Social media is still so new that I don’t think the etiquette for using sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram has been fully agreed upon yet.
For lack of a better analogy, I think of these sites as gigantic, virtual dinner parties. These are the rules I wish everyone would follow there.
Engage with your followers. Social media is a great way to build relationships with people you’d probably never meet otherwise. My favourite people on these sites are the ones who are interactive and friendly.
Share your life. I know that some people don’t appreciate hearing what their friends ate for lunch, but I actually really enjoy that aspect of social media. There’s something to be said for occasionally sharing the small, inconsequential moments.
Be honest. We all have embarrassing, sad, or difficult moments. It’s ok to talk about them if you feel comfortable doing so. I don’t expect anyone I follow to only talk about the happy stuff in their lives.
Post about more than one topic. Underwater basket weaving may be your passion in life, but there’s something to be said for branching out into other areas of interest. If the only things I ever tweeted about were writing and my love of the horror genre, the people who follow me would have an incomplete understanding of who I am as a person.
Repost the same links over and over again. Yes, I know that you want to guide traffic to your blog or website. It’s irritating to see the same thing posted multiple times, though, especially when it happens on the same day.
Send mass private messages asking for money or other favours. It’s tacky and rude.
Violate other people’s privacy. Anything you post on the Internet will be there forever. It’s not okay to share pictures of other people’s children, medical conditions, highly embarrassing stories, or other sensitive information without their permission. It’s never ok to post pictures of body fluids, oozing injuries, or childbirth photos that involve anything below the waist.
Engage the trolls. This one almost goes without saying.