So, because sites are easy to use (Facebook, for example, is quite intuitive), we will, instead of publishing a how-to-use guide, publish our four guidelines on how-to-act within the social media space:
When the internet began, anonymity was the way to go. Employing usernames like “Stargazer43″ was par for the course. But times have changed, and we are all expected to make ourselves available through social media (ourselves, not a screen name) using our real names and photos. That being said, we strongly advise to NEVER include sensitive information (address, phone number, or even your current and past employer…the one exception being LinkedIN, which is a professional social media site where it pays to show off your resume).
Keep it Clean
If you wouldn’t want your mother to read/see it, don’t post it. And only allow photos of yourself that you’d be proud for an employer to see (the number of employers using social media to check up on applicants and current employees is on the rise). You can always ask people to un-tag you in photos they upload that you don’t approve, or un-tag yourself. Remember, this is how you’re seen online, so put your best foot forward.
Only Friend People You’ve Met
Your niece? Friend her. The salesman you met at a convention? Friend him. A stranger introducing himself? You can always send a private message in reply, but don’t “add” him until you’ve met (or spoken outside of social media).
- Send a message to privately talk to someone (not a comment or status update)
- Post on a friend’s wall if it’s for a specific person, but mutual friends might also like what you’re posting (like a video or song)
- Post a status only about general moods/ideas that all your friends might enjoy (like how you’re escaping a hot day, or that you loved a new movie)
- Only comment on a post or status if it’s relevant to that post (Example: if the original post is “I love having breakfast for dinner!,” comment “Me too; pancakes are my favorite!” instead of “We haven’t seen each other in so long!” That’s better for a separate wall post or message.)
Use these as a starting point to get yourself settled in the social media world. Social media is how you represent yourself online, so have fun with it!