Ever wonder why some don’t work and play well with others on Facebook and Twitter? Social media is like a virtual party where almost the same rules apply as they do in a face-to-face communication. But many people mistakenly think that, since it’s online, it’s OK to bend those social rules for social media. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some do’s and don’ts…OK here are the don’ts! If you do the opposite, there are your do’s.
1. Don’t expect everyone to come to you.
If you build it, they will not necessarily come. Just like you cannot put up a website and expect a flood of customers to drop money in your account, you cannot build a Facebook or Twitter page and expect a flood of friends and followers to descend upon you. Reach out. Make comments on others’ posts. Don’t just expect them to come to you. Oh, and once they do come to you, don’t forget to reciprocate. When someone posts on your wall, go check out their’s. You may not be able to do this every single time, but make it a practice and you will see your social media relationships blossom!
2. Don’t dismiss someone’s issue.
Care about what they care about. If you are truly trying to connect on social media, you’ll have some things in common. If someone is talking about a problem they are having or something they really like, just as in a face-to-face relationship, don’t dismiss it because you don’t think it’s important. It’s important to THEM! I see so many people post a reply that belittles or makes light of a problem someone else is having. They wouldn’t think to do this in person, why do it on the internet? People on the internet are the same as they are in person. Their feelings and needs are not two dimensional just because they were read about online.
3. Don’t trip over their conversation.
This one’s mostly for Facebook. If someone is making a point, don’t nitpick them to death. Don’t derail their conversation just as you wouldn’t in real life. Unless friendfilter extension something is really wrong, needs pointing out, or is just a request for opinions, don’t hijack their conversation by talking about things that have very little to do with their point. If you feel strongly about that issue, post it on YOUR wall.
4. Don’t make people look bad.
If someone is trying to show how important something is, don’t belittle it…or them. Don’t post how silly it is. Look to see why they might be posting a note on that subject. I once saw someone post about how much they liked a particular product. One of their followers posted about how they didn’t like it because it doesn’t come in a particular color. In fact, they went so far as to post a link to one they liked better. Just out of curiosity, I looked over at their bio and found that they sell them!
5. Don’t rain on their parade.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen someone post a funny Facebook note or quick Twitter quote about something and had someone take it too seriously. I’ve seen a rather curt response that implied that this person was making fun of something or someone. So many people these days are looking for something to be offended by that they pick apart someone’s light-hearted comment to find something that can be interpreted as offensive when their intent was fairly obvious. Pick your battles. I do think there are times when we should not sit idly by. However, even at those times, it is important that we address the issue with grace and respect.
6. Don’t make fun of their serious issue.
On the other side of the coin is the person who posts about a problem, it won’t win you any Facebook friends or Tweeple followers if you poke fun at their expense. I have seen where someone has posted about something that is of grave importance to them where someone posted a callous response. Mostly this is because they were not aware of the seriousness of the issue and had a humorous side to their personality. It’s fine to joke, but you need to be able to discern when that will be taken well and when it won’t. If you aren’t sure, check their past posts, bio or links they posted directly before and after this one. See if that doesn’t give you a clue as to the nature of their issue. Be aware of any LOL’s or:D smiley faces in the post to suggest this isn’t really a dire issue for them.
7. Don’t boldly go where some friend wouldn’t go before!
If you know someone takes issue with a particular topic, don’t invite them to that group, post that picture on their wall or make that comment. Know your audience. It’s a communication term I use (and actually the title of a communication study I wrote for children) that helps us to discern how to communicate effectively with different people. God didn’t make Cookie-Cutter people so there is no one-size-fits-all way to communicate with them. I have had a few people post things on my wall, tag me in a note or reply to me on Twitter with links to things most people would know I wouldn’t be interested in (if they had only looked at my bio or anything I post). Contacting everyone (people who live all over the world) with an invitation to a party at your church is a bit silly and feels very impersonal to the recipient. Making reference to a woman’s looks repeatedly when that woman is married will make her feel like you’re a stalker! Be careful to tweet or post things that you would be comfortable saying to them in person, face to face.