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Social Media Etiquette 101

August 26, 2015

It’s impossible not to notice how quickly the internet is evolving, and that includes social media sites. But as the internet continues to change, so does the way we interact with each other virtually. Here are some rules to keep in mind when communicating or navigating social media the proper way.

Facebook

Facebook is the social media giant that has taken the online world by storm. But how you use the site is critical.

The idea behind Facebook is to connect with friends, old and new. Before you “friend” a person, make sure you know them, and that you really want to see their status updates and photos on your news feed. If you do friend them and discover later on that their constant status updates are more of a nuisance than anything else, it’s OK to edit your friends list.

If you can’t do this in good conscience, you can always hide that individual from your feed so nothing they post will show up. Next time that person posts a status update, you can unsubscribe from the post by clicking on the drop-down menu in the upper right corner.

And when you yourself post status updates, make sure they’re appropriate and that you won’t get in trouble because of them. Forget about vague posts, constant complaining, oversharing, and posting too often. Instead, ask yourself if you really think it’s necessary to share that certain thought with the world before posting.

When it comes to photos, ask yourself if you’d want the world to see those pictures 5 years down the line, or if you’d be OK with your Mom or your boss seeing them. Once they’re up, they’re usually there for good.

Twitter

This social media site is making big gains in the world of social networking, with even celebrities and political figures taking to the site to post comments. The rules here may be a bit more lax compared to Facebook, but they’re important nonetheless.

Just because someone starts following you on Twitter, that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to follow them. However, it’s good to note that you’ll have a better experience if you’re connected to more people. And if you discover that down the road you no longer wish to follow that person, you can always unfollow him or her. And if someone calls you out for unfollowing, just be honest, in a nice way. Just tell them you didn’t feel truly connected online.

When it comes to retweets, replies, and mentions, include other people in your posts the smart way. Don’t just blatantly broadcast what you’re thinking and doing – that’s not exactly going to win you many followers. Rather, interact with the individuals you’re following and who are following you via retweets, replies, and mentions (tagging other users). Just use a little restraint and common sense – you don’t want to be spamming anyone.

Instagram

Instagram has become a big-wig in the world of social media these days. But just like other social media sites, Instagram also has its own set of rules of etiquette.

Don’t beg for follows – this doesn’t exactly come across very well, and just makes you look desperate. And don’t go on a liking spree either – just because you may be new to Instagram doesn’t mean you should just appreciate anything and everything that you think is even remotely related to you.

Don’t overdo the content on your feed. Even if you’re the biggest Instagram enthusiast out there, that doesn’t mean you should clutter your feed with more than the regular number of posts.

Keep your feed interesting, and use popular filters. Certain filters that active Instagrammers really like are great options to include in your feed to keep things interesting and prompt people to interact with you.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll max your enjoyment on these sites without being a nuisance.

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