There are many unwritten rules of engagement when it comes to the various forms of social media. Unless you are a frequent user, it’s easy to unwittingly act in a way that some people could perceive as rude.
- Give credit when linking. When referring to another user’s information, link to their website, blog or twitter, and compliment their article while doing so.
- Always respond to an @ on Twitter. If someone has considered you or your business, be sure to reply to their question or comment. A great way to do this is to include the original query so that the tweet stands by itself. For example, say “I agree with you, there are some companies who should not be on Twitter”, rather than “I agree”, which will be meaningless to other users.
- Praise publicly and freely, and correct privately. If you like a post or status update, say so. If you see something incorrect, such as a typo or fact error, and you think it would matter to the person, send them a private email or message kindly pointing it out.
- Leave a comment on a friend’s blog. It takes less than five minutes to read a post and offer your own comment or opinion. Better still, you can generally link back to your own blog, so as you increase their readership, you’ll increase your own.
- Like or RT someone’s status update on Facebook or Twitter. Most of the 200 million users on Twitter have probably never had a retweet – be the first and make their day!
Just as in the physical world, there are several rules of online social engagement, and nothing is set in stone. However, these few tips are some of basic expectations that users have of each other. And when you give good karma, you receive good karma too.
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