Here are a few of the things that they found to be positive about social media:
- Immediate communication
- Far-reaching message
- Fast, easy and trackable
- Ability to stay in touch and / or reconnect
And here are a few of the things the participants felt were negative attributes of social media:
- Time consuming
- Don’t know results
- Eroding communication skills
- The etiquette of social media difficult to understand
While I was not surprised by the positive attributes of social media – the ease of communication and ability to connect being one of the most notable benefits – I was a little surprised at how many people wanted to know “how to use social media.” The etiquette “rules” for using social media effectively, both for personal and for business communication, seems to be a common struggle for many who are navigating this new way of connecting.
Manners matter, online and offline
There is no lack of information on “how to use social media” online (just key that into the Google search bar!), so I thought I would just share a few tips to help you with some of the more “mannerly” things to think about when sharing on your social networks.
If you are at a networking event and you’re face-to-face with someone, you’re going to introduce yourself before you launch into a conversation. On LinkedIn (or other networks where you’re “meeting” people), be sure to observe the same consideration. If you’re asking for a connection on LinkedIn, update the default message to a more personalized one before sending the request.
Think before you tweet (but be yourself!)
There’s a certain transparency that comes with communicating online. Once you hit that “send” button, you can’t take it back. It can be very easy to fire off a tweet or update your page, without thinking about the repercussions. I’m all for honesty, but be sure you’re sharing information you want the world to see! Read before you tweet is always a good practice to incorporate!
Show your gratitude
If someone shares your content, say “thank you.” This is a good way to show your gratitude, but it’s also a great way to connect with a fan or follower and engage in a further discussion on the topic.
Talk like a real person, but be professional
If you’re using social media to build your business, or your professional network, the most important thing you can do is be yourself. Know your goals (just as you would at a networking event) and get to know people through real conversations. Talk about the same things you would talk about if you were face-to-face. Be professional, but show your personality.
Although the world of online networking is new to many of us, there is little difference in connecting with people online and offline. The same basic tenets hold true: Trust and authenticity are at the top of the list.
What tips do you have to share? Your thoughts on the positive and negative aspects of social media? We’d love to hear about it! Share with us in the comments below!