Thursday, February 6, 2014

Are You Social Media Savvy or Awkward? Tips with Edie Melson 
The social media universe has developed into a world with it’s own ways of interacting. 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.

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.

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 same 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 FILTER a post or just UNFRIEND the person
FILTERING or HIDING a post or user 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.

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. 

     So FILTER 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 Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck.
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.


Angie Dicken said...

Thanks for the tips, Edie. I am always amazed at some of the "bragging" that goes on in social media! I considered writing a post about it! :)
Have a great day!

Edie Melson said...

Angie, that's a post I'd like to read!

Pepper said...

Twitter is a complete puzzle to me. I can't be on it very much, so I only use it as a way to 'share' information. Is that bad? I see all of these conversations going on when I've had time to visit for longer than 1 minute, and I think..."Am I shooting myself in the foot by not being more involved on this thing?" Because I can't!

Edie, am I breaking some rule there? :-)

Edie Melson said...

Pepper, as long as the info you share isn't just about you, you're not breaking any rules. I truly think we each have to find the social media platform that works best for us and spend the bulk of our time there. We still need a presence on the big three (Twitter, FB, and blogging). But I say, hang out where you're most comfortable and have the most interactions.

The one caveat is the demographic of your audience. FB has a median age of 45-50. Twitter is younger and Instagram is even younger. So if an author is trying to reach the YA demographic, you may have to stretch yourself a bit.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Very helpful post, Edie. I hope I don't do too many of these faux pas. :) I have blocked one person from my FB wall because of extensive profanity. I have unfollowed a couple of people on Twitter because every time they post it's a line from their book, and it's often. I try not to unfriend/unfollow many people.

I've got a question for you. A couple actually. 1. I try to write a personal thank you note to each follower. Is this okay? Expected? Non-consequential?

Secondly, I do a lot more retweeting than writing original tweets, because I've never quite figured out what makes tweet effective. :)

Any thoughts?

Edie Melson said...

Jeanne, both good questions! Yes, it's always good, before you go over the 2000 follower mark, to thank everyone who follows you. After that, it's a little more difficult and that's understood.

Second, retweeting is fine. An effective tweet is one that shares valuable info, or a quote or asks a question. You want to compose it like you would a headline, mention anyone (with the @ sign), if relevant, and add one to two hashtags so it will get found.

I hope this helps!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

When I first started tweeting, it was for pure fun and developing friendships with other writers. I've had some of the funniest tweet conversations! (with Krista Phillips over vibrating bums!) Ahem...

I have grown to dislike Twitter due to the massive amounts of self-promotion and commerce. I miss the way it used to be. I confess that FB has really taken on a more marketing feel which takes away from the fun. I know that it is a great tool, but I don't know if I like it as a tool!

Am I weird, or what?

Unknown said...

In defense of Buffer, if you change the default post times, it makes your life much easier, especiallly if you're posting for several pages. I have about 8 profiles between the company I market for (part time), my own author page, a couple of pages I created, personal pages, and now Novel Rocket. If I had to juggle all those on separate sites, I'd go insane. Hootsuite is good for this as well (and allows you to reply).

What irks me the most--yes, I've had this discussion with you before--are the authors who hog hashtags on twitter. It's easy to do because no one owns a hashtag. So if you to to #ACFW, you'll see the same author re-posting her pitch over, and over, and over, going on for the past year. Maybe she's a good author, but I wouldn't buy her book just because I'm annoyed with the abuse of what is supposed to be a hashtag for Christian authors to share ideas, triumphs, etc.

Okay, rant over. Gotta check my Buffer stack up.

Krista Phillips said...

As a silly krista note... i think it only notifies of the "Krista has left the conversation" if you leave a private message conversation, not turn notifications off or "unfollow" a public post.

I used to feel bad leaving a conversation because of that note, but I now leave without feeling bad, especially when I was put there without asking, ha!

I gotta thing on the whole Retweeting thing... I've definitely retweeted people who have given reviews/links to their reviews and have tagged me in it. more as a thanks to them for their kind words than self promotion.

I think much of it is about balance. Too much of a good thing makes it not so good!

And agree with Sherrinda, twitter has lost some of its luster with me! I miss the vibrating bum days!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

What I like best about your posts, Edie, is:

1.Your clear definition of terms
2.The brief examples to give added clarification
3. Your "bad form" examples.

