The 10 Commandments of Social Media
This is part of Caitlin's social media manager series, dedicated at ways to help social media managers improve their tactics, tools and best practices to make them more effective. You can follow all Caitlin's editorial contributions here.
- Thou shalt not lose sight of the fact that you are not a God. In social media, it’s easy to get lost in a completely man-made, digitally driven world. Every social media manager has worlds of varying sizes. There are empires of people broken up by tribe. It is easy to get a God-complex and let the perceived power go to your head. Don’t let it happen to you.
- Thou shalt not worship social media. Your life is more than the screen you keep in front of you. Take breaks. There are people in your life that need you in theirs. Don’t let the wonderful tools of social media turn you into a tool.
- Thou shalt not name drop. It’s obnoxious when people are name-dropping in tweets. If you are really that good of a friend with someone, why aren’t you just text messaging them or calling them on the phone? Name dropping makes you look like a poser. Every once and awhile and it’s okay, but you’ll know when you’ve crossed the line.
- Thou shalt take a digital Sabbath and keep it holy. Even if you aren’t religious, having a day of rest built into your weekly rhythm is just smart. Multiple studies have come out recently that show the damaging effect social media and spending your life online can have on you. (See 1, 2, 3) Chose one day a week to completely unplug. Put your smartphone in a drawer and live your life without it. Be fully where you are. Your relationships are only going to get better.
- Honor people. If someone does something you like, give them a shout-out and let people know. If you have gotten good service from a company, give them some social media love. An attitude of gratitude and respect will be rewarded. Use your social media powers for good! Isn’t that how you would want to be treated?
- Thou shalt not kill another person’s reputation. Don’t tweet, post, or write anything that is disrespectful, degrading, or downright mean to someone else. There are jerks in this world and we are all well aware of it. Social media is not the place to vent your frustration or start a public battle. There are things to take stands on (and do!) but choose your battles wisely.
- Thou shalt not commit social media adultery. Don’t cheat on something that is working. If you have a set of apps that work really well for you, don’t mess around with the shiny new toy on the block. There are times and places to experiment with new apps, but do it wisely. Get to know a few and commit to them. It takes work to make your social media plan successful. Don’t give up.
- Thou shalt not steal, pirate, or plunder. Respect copyright laws. Enough said.
- Thou shalt not lie. Did you know that there are governments that have made it a crime to lie on the internet? While the debate rages on (see 4), people are becoming savvier to con artists, spammers, and people who have fake profiles. Lying has harsh consequences. Don’t fall into the tempting trap of creating fake profiles and glowing reviews of your products.
- Thou shalt not covet. There’s healthy ambition and then there’s flat out greed. You don’t need every gadget on the market. You don’t need the latest and greatest. What you need is a strong desire to make the most of the tools you haven now. Being strong in core social media strategies will help you out a lot more than having the latest Apple product.