Monday, November 4, 2013

Social Media Etiquette by Edie Melson

The social media universe has developed into a world with it’s own ways of interacting, and its own rules of social media etiquette. Stumbling around this brave new world is exciting, but it can also lead to some embarrassing moments. Today I’ll share some tips to help you acclimate to this new online society.

When to LIKE , COMMENT or SHARE on Facebook: When you read a post on Facebook you have three options if you want to interact. 

The First is to LIKE the post. When you click on LIKE, Facebook will register your user name and the fact you liked it. This carries more weight with the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm than just viewing the post, but not as much as commenting.

The second option is to COMMENT. This carries the most weight with Facebook and will give you the most engagement with others seeing the post. BUT, and this is an important consideration, it will also include you in all subsequent conversations. This means that if you get email notifications on Facebook, every time someone else comments on this post, you’ll get an email about it. If it’s a popular post, that can mean twenty or more emails in your inbox. So think carefully before you comment.

NOTE: You can opt out of a conversation (what Facebook calls post interaction). But if you choose to do that, everyone in the conversation will be notified that you opted out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s always good to know.

The final option is to SHARE a post on Facebook. This takes a copy of the post and pastes it on your page. When Facebook pastes the post, it gives you the option of deleting the name of the person you got the post from. Doing so is bad form. Not quite as bad as plagiarism, but it is in the neighborhood.

·       So LIKE a post, when you want to let people know you agree or enjoyed it.
·       COMMENT if you don’t mind becoming part of the ongoing conversation.
·       SHARE a post, always giving credit to the original poster. 

When to Hide a post, Hide a person, or just UNFRIEND them: 

HIDING a post will make that particular update disappear from your timeline.

Hiding a person can keep that person’s updates from showing up on your timeline. This is a good option if you don’t want to offend someone.

NOTE: To do either of these, click on the gray arrow on the upper right of the specific post

UNFRIENDING someone basically says you don’t want to have any interaction with that person. Depending on how many friends you have, this may be noticeable, especially if you interact regularly at work or socially. 

NOTE: To do this, you’ll need to visit their FB page, hover over the FRIEND button and choose UNFRIEND from the drop-down menu that appears

·       So HIDE someone who’s annoying.
·       UNFRIEND someone you don’t mind alienating.
When to RETWEET and when to REPLY: There are two ways to answer someone on Twitter, RETWEET and REPLY. And there are specific times to use each one.

A RETWEET, is a repeat of the tweet sent. This is used when you want to share a tweet with your followers. For instance, if I saw a tweet about how to avoid getting embarrassed on Twitter, I’d retweet it to my followers so they could learn too. I also use it to share good news about others.

A REPLY, is an answer to a tweet that’s been sent. This is used if someone asks you a question on Twitter. It’s also used when someone else mentions you on Twitter. It’s a way of saying thank you. It’s considered a very bad instance of bragging to retweet a mention of yourself. For instance if someone tweeted about this post, I’d REPLY and say thank you.

·       So RETWEET if you see an update you want to pass on to your followers.
·       REPLY when someone mentions you or asks a question.

Social Media in General
When is it acceptable to HOG THE STREAM? The short answer is …NEVER! Hogging or Spamming the stream, means posting several social media updates in a row. This can be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. You can do this inadvertently by engaging the AUTOMATIC updates available on some ancillary programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or Buffer.

This option of automatic updates claims to identify when the largest amount of your followers are engaging on social media and update at that time. Unfortunately this can often result in multiple updates sent one right after another. This can leave you labeled as an irritation or even banned from certain networks. I recommend you avoid any automatic scheduling options to avoid this.

So schedule the times when you send out your social media updates and don’t post them one after another. Spread them out.

·       First, so you don’t irritate anyone by Hogging the Stream.
·       Second, so you reach people who are on at different times of the day. 

These are just a few of the worst blunders for social media. I’d like to know what social media faux pas you’ve seen and which ones irritate you the most.

Bio: Edie Melson is the author of four books, with two more due out January 2013. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. She’s also the Senior Editor at Novel Rocket. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Edie this is an awesome post. Sometimes it's the little things that trip us up and the obvious is not so obvious. Thanks for clarifying. It helped me!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Edie this is an awesome post. Sometimes it's the little things that trip us up and the obvious is not so obvious. Thanks for clarifying. It helped me!

Julia M. Reffner said...

This etiquette is really interesting. Will "liking too many posts at one time" hog the stream? Great insights, Edie! Thank you!

Angie Dicken said...

Thank you, Edie! I am new to Twitter and this makes me feel more confident in my interactions. Glad you were able to share on the Alley today!

Pepper said...

Great post, Edie.
Do you think it's better to have two separate FB pages (one as author and one as personal) that you spread your time between - or one just one in which you can devote your time more consistently? Is there a preference?
Just curious! Spinning plates and all :-)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks for the good advice. Especially regarding Twitter, which I am still so new at and don't really get!


Susan Anne Mason said...

I like Pepper's question, too!

Will check back for an answer.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great post, Edie! I especially appreciate the notes you shared regarding Twitter. I'm still figuring out how to use it well.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Okay, I thought I knew most of this stuff but apparently not everything! I didn't know that if I opted out of receiving the follow up comments the others were informed. OOPS! I tend to do that when the conversation spirals into big numbers and I can't keep up. Even if I was an initiator. That is good information to know. I don't want to be rude, just sort of bow out silently. Shoot! Thanks for the great info, Edie! We all need a social media guru. ;)

Edie Melson said...

Mary Vee, thanks so much for stopping by!

Julia, yes, LIKING a post will show up in a stream. You'll get the same issue on Pinterest if you pin a lot of things all at once. That's really a pain because there's not a reliable FREE Pinterest scheduling program right now. So I have to pin a little, move on, come back, pin some more, etc.

Angie, I'm really happy to be here!

Thanks guys for having me - Blessings, E

Edie Melson said...

Pepper, I used to subscribe to the idea that an author needed a professional page. Now I think it's more trouble than it's worth to keep up 2 pages. I have over 2000 friends on my personal profile and can't seem to reach 400 on my professional page. I've just decided to hang out on my personal page until it gets too big. It's working great for me. I know authors who have GREAT professional pages (waving at Beth K Vogt). But if you're just trying to build one, stick with just the personal profile.

Susan, Twitter is a great thing…once you get the hang of it. There's more of a learning curve with it than with Facebook, but personally, I love it WAY more!

Blessings, E

Edie Melson said...

Jeanne, I think you're doing great - keep up the good work!

Amy, I think most people understand when someone bows out of conversation. They can really clog up your inbox if there are a lots of people on it. That said, I try not to be the first person to bow out, but sometimes I don't have a choice. I do send a message to the group, explaining how valuable I think the information is, but that I've got to get back to work. No one has ever unfriended me or sent me a hurt message. People are pretty generous, especially with an explanation.

I've LOVED being on the Writer's Alley today!! Thanks again for having me, Blessings, E

Casey said...

Edie you are a master! I love how this explains the basics and gives great ground rules for social media! Twitter is one of my favorite, I do admit. It's the constant conversation that this people person simply adores. Glad to have you today! :D