In case you missed Part 1, you can find it here – Don’t worry though, each part can be read independently and in any order you choose!
Focus On Being Considerate
One of the best ways to reach out with social media is to be considerate with your activities. Sometimes you don’t even have to have much of an interaction with someone to make an impression, your behavior will take care of that for you, for better or worse.
- Spotlight: Minding your manners when sharing in social media – by Danny Sullivan
Which would you prefer?
The impression you make will largely depend on how the people you connect with see you; if you have made an effort to be considerate of others when using social media, it will show. Even simple things like stopping to think before posting something, factoring different time-zones into your decisions and posts, and a little bit of recognition and kindness can help you make people more receptive to your message whatever that might be.
Infographic: Do We Really Behave Badly On Social Media? – by Salesforce Rypple
Click to see a larger version — Thanks to Salesforce Rypple! See their original post that included this graphic here
Volume & Timing
When you are reaching out with social media, of course you are giving a lot of thought to the content of your messages! It would be silly not to, after all it is this content that you want to reach people.
Something to think about before you send your next message or make your next post is the amount of content you are putting out there; how much are you posting, and how often? Frequency of posting can really make a difference in how you are perceived; unfortunately there is no hard-and-fast rule for how often you should (or could) post something to any of your social media networks. When deciding how often to post, think about your audience and the type of content you’re about to share. Is your target audience made up of busy professionals? College students? Etc? Different groups will have different demands on their time and will have different expectations when it comes to social media. They will also have different opinions about your content depending on what it is, i.e. a funny story, a link to a useful resource, an update on your blog, and so on.
As far as timing goes, it pays to think about where in the world your audience might be. While it might be morning for you, it could be the end of the day for someone you are connected with; if this is a common theme amongst your connections, consider posting very important things once in the morning and then once again at night (your time). We’re not saying to post everything twice, but rather only the most important things you share such as new product launches, specials or discounts, and similar important content. Remember that you can always share something again in the future as long as it is evergreen content and not date-sensitive.
This bit of advice ties in to volume as well, because if you are double-posting some items that is more volume you are creating. In this situation, it is important to think in terms of moderation; this especially applies to sites such as Facebook and Twitter where there is a high volume of content being shared and the average user has a fairly large stream to wade through whenever they log on.
Recognition & Saying Thank You
While saying Please and Thank You during our daily interactions with people is very important in “face-to-face” situations (in person, on the phone, etc) what role do manners play in the world of social media?
Video: A Minute In Social Media Etiquette – Using Your Manners – by David Johnson
Some people, like David in the video say that no matter what, each person who friends / follows you needs to be recognized to show that you care and acknowledge them. This same crowd believes that someone who shares your content deserves similar kind of recognition. Especially in the case of Twitter, every new follower should be thanked, and if someone retweets something of yours, they should be thanked for that was well. Others wonder if this is really the way to go.
- Case in Point: What’s the Twitter Golden Rule? - by Holly Grande
There are some issues with thanking and recognizing everything everyone does in relation to you and your content, both in terms of the demand it would place on you to make all of these posts and responses and in terms of volume. Thanking and recognizing every time someone does anything for you can create a lot of “extra” content that might turn off some of your contacts and cause them to break off their connection with you.
This is one area where you will need to use your better judgement, because the situation will be different for everyone. Your contacts might not mind you posting often and thanking people frequently, and another person’s contacts might get upset if they post more than a few times a day for any reason. Let your instincts guide you!
At the end of the day, the choices that you make and the content you post to your networks is entirely up to you, and that is as it should be.
While it’s a good idea to make up a few rules for yourself, remember that given the right situation, you can bend those rules a bit if it is in the best interest of your audience. Do you know something that you know they would benefit from? Share it! If it’s really fantastic, maybe share it twice, once in the morning and once at night. While you might not be able to personally acknowledge every single person who has added / followed you or shared your content, you can post every so often with a general thank you message to let your connections know that you are thinking of them, even if you cannot thank them individually. The unique nature and variables of the world of social media are what make it so interesting and exciting!
In your opinion, what is one way to be considerate when using social media? How would this help someone when they are reaching out to their connections?
Stay tuned for Part 3, the final installment in this series!