Social Media Etiquette
I’ve written about it before and I’ve ranted a few times on twitter, but, some things are worthy of a reminder.
I’m not calling myself the Ms. Manners of Social Media. However, I think I have something to contribute to the subject.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind while communicating across social media platforms.
1) Know who you are communicating with. Read the bio or the info on the profile page. This could save you from instant rejection. If it’s not readily available, do your research. Nothing will get you rejected faster than attempting to pitch yourself or your book to someone who is not interested in your genre or what you have to offer.
2) Don’t endear yourself too quickly. If you are trying to conduct business with someone, keep it respectful. Approach the potential contact in such a way that they will want to help you, not alienate themselves from you. Proceed slowly.
3) If you ask for advice – accept it. Don’t become bitter because you asked for a review or opinion of your work and you didn’t read the words “that’s the best I’ve ever read”. Whenever you ask someone for their thoughts on your work, you are asking for them to invest some time and thought into YOU. If you don’t respect their professional opinion – don’t bother to ask for it.
4) Connect. Your first contact with a person via social media should NEVER be a request. It’s like walking up to someone on the street and asking if you can borrow money. Try introducing yourself first and complimenting them. GENUINELY.
5) Support. Don’t always interact for YOUR benefit. If there is someone you want to connect with, sign up for their newsletter, read their blog. Leave a comment. Let them know that you are truly interested in what they have to say. Develop an online relationship with them and they will begin to interact.
6) Don’t SPAM! No matter the social media platform, don’t post directly to someone’s profile for all the world to see. You might think it’s free advertising, but, it is spam and will get you blocked. Always request permission when posting to someone’s profile, even when you know the person.
7) Be patient. There’s something to be said about persistence. However, persistence + INsistence = REsistance. Don’t expect a reply five minutes after you send a request. Sometimes I jump on social media ONLY to post messages. Some things I respond to more immediately than others, only because of timing, etc. Don’t “camp out” or “stalk” someone’s social media profile, constantly asking “did you see the message I sent you”. Chances are they did & have not been able to respond for one reason or another. GENTLE reminders are okay – but, DEMANDS are a big no-no. Remember, no one is ever OBLIGATED to respond to you.
8) Know what you are asking for. I got a request the other day to do a “review a piece”. Naturally, I ASSUMED the person read my bio:
“Mom, TV/Film Writer/Producer/Editor/Director, Friend of God, Radio Talk Show Host, Queen of the Cybercrush, Author & Freelance Writer!”
I responded with a message saying that I don’t do reviews, however, I edit for a fee. The response was “not edit, I just want you to review.” I then thought one of two things was happening. Either the person was trying to get me to edit their written work for free, OR they had no clue that I was talking about writing, because they were talking about music. Thankfully for me and unfortunately for them, it was the latter.
What are some of your pet peeves on social media?