Social Media Etiquette 101

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Are you a social media novice? Our Web Wonder Woman, Jamey Ordolis has rules and tips to help us use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms better and to keep us out of trouble!

1. Everything is Public

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer a false sense of anonymity. A virtual implies that they're not real, but they are a very real representation of your personal brand online. Even if you don't have many followers or don't see a lot of likes or comments on your posts, it doesn't mean people aren't seeing (and judging) what you post, for better or worse. When Jamey hires, she looks at people's social media accounts at the same time as their resume to get an idea of what type of person they are — even for a peek at their grammar!

Tip: Never complain about work, especially on Twitter. Remember everything that isn't a direct message on Twitter is public. Even if your tweets are protected people can still screen grab them! Nothing is truly private when you share it online, email or text it — even with a close group of trusted friends.

2. Expectations

When someone comments on your Facebook post or tweets you something nice, you don't necessarily have to reply or retweet. Liking or favouriting is enough and you don't even have to do that! The obligation to respond to these things isn't the same as responding to emails or texts because it's an open forum. Similarly, don't be hurt if you don't get a reaction to something you've posted or tweeted to someone else.

That being said, if someone posts something you don't like and you're an individual (not a company or organization) go ahead and delete, block or unfriend. It’s your prerogative and responsibility to keep your page positive and the way you like it.

3. Friends and Followers

Depending on the privacy settings of your Facebook page and what you use it for, you are not obligated to accept friend requests. That's why there is a request process in the first place.

As for Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, the nature and structure of those is such that it's easier for people to follow you — they are designed more for public sharing and connecting than communicating with a set of ‘friends’. And so, it's rare that people use the private settings, although they are there and you can. Jamey is a big fan of the secret Pinterest board!

It's important to be aware of who your friends, followers and audience are on each platform, what you want to get out of each one and build your network accordingly. Also, don't think people are familiar enough with the detailed level of privacy controls on Facebook. You can really tailor who sees what so that you maintain different levels of ‘friendships’.

4. Oversharing

Keep in mind that although people are not necessarily following you on Twitter or interacting with your posts, you are always present in their feeds, so don't pollute the feeds!

Don't post too frequently, don't complain or be negative, don't comment negatively on other people's pages and don't share depressing information or commentary.

Although these platforms are meant for you to share your personal thoughts and views — especially on a friendly interaction site like Facebook — be careful not to be obnoxious. Double check yourself on the value and purpose of what you're sharing before you share it.

5. The Selfie Debate

We have control over how we present our image to the world online, which is great. Not only that, but our devices are designed to make self-photography easy, so Jamie says she’d  be careless to classify selfies as a faux pas. The key is to use everything in moderation.
Social platforms are naturally competitive and very visual but no one likes a show-off. While the occasional selfie post used to show people you're in a cool location or doing something fun is acceptable, constantly posting photos of yourself when you think you look good is transparent and icky.

It's not good for your self-esteem either — obsessing about the manipulation of your own image online and the reaction your posts get is a dangerous game.

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