Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Social Networking Mistakes You Might not Know You’re Making
By OFW editor: Renée Miller
Published: November 23, 2012

 

 
Social networking is a fucking nightmare of confusing messages and mistakes. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve made many and I imagine there are many more I’ll make in the future. I’ve managed to piss a lot of people off in my short time in social media, but I do learn from my unintentional assholery. I do. I'd like to share with you some accidental mistakes most of you don’t realize you’re making online. And it’s okay if you’re all “Oops.” because we all make mistakes, right? If you’re doing any of these things on purpose, though, there will be consequences. Grave consequences. Don’t think I don’t know who you are.
 
1. Accidental Spamming
There is a certain pace people expect you to keep, a certain number of tweets or status updates per day, when you venture into the social network highway, and if you exceed it, they get really annoyed. Tweeting is great. Status updates are necessary, but few people can tweet about the same thing more than three or four times each day before folks start hitting the “unfollow” button. You’re dinged for tweeting about the same shit the rest of the world is tweeting about too. Unless you’re spectacularly funny or hotter than a god, you won’t get away with anything spammy like that. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to be spammy. They don’t care. Spamming is spamming. Just slow down, Skippy.
 
2. Ignorance
Did you know you’re supposed to reply to messages and questions? Yeah, you are. It seems like the polite thing to do, but we’re online, man. I mean, surely we don’t have to reply to everything. You must reply to messages and direct questions, even if it’s just a “yeah, dude” kind of reply. Acknowledge the effort made. That’s all.
 
3. Not Engaging Enough
And what is adequate engagement in social media? Fuck if I know. I’ve learned that retweeting everything, and only answering direct communication with a “yes” or “no” or “Oh yeah?” is not enough engagement. Let folks see who you really are, or at least who you want them to believe you are. Sure, the inner you is probably scary, but the Internet generation likes scary. Walking Dead isn’t a hit because people don’t like freaks and weirdos. You’ll fit right in. So go ahead, get to know some of your tweeps. Share a little too much information now and then.
 
4. Lost Punctuation
Edit. Your. Comments. That is all.
 
5. Misspelling
See number 4.
 
6. Vanishing
We go offline sometimes and forget that Cyberspace exists, but this is the kiss of death in social media. If you need social media, and most new authors do, don’t vanish on your Internet friends. They get snaky about that, and then they forget who you are. Then, when they clean their “list” they see your face and say “Hmm…that’s the fucker that just abandoned me.” Click. You’re gone. No more networking for you. When you return to the Worldwide Web, you’re two hundred “friends” less popular.
 
7. Replying To Everything
While replying is expected, you don’t have to reply to every damn thing you see. If someone is just answering your question, for example, it’s okay to let them have the last word. If someone shared your link, you don’t have to reply to the sharing. Goodness, you’d spend all day on Twitter if you suddenly became popular, and your thank yous and such would fill up everyone’s feeds, and then they’d get annoyed—see where this is going?
 
8. Offending everyone.
You can offend, but strategically. Try your best not to piss off the world. Choose small and varied groups of people, and make sure they deserve offending. Okay? Cool.
 
9. Being too good to be true.
You can’t like everyone and everything. If you do, folks will start eyeing you suspiciously.
 
10. Becoming obsessed.
If you have to quit your job to keep up with social media, it’s time for an intervention. You my friend need a twelve step program. Just turn the computer off and let’s go for a little walk. Outside. Yes, where the wild things are.
 

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