understanding what they are going through. Instead of posting public messages for your whole social following to comment on, try sending an encouraging direct message on Twitter or Facebook. Then, reach out to the person in real life, outside of the digital world!
6. Ask yourself if that scandalous share is really necessary. While posting selfies of your body with that awkward mirror/flash/bathroom/post-workout scene may generate a lot of likes, ask yourself if this is the best representation of you. Your followers will be tweeting about it and liking it on Instagram, but do you really want to be known as “that guy” who posts “those pics?” Maybe you do! When being a social media gentleman, I think it’s important to remember the relationship you have established with your audience. It’s great to shake things up, but don’t be known for something you’re not.
7. Don’t over-edit your life! While most people showcase their social selves with the best possible filter and enhancements, sometimes it’s okay to share the whole story instead of the cropped corner of the bigger picture. Our friends and other followers want to engage with us, and too much social doctoring might make you un-relatable.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment, or tweet me @GabeLenners!