I received quite a bit of feedback on last week’s post Social Media & TITS. So once again, I went to my brilliant husband for advice on where to go next. He smiled and winked and said, “There is really only one logical follow up after a post about TITS.”

Here is my next social media advice: Always Stay Social. 

Don’t be an ass like so many other people on social media. Keep things social. Here are three things to think about to help you treat on-line conversations the same way you would real life “live” conversations. After all, we’re still talking about building relationships with real live people.

1. My biggest pet peeve is people not introducing themselves when attempting to connect on social media, particularly on Facebook.. Would you walk up to a person at an event, or even a bar, hand them a business card, and never say a word? Don’t do the on-line equivalent. If you want to connect with someone personally, by sending them a friend request to their personal page, the least you can do is to send a private message introducing yourself. If you can’t say, “Hi, I heard you speak at a conference” or “I’ve noticed we have 97 mutual friends from our industry and I’d like to connect with you” then you aren’t being SOCIAL. If you want to follow them professionally and not bother to send a personal message, fine. Go like the business page and stay anonymous.

2. The next lesson in not being an ASS and always staying social is to remember that social media is about having conversations….social conversations. This should involve talking about lots of different subjects with lots of different people. Don’t be that person who only talks about him or herself. No body wants that clogging up their feed. Share stories…but make sure they are about other people sometimes. Be positive. Who wants to “hang out” on-line or in person with someone who always complains? Ask questions. Be helpful. Connect people. Introduce people on-line the same way you would at a networking event. Focus on relationships and what others want and need, not just what you want to talk about.

3. This one is tricky since I’m about to release a new book and have been talking about it a lot lately on Facebook and Twitter….but always being social means you shouldn’t always be selling something. And this is why I think the level of sharing about the book has been okay. (Feel free to tell me if you think I’ve crossed a line.) This goes hand in hand with #2. If you have something to sell and can do it in a way that keeps the focus on other people, then  you can get by with it…once in a while. But if all you ever post and share and Tweet about is your product, your service, or your business, you are actively alienating the very audience you are trying to reach.

The lesson here? TITS and ASS are both important. Thinking It Through Seriously, and Always Staying Social will help strengthen relationships on-line and in person…and keep you from looking like an ass on-line.


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