Have you ever wanted to delete that Facebook post or Tweet right after you posted it? Found your content copied and pasted on someone else’s blog or profile? Gave permission for a reblog only to discover the link to your original work was left out?
One thing I have learned as I have built this blog and grown my own social media network, is that online etiquette is a skill that requires real, conscious effort. If you have ever been the brunt of other’s online faux-pas, you know how frustrating that can be. To help demystify how to be a courteous , contributing member of the online world, today I give you PUGTATO’s Top Three Social Media & Online Faux Pas, and how to avoid committing them.
PUGTATO’S TOP THREE SOCIAL MEDIA & ONLINE FAUX-PAS
1. STEALING CONTENT.
PUGTATO’s RECOMMENDATION: Just don’t. ALTERNATIVE: Come up with your own or ask for permission to share the content you like.
Content comes in all forms, blog posts, profiles, websites, collateral design, brand messaging. Creating that perfect blog post, LinkedIn profile or branding takes time. Lots of it. There’s a reason that you were drawn to the content of one online media over another, and that’s the hard work of someone doing research, drafting, re-drafting, throwing out the tenth draft, starting over, and finally coming up with those perfect words that draw you in. So, if you like what you see, come up with your own using what you liked as inspiration. You will then appreciate how much effort goes into creating that perfect post, job description, professional summary, etc.
Asking for permission to share content is another alternative to coming up with your own. If permission to reblog, or share, is granted, list the real author and include what you like about the content. After all, your readers/followers have connected with you because they are interested in hearing from you! Add your perspective/comment to the piece and make sure to include a link back to the original work with a clear statement that you are not the author. Don’t be offended if the author does not want you to copy and paste an entire post and asks you to just provide a summary with a link. In WordPress this is very easily done by using the “reblog” button at the bottom of a post. It will generate the correct link and trackback for you, while providing your page with a summary.
2. DELETE THAT TWEET.
PUGTATO’s RECOMMENDATION: Stop, think and read before you post. ALTERNATIVE: Pretend you are on national television every time you post. If you wouldn’t say it on national TV, don’t say it online.
YAY! Social and the online world provide a platform to voice opinions for the world to see! Oh wait…the whole world can see. Ya get what I’m sayin’? My advice is to stop, think and read before you post. Don’t post when you are angry, tired, or under the influence. You know that driving while intoxicated is dangerous, so is posting online. While deleting that tweet, Facebook post, link share or blog post might seem like an easy quick answer, there is this thing called cache, and it saves permalinks. Many times this means your post lives on, for a while, after you delete it. Just ask some of the people who lost their jobs over one bad post. It happens.
3. NOT SAYING THANK YOU
PUGTATO’s RECOMMENDATION: Say thank you. Say it a lot. ALTERNATIVE: Say thank you more than you think you should.
Social communities thrive on participation. They are, in fact, social. When someone stops by your blog to read, thank them. When someone shares your post, thank them again. When you get a retweet, thank that person too. When someone takes the time to read and comment on your work, comment back, thank them. Get the picture? When social becomes a one way street and you push out content without acknowledging your readers, two things happen: 1) you run the very real risk of losing reader engagement, 2) you’ve lost sight of the purpose of social media. You might as well just stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself. Another way to say thank you is by reading other people’s work! Search around for some blogs you like and actually read them after you hit follow or subscribe.
Those are PUGTATO’s Top Three Social Media and Online Faux Pas. Remember, you are what you tweet, so be nice. Don’t be a twerp. Tell me… What’s the biggest social media faux pas you have experienced?