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Monday, 15 February 2016

Five key social media tips

Be openminded: Don’t stay on the same social media networks, as there are many new ones that could fit your needs better. — 123rf.com

Be openminded: Don’t stay on the same social media networks, as there are many new ones that could fit your needs better. — 123rf.com

Social media tips come and go, and while keeping a collection of all of them would serve you well, there are certain tips and tricks that we absolutely must remember. Here are some of my favourites.

Sharing quizzes and memes will give someone else access to your Facebook data: The next time you see a friend on Facebook sharing one of those quizzes or personality tests, note that there’s a website listed next to the headline. That’s the one associated with the content. While not always cause for alarm, some companies create these very shareable pieces of content with one simple goal in mind – to mine your data. These companies have also learned what’s shareable and create content they think you won’t be able to resist. My simple rule of thumb is – always Google the website listed before sharing, just in case.

Personal posts and posts from the heart will resonate most with people: I follow all kinds of people all over social media. Some are obsessed with talking about only themselves, and that gets boring fast. If your social media posts read like one of those family updates people insert into holiday cards, you may be losing your audience. Remember – people can mute you (Twitter) and unfollow your posts (Facebook) so you could be friends with people who never see your content and you might never know it. Here’s a bonus tip which applies to friends and businesses. For businesses, you have to talk about what your customers are talking about, not what you think they want to talk about. There’s a big difference and some businesses are bad at seeing that.

It doesn’t take that long to try a new social network: We all have our favourites that we fall back on, and I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ll always choose Twitter over Facebook when it comes to live and important news, and I prefer Flickr to Instagram when posting my best photos but Instagram to Flickr when it comes to conversation and networking. I learned this through much trial and error. For those of you who respond to “have you tried Snapchat yet?” with “I don’t have time for Snapchat, so no,” you’re missing an opportunity. I thought I would hate Snapchat, and as it turns out it’s one of my favourite places to post.

Cross-posting is always bad. Please don’t do it: One of the most common questions I receive is one that makes me cringe every time I read it: “How do I link my Facebook and Twitter so one post goes to both places?” I can tell you a bunch of ways, but I won’t. It isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned it and it won’t be the last, but it’s important enough to review – there are two terrible things about cross-posting. One, it comes across as lazy and laziness on social media is bad. And two, the minute you start posting the same content to two different places, you’ve given your audience – whether family, friends or business – a choice. You are saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to follow me either here or there. You always want people to follow you here and there.

Spelling and grammar do matter: Do not confuse social media with texting, and don’t turn texting into social media. I realise Twitter only gives you 140 characters (for now) but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to change know into kno, and two, too and to into 2. If for no other reason, remember that what you share on some social networks will be indexed by search engines. Save the silliness for your private networks and think professional anytime you are typing somewhere public. Trust me, you do not want your next boss to Google you and find this type of communication.

We’ll revisit this topic down the road and add some more to make your social media truly something to remember. — Tribune News Service

Tags / Keywords: Science Technology , Social Media

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