The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

Neon light - speech bubble with a heart in to indicate there are zero likes.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Social Media can be a bit like marmite – you either love it or loathe it. But for those who use social media to engage with our audience, there are certain rules that we should consider.

Lately, there’s been a lot – and I mean A LOT – of drama recently with Social Media. Sometimes it can be blown out of context because of a wrong use of word or emoji, or sometimes it comes down to the individual using social media for the wrong reasons.

I’m looking at you trolls and keyboard warriors!

What prompted me to write this wasn’t just what I’ve seen in regards to the drama. It was on an Instagram Story of someone who hasn’t had as much engagement as they would probably like to have. I get it – it can be frustrating! You post a picture which you’re proud of, but no one likes it.

But to say in a story “for those who watch the stories but don’t engage can f*** off” is rude.

I could have addressed my issue to the individual. Unfortunately I know that has previously occurred by someone else, and it didn’t go down too well. So rather than get involved in a drama triangle, it made me think about what we consider as the do’s and don’ts of social media.

If Social Media isn’t handled properly, it can be damaging to our reputation and our wellbeing.

At the end of the day, we have to be held accountable regardless of why we’re using social media.

Out of curiousity, I asked those who follow me on my Instagram and Twitter what their thoughts were, and I had a great response on both platforms.

You can find the original thread on Twitter here:

I’ve put the some of the responses in their own images (with image descriptions) below:

Do ignore your best engagement times in favour of spontaneity occassionally - it pays off (ellastcommunications - instagram)
Just be yourself! Don't try and be someone else in order to boost web traffic (alexjameswise - twitter)
Do call people out on sharing nasty things. Don't do it in a way that just cements their prejudice (axelbcreative - instagram)
Don't follow/unfollow to build your followers (scribbvicious - twitter)
Try to be inclusive wherever possible? Caption videos and add image descriptions etc. (tedburr - instagram)
Don't swear. Don't get personal. Do listen. Do reply. Do join in conversations. Do tell stories. Do use photos and videos and most important of all... use emojis (pollingersocial - twitter)

A lot of the responses were what I considered common sense (i.e. be nice, don’t cause drama etc.) but there were also a few that made me realise that I can be guilty of doing/not doing, such as image descriptions to be more inclusive.

The list isn’t exhaustive, but we have to remember that there is someone else on the otherwise of the screen. We are more connected than ever, but social media, if used incorrectly, can become a weapon. Not to sound too preachy and loving here, but let’s use social media to an advantage and share our knowledge, engage in debate and, most importantly, share the support amongst each other.

What are your do’s and don’ts?

Until next time,

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