Social Media: 6 Ways to NOT be a Jerk on Social Media
If you are business owner and you have a social media presence, then this is for you.
This is not intended to be a jab at anybody or to call out that you personally are involved in doing these things; however, if you feel as if this is something you may or may not border the line with, it may be best for you to take this post with a deep understanding that as a business coach, all I am doing is helping other businesses to excel in every aspect of their business and ensure that you're online reputation is not tarnished.
This post is coming from a conversation with a business associate and friend. We had a conversation that really ran true with what I've seen in recently months (years), since the rise of social media has really been crucial to the success of businesses.
Nearly a decade ago, before twitter is what it is today, I meet some amazing people in a Twitter chat. To this day, I still maintain relationships personally and professionally with a number of people that I met through this Twitter chat.
In the last 10 years social media has taken a huge turn. Here are a few points:
- More viral sharing of funny, emotional, heartfelt posts
- More sharing of gofundme or kickstarter campaigns
- More want, want, want
- More about me and what I want
- Less of sharing information
- Less of building relationships
- Less give, give, give
- Less about you and how I can help you
There are a ton of changes that have occurred through the rise of social media and it's impact on personal and business relationships and growth. But since I'm a business coach, I'm only focusing on the business aspect of it all.
One thing that is missing is common courtesy and respect within social media platforms. It doesn't take any amount of money to be courteous. If you are using your social media for business uses (facebook groups, twitter + twitter chats, Pinterest and instagram), then please take note of the below ways to not be a jerk on social media.
Yes, I know, sometimes we have to tell it how it is, be a little too upfront, put someone in their place; but at the end of the day, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. No opinion is wrong. Your opinion belongs to you. We may not always agree but that doesn't make one right and one wrong. Let's call it the ole', "agree to disagree". But that's not even the biggest issue or focus for ways to avoid being a jerk on social media.
And yes the post says 6 ways, but you get 18 ways (6 per social media platform I cover).
Social Media - Facebook
- If you ask someone to PM (private message) you, and they do. Show them the courtesy of acknowledging that you have seen their message, even if the request is no longer required or valid. Hint: There is "others" folder in your messages that shows you messages from people you aren't friends with.
- Do not ask for something for free or heavily discounted (unless advertised that way to you). We are all in business for a reason, one of which is to make money, otherwise it's just a hobby. And frankly, I don't have time for another hobby. If you can't afford a service or the price point isn't in your budget, let them know that. Don't ghost because the price you got isn't something you can afford. Be upfront.
- If you are having a conversation with someone and you do not have a need or desire to continue speaking with them, let them know. Don't ghost them. We are all adults, and if you can't accept that the conversation is no longer going the way it should, let the conversation come to an end. But do it with some class -- your name is your reputation.
- Build relationships, don't just show up in a group or page and start spamming and promoting your own services, or asking your own questions but not helping others. You'll get a lot of further in your future requests if people have an understanding of who you are and what you are about.
- If you are asking for advice on social media; don't get upset or discouraged when you hear something you don't like or don't want to hear. You asked for the advice, there is no reason to be a jerk when you don't hear what you want to hear.
- Don't just message people, unsolicited, with your services or offers. That also includes, don't message me, hold a 3 minute conversation about the weather, and then send me your offer. That's not gonna fly.
Social Media - Twitter
- Don't send DMs with your offers as soon as I follow you. If you want to thank me for following you fine. Automation is fine too. I get it, we are busy, automation is very common.
- Don't follow me, to unfollow me the same day. If you find that I'm not providing value or it's not your wheelhouse, I'd expect to be unfollowed, but don't unfollow me as soon as I start following you. I'm at least going to see if what you post and share is of value to me. I'd expect the same courtesy.
- Don't post the same exact tweet 20x in a day, it's okay if it's got the same information or the same link, but change it up.
- Don't use all hashtags in your post. I'd at least like to have some context to understand without the hashtags in the way.
- Put some context behind a link or photo post, tell me your thoughts on what your sharing or why I should click on the link.
- Don't just drop off a threaded tweet, if you are actively engaging in conversation with someone on their tweet, either take it to DM or end it on the tweet.
Social Media - Instagram
- Don't follow someone just so they follow back and then send an unsolicited DM, other than an introduction of course. (Example: DON NOT hit on me in my DM).
- Don't follow someone to get them to follow you back, then unfollow them before having a chance to see if they have any value or engage with you.
- Don't put hashtags in your caption. Again, like twitter, we want to see the context. The hashtags are for building a following, use them as such and not in your caption.
- Don't just post your promos. every. single. time. We want to know the face of the business. Be personal (but not too personal).
- Share information that provides us value; if you are going to post on instagram (with a photo, obviously), give us context to the picture.
- Don't post too 10x a day. This isn't twitter. A handful of posts per day is plenty to be seen.
Social media is designed to be engaging and build relationships. We can't engage when we worry about walking on eggshells and hurting feelings. We can't build relationships when you don't acknowledge those willing to build a relationship with you. A business is relationship based. People do business with people they know, like and trust. There are 100 ways to do that with social media. But don't be a jerk on social media. Nobody's got time for that.
If you want a super fun, jerk free group to join, Biz Besties is always open.