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Matt Black vs The Social Media Monster

Hey guys, after a couple requests for a social networking guidelines post, I finally completed it. I am approached with social networking questions a lot. Particularly about the top sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, My Space and a few more. People have mixed emotions when it comes to social networking and always seem to indirectly ask the question… are they are good or bad? I am one hundred percent on the good side when it comes to this issue. In my opinion, social networking is good as long as you are using it for good. Just like with anything in life, if you try to do what’s right and do good things it will come across in your day to day adventures along within your digital social networking. Your network is exactly what it sounds like…YOURS! Your network is a reflection of who you are. Whether you do good things with it or bad things is up to you.

The pro’s to me out way the cons. As a Christian, I can witness to people about God, being positive and loving life. As an educator I can share links to help others with technology issues, and to give tips and advice. I can also share pictures of my family with my friends and family that lives half way across the world! I really think social networking is an awesome communication tool if used responsibly.

I realize business are developing rules and policies when it comes to social networking and I totally agree with checks and balances. We have all heard the old saying one bad apple ruins a bunch and that is true in a lot of ways. One employees error could be an embarrassment to a company in whole. So when your employer puts restrictions on it, try to remember it is probably best for the team. With that being said, don’t be afraid of it either. Social networking is what you make of it.

I have researched and came up with my top 30 tips for social networking, I hope you enjoy…

1. Act like you would in real life: Just because you’re hiding behind a computer as you type doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to connect what you say online with who you are as a real person. use your real picture. You can be appropriate and fun all at he same time.

2. You have to earn respect: You can earn respect on social media sites by offering quality, accessible information in a friendly way. Share relevant links, commentary and helpful advice.

3. Avoid burnout: If you’re on social media sites constantly, you’ll burn yourself out and annoy other people. Find a balance so that you’re making quality contributions to the discussion, not dominating it.

4. Tweet and update for your most conservative followers: If you have lots of friends online, it can be hard to remember who’s still listening in to your conversations and updates. Remember who your most conservative followers are, and make sure whatever you put online is appropriate for them.

5. Be curious, but not nosy: Social media communities are all about sharing and learning from each other. You’re encouraged to ask questions, but don’t be too inquisitive about personal issues.

6. Be extra polite: You wouldn’t make a nasty comment to a person you just met at work or school: you’d probably go above and beyond to seem friendly and helpful. Apply the same attitude to your social media activity.

7. Don’t ask for favors: Once you’ve established a relationship with an online contact, you can ask for advice or help, but don’t log on just to ask people to do your work for you. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and you’ll develop a reputation for being a worthy friend and follow who other users will want to follow along to . Not everyone you’re following — or who is following you — is your personal friend, so avoid talking about health problems and mushy stuff.

8. Don’t cyber-stalk: If you’re never getting any responses back to the wall posts and messages you leave on someone’s profile, then you’re cyber-stalking them. Stop.

9. Don’t drunk-Facebook: Sending drunk Facebook messages or making drunk wall posts can be funny with friends, but seriously damaging with professional contacts. I will exclude Ambien posters. ( some people can relate with that more than others )

10. Don’t send apps: Make sure that when you try out an application, you’re not sending it to everyone you’re friends with. That’s right: everyone.

11. Don’t write private messages on wall posts: It’s embarrassing, rude, and makes you look immature.

12. Edit your photo choices: Don’t put up photos of yourself or others engaging in illegal, irresponsible activities, including pictures of you chugging pitchers of beer, whether or not you’re 21.

13. Have fun playing Facebook games, but don’t spam all your friends with it. Try to just send game requests to your friends who you know play.

14. Be careful who you tag: Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean your friends are okay with having ridiculous photos of themselves posted on Facebook so that their moms and bosses can see them. If your not sure..just post and don’t tag it…but above all, be respectful.

15. Write clear status updates: People who write vague, depressing song lyrics or status updates come across as to me as strange. Especially leading updates…. Without commenting when 10 people ask you what’s wrong

16. Be respectful of the relationship status: Talk with your partner before changing a relationship status. If it’s good news, do you want an online medium to be the one to share it? If it’s bad, you want to make sure you’re not breaking up with someone via Facebook.

17. Avoid chain status updates: Don’t fall for chain status updates to save a child with cancer or promote world peace. They’re just spam. If you want to help, be responsible, research and donate to the proper organizations.

18. Ask friends to make introductions: You’ll avoid freaking people out if you ask a friend to make an introduction rather than friending people you’ve randomly spotted online.

19. Twitter is addictive, but it also has lots of traps that can lure you into looking unprofessional and lazy: be aware of that

20. Don’t use automation tools: You might think it’s nice to send an automatic message every time someone follows you, but it actually makes you look lazy and unengaged. Social media is about the personal effort behind the connection.

21. Keep tabs on your ratio: One of the easiest ways for people to decide whether or not they want to follow you is to check your follow ratio. Try to keep it balanced so that you don’t look desperate or like a snob.

22. Share other people’s work, not just your own: For every tweet you make about yourself, make two or three tweets about someone else’s work or a third party article.

23. Send private messages for private conversations: Twitter has an option to let you send private messages, and it’s important that you remember to use it when appropriate (just like Facebook)

24. Don’t be a sucker: As with any viral medium, it’s easy to get caught up in scams and just plain incorrect information. Don’t go crazy retweeting sensational stories until you’ve verified they’re true

25. Don’t ask to be retweeted: If your tweet is good enough to share, your followers will retweet it without a desperate plea.

26. Don’t use Social Networking to point fingers: You can send open tweets to ask about a problem, but don’t trash companies or individuals just because you had a bad experience. Contact them in private.

27. There are appropriate shortcuts for social media, but don’t go overboard. Otherwise, no one will be able to understand you, and they may think you’re lazy and ignorant:

28. Know what @means: @ is a sign that means you’re responding to or directly addressing a particular user or message. On some sites, it even tags that person.

29. Use the word, not the number: Substituting “2″ for “to” looks like you’re in junior high.
Social media is a step up from texting: Unless you’re updating all your messages on a mobile device, remember that social media is a step up from texting. If you’re typing on a keyboard, you can type out the whole word.

30. Don’t make stupid mistakes: You’re not receiving an official grade from your tweets and FB updates, but you are being judged on your grammar mistakes. I am not n English major, but I at least use spell Don’t worry about being chatty. Chatty can be fun!

I could probably hit 10 or so more, but just cut it to 30. I hope everyone enjoys their social media endeavors and remember. Live life, have fun, but be responsible for your actions….even if it is an update!

Black Out……thanks for reading!