Social media is everywhere these days. Everyday I get a Facebook friend invite, Linkedin request, classmates update, and it goes on and on. It is an overwhelming experience to keep up with everything. And sometimes, when I get frustrated, I just delete everything!
Probably not the best idea either, what can be done about this issue, though? Well, nothing is written in stone but here are some recommended do’s and don’ts on how to manage your social networking life.
Perhaps they can help you get the most out of the various online communities.
The Do‘s of Social Media Interactions
Adopt – Three years ago, Facebook made its debut to the college world at large. No one knew if it would replace Friendster or Classmates but college kids still joined.
Today, Facebook represents one of the vital mediums of communication. Remember that the online world is undergoing constant changes and what is hot one day is not the other. Don’t get stuck in one way of thinking – adapt to changes and trends.
Research – Decide where you want to participate. Are your friends on Facebook, MySpace, or Orkut? Pick the one that has the most potential for you. This is much easier than it sounds. If you are a web designer, consider joining a design forum or if you are tech geek, join a technology forum. It will take some time to snatch up the right place, but once you do, you will be in a community where people already have similar tastes to you. If you do not do your research, you risk the chance of getting left behind and wasting time.
Learn – Know what is going on in your community. Jeff who added the Friends for Sale application on Facebook may not be breaking news but finding out your coworker is friends with the boss, may be a good thing to know. Within your community, check out if there are groups (real and virtual), alumni associations, or gadget meetups.
Be active – Post, write, and engage your connections. There’s no point in being part of a community to have a front page profile with no substance. If you blog, keep up with the comments. Someone took the time to write something meaningful on your blog, reciprocate and respond back. Creating conversations with others around you, establishes connections and fuels ideas. Things like Twitter are all about active conversations (sometimes to yourself), so go for it.
Commit – Yes, commit to the sites that you have chosen to be active in. It is like with everything else in your life; give it your all instead of doing half-assedly. And the longer you remain within a community the more respect you earn.
The Don`ts of Social Media Interactions
Exaggerate – You can be who you want online. Going overboard with your accomplishments can bite you in the least expected way. Don’t pretend to be someone or something you are not; it can not be detrimental to your reputation, lying is grounds for termination from most social networking sites.
“Exaggerate” definition from urbandictionary.com:
“Magnify beyond truth, or to make something seem larger,better,worse or more important than it really is or needs to be”.
Overstretch – Joining too many networks means you have less time for each one. Limit your entire social ecosystem to three or four. You want quality, not quantity. If you join too many communities you simply will not be able to follow each community with any real substance.
Leech – You know those people who just leech off of the other people’s discussions? Don’t be that person as it will not get you any friends. If you constantly leech, you will not get any help when time comes. Online communities function the same way real communities do. Excommunicating, ignoring and downright banning are ways for members to sift others from being useful or leeching off the thoughts of others.
“Leech” definition from urbandictionary.com:
One who constantly takes from others without giving anything in return.