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10 Tips for Using Social Media, from Your Grandma

June 14, 2010

Just posted another presentation on Slideshare: 10 Commandments for Using Social Media Tools, or Everything I Need to Know about Social Media I Learned from My Grandmother.

Grandma on FacebookHere’s the gist: your grandma probably gave you a lot of good advice for living, right? Well, her tips probably apply well to using social media websites, too. My presentation fleshes each of these out a bit more, but here’s an overview to serve as a teaser…

Just Like How Grandma Always Used to Say…

  1. Tuck in your shirt. Make sure your profile puts the best “you” forward and helps, not hurts, your image.
    • Tip: Keep your information up-to-date, apropos, and your profile active to best represent yourself.
  2. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all! A faux pas online is still a faux pas, and you can still stick your foot in your mouth – except online, it has more staying power.
    • Tip: Mind your manners online too.
  3. No one likes a tattletale, and don’t cry wolf.Show you care; verify before you share.
    • Tip: Don’t repost status updates on Facebook. Don’t fall for (or share) those freebie scams that often circulate. Don’t retweet or forward urban legends without checking on their validity first.
  4. Turn your music down! Don’t contribute to all the “noise.”
    • Tip: Avoid filling up other people’s news streams with silly application stories and quiz results. Unfriend and unfollow others if they do this. Block fake Twitter followers who only post links to porn.
  5. Eat your vegetables; they’re good for you! Some tasks aren’t fun but are important.
    • Tip: Stay abreast of privacy policy changes. (Create and) maintain friend lists on Facebook to better manage your privacy settings and news feeds. Keep your resume on LinkedIn updated. Unfollow useless posters on Twitter.
  6. Whatever happened to a good, old-fashioned…? Plain old face-to-face communication or the telephone can sometimes still be best.
    • Tip: Don’t treat online communication as an easy out. Pick up the phone or actually meet in person when appropriate.
  7. Think before you speak.You can’t retract what you put out there and everything said online is archived. Employers, schools, and the authorities are using social media more and more to check out candidates (and investigate people).
    • Tip: When in doubt, don’t post it.
  8. Don’t talk to strangers. Yep. Just like in the real world.
  9. A penny saved is a penny earned. Don’t fail to leverage an inexpensive but effective communications tool! Social media is a great way to connect with constituents, colleagues, and customers.
    • Tip: Reach many with a little money (but a lot of time).
  10. Finish what you started. The payoff of social media won’t come overnight; be patient and stick with it! Engagement is an ongoing commitment and building a network or following takes time.
    • Tip: Don’t leave your profile un-updated or you’ll lose the audience you worked so hard to build.
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