Social media sites like BizSugar.com and others are amazingly powerful tools helping to gain visibility for your business, product, service or topic. But first it is important to know the basics of being a good social media citizen. Here are 10 dos and don’ts to be sure you give your social media community as much value as it gives you.
1. Do vote on articles other than your own submissions. This probably sounds obvious, but votes like comments have a beneficial effect. Imagine how nice it makes you feel when others vote for your article. How much more does it make you want to check out and vote for someone else’s work as well.
2. Don’t vote on only the articles of a few select friends. You’ll broaden your network greatly if you go outside the circle of people you interact with regularly and vote for someone you don’t know.
3. Do share a wide range of information from across the Web. If you’ve found an article or resource that has helped you in your business, be sure to share it with the community. You will be seen as a source of great information, paying off great dividends in the future.
4. Don’t always submit articles from your own site. Just as variety is the spice of life, so it is with being a good social media citizen. (Remember, others can check out your profile and click on to your submitted list to see whether you’ve been a good social media citizen sharing other people’s articles or just selfishly submitted your own.
5. Do Make sure to comment on a wide variety of articles. Remember, a good social media citizen is well rounded on their topic so don’t make the mistake of staying within a single narrow category or a small circle of connections. Commenting on a wide range of topics will mean reading on a wide range of topics and will help you in the end.
6. Don’t make comments that are off topic or disruptive. This isn’t your living room or if it is it would be on a night when you have guests, so conduct yourself accordingly. Be courteous and avoid attacking other members or the community in which you all participate. Find civil ways to disagree and keep the topics appropriate to the venue.
7. Do take time to welcome new members. If you see someone new to the community, check out their contributions, add a constructive comment and maybe even vote for the post if you like it to give the new person a boost. It’s hard to be the new kid on the block. Be sure to help them feel welcome.
8. Don’t stay in your own little corner. Ask yourself, is there a pattern to the way I’m voting, the people whose submissions I’m reading, the members whose work I comment on etc. If so, it may be time to shake things up. Your behavior is limiting your exposure to ideas outside your group and stopping you from growing your network.
9. Do think strategically about how you comment, vote and contribute. Think of the ideas you support as a growing resource that you are taking part in creating. Are you helping to broaden your community’s horizons by introducing new ideas and supporting new voices in the community or selfishly trying to promote yourself and a couple of cronies?
10. Don’t look at social media only as a way to promote your content and business. This is not only bad citizenship but short sited and missing the big picture of all that social media can and should be. What’s more, it is a failed long term strategy which over time others in the community will realize your game and simply walk away.
Are you a good or a bad social media citizen and what efforts are you making to be better?