Social Media Etiquette

March 24, 2017

Hello everyone!

If you're anything like me, you'll spend a lot of time on social media. Whether it's Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or Facebook, you spend plenty of time scrolling and taking in that information. While doing this, I've noticed a few things people do when using social media that I think is a bit of a misstep, similar to chewing with your mouth open. If we have table manners, we should have Twitter manners, no? Yes. Here are a few things I'd recommend doing to make your social media use enjoyable for everyone.

1. Auto DMs
Auto DMs are those messages you get in your inbox that don't seem all that personal and genuine. They probably contain a link or two. Some might apologise for being an auto DM (ironic).

A lot of bloggers and YouTubers use auto DMs to make an immediate connection with their followers, in particular on Twitter. They send their links and ask you to check them out. I don't really have a problem with this in principle, but I wish people would make them a little bit more pleasant to receive. Most of the ones I get are quite demanding and impersonal, and don't tempt me to look further at all.

Ex: 'Check out my YouTube! [link]'
My reaction: Who are you? What is your channel even about? Do you want ME to subscribe, or do you want me to SUBSCRIBE? You've given me no information, done nothing to incite a conversation, and you've not offered any consideration for me at all.

I think it's important to set up an auto DM that can invite a conversation, if you're going to use them. Ask how the person's day is, ask if they have any goals for the day or year or whatever. Ask to get to know them and keep in touch. Also, tell them a little bit about the link you're sending them. That way you'll get viewers who are interested in your content.

Ex: 'Hello! How are you doing? I'm Hannah, thank you for following me. You may not know already, but I run a beauty blog featuring reviews and tutorials. The link is [link], if you're interested. I'm almost always around if you fancy a chat!'
My reaction: Oh look, a human. A friendly, informative human.

2. Indirects/Hate
Nothing makes me think 'immature' like reading a tweet along the lines of 'you think you're so cool, stfu'.

If you have a problem with someone, sort it out. Going behind their back to bitch about them on the internet is pathetic. If you wouldn't say it to their face (or tag them) then you clearly know it's not something that should be said. Either keep it to yourself, or resolve the issue.

I don't need your petty drama all over my feed.

Ex: 'U nasty little sket, wish u would get tf out of my life'
My reaction: Grow up.

Ex: *considers posting an indirect tweet about someone. Realises it's negative and useless. Gets over it*
My reaction: Well done. You are a positive, mature adult.

Also, if you dislike or disagree with something someone posts, don't hate on them. You can express an opinion without sending death threats and insults. Telling someone to kill themselves can get you charged with manslaughter if they do it, and calling someone names and insulting them makes you look like a complete prat. Think before you post; does it matter, and is it kind? No? Keep it in your head then. There is always a way to word criticism without resorting to cheap insults for a like or two.

3. Links
Think about the links you are sharing. Some links contain viruses, or clickbait, or aren't the kind of thing people want to see on their feed.

'They thought that spider was dead. What happened next? WOW!'
Spoiler alert: The spider was dead. Also your phone now has a virus. Whoops.

'25 Celebs Then and Now'

'Weight loss tips to lose 50lbs in a week!'
Really? You're that gullible? Don't try promoting fast, unhealthy weight loss. You're giving vulnerable people false hope.

I'd much rather see a link to your latest blog post, or to a gallery of cat pictures, than any of these. Also, please remember that not everyone on social media is over 16. Not every link belongs on your Twitter timeline, where a twelve year old could see it. If you use Crowdfire, they sometimes offer suggestions of articles to share. From reading the titles, I can tell that they aren't the sort of links my followers are interested in. Because of this, I don't click to share them. However, some people seem to get a bit 'share crazy'. Let's keep the links interesting, people.

4. Spamming
No one appreciates a follow that's gone a minute after they follow back. There is nothing more douchey than that.

If you're going to follow someone, don't follow just to gain. Obviously it's nice to get a follow back, but it's also nice to see content you're interested in on your feed. Follow bloggers who post about your interests, or people who seem genuinely interesting, and REMAIN FOLLOWING THEM AFTER THEY FOLLOW YOU BACK.

People who follow back, tend to also unfollow back. Think about that before you think you're clever for doing this.

Also under the title of spamming: over-posting. Keeping your social media up to date is a good idea. It keeps you relevant. What's not a good idea is posting something every five minutes. Well done, you've clogged up my feed. Unfollowed.

A few  interesting tweets a day or a pretty picture on Tumblr is far more worthwhile than an up to the minute relay of your day.

Bloggers and YouTubers like comments. They show people engaging with our content, offering feedback both positive