I've used these media forms for sometimes, yet, again, I learned something new today from you. Thanks!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, and I ditto the issue with way too much marketing wares on Twitter. I had hoped to hop into some fun tweets by expanding my follow base. My followers increased, but so did the marketing tweets I received. Pooh.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Okay, this is the last one. I sort of promise.

Edie, have you done a post about instagram. The how tos, etc?

Jeanne Takenaka said...

It's me again, Edie. I have another question for you. I blog once a week. Is it apropos to tweet it more than once? It goes to Twitter on Monday nights. Should that be the only time each post gets tweeted?

Julia M. Reffner said...

My problem with twitter: it makes me feel stressed out because of how fast things are coming on the feed. I feel like I can't keep up and for some reason it feels like a challenge to even write it. (I'm an easily distracted person).

This advice, as always is helpful and in bite size chunks. Thanks, Edie.

Ashley Clark said...

I'm with Pepper-- I pretty much only share info on Twitter... or *ahem* attempt to interact with famous people. ;)

And I HATE whenever people are constantly self-promoting on social media. Loved what you had to say about hogging the stream, Edie! I didn't know there was a term for it.

Someone who, in my opinion, is an EXCELLENT example of great social media interaction is Colleen Coble. She gives enough personal information to let you feel like you're keeping up with her, so that when she does pepper in announcements about her books (and friends' books), it makes me want to read them, because I don't feel used.

Thanks for being here today, Edie!

Ashley Clark said...

I'm with Pepper-- I pretty much only share info on Twitter... or *ahem* attempt to interact with famous people. ;)

And I HATE whenever people are constantly self-promoting on social media. Loved what you had to say about hogging the stream, Edie! I didn't know there was a term for it.

Someone who, in my opinion, is an EXCELLENT example of great social media interaction is Colleen Coble. She gives enough personal information to let you feel like you're keeping up with her, so that when she does pepper in announcements about her books (and friends' books), it makes me want to read them, because I don't feel used.

Thanks for being here today, Edie!

Edie Melson said...

First, let's address Twitter. Yes there's too much marketing, I manage my Twitter 2 ways, with Hootsuite (or as Ron said, Buffer. Both good options). This gives me the chance to divide the confusing mess by topics, found by hashtags.

BUT, that still leaves a busy stream (for a big topic like #write) and the marketing problem.

There's a fix for that, too. Twitter Lists. I have several lists (I keep mine private, but it doesn't matter). I have a writers list, a pub list, and an industry list. I ONLY put people on those lists that don't hog the stream with marketing.

Then I have streams (columns) on Hootsuite for those lists.

I can have lots of conversations there because it's manageable. And when I find someone who doesn't always try to sell me something and has something valuable to say, I add them to the list.

I hope this helps with the Twitter issues.

Edie Melson said...

Mary, I don't have a post right now about instagram, but I've been working on one. Expect it in the next week or so.

Edie Melson said...

Jeanne, that's a good question. And I think it's fine to share about one post multiple times on social media. The key is to follow my Five to One rule. For every 5 social media updates on any given platform, you're only allowed one about yourself.

Multiple updates about the same post is a good idea because no more than 16% of your audience is on a social network at any one time. So chances are it's won't be seen by the same people. I would vary the time of day I send it, just to broaden your reach.

Edie Melson said...

Julia, you're correct. It's only on private message conversations that everyone gets notice you left the conversation. Thanks for the correction!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh, I just love it when you give us lay people these important tips! You rock, Edie!!! Thanks for sharing the wealth :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh yeah, do you know how to delete FB message threads?? I can never seem to figure it out!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Thanks Edie, great advice!

Mary Vee Writer said...

While I'm placing my wish lists, Edie, can you also teach us how to make the Twitter lists you mentioned?

Casey said...

AWESOME stuff here, Edie! I try to be so careful on social media to not post a bunch of things in a row (I think the only one who can get away with this Mary DeMuth who is so uplifting with her tweets!) and hogging the stream. I once cut down my friend list by several hundred people and was surprised by the ones that actually noticed. And were offended. I didn't do it for that offense of course, but not everyone took it that way. Learned the hard way on that one.

Wonderful, practical tips, thank you for being here, Edie!!

chris said...

Good stuff Edie!!

I agree with Pepper about the Twitter thing, is it really having an impact? Sometimes I don't have the time to spend figuring it all out... but I still love to tweet!! :-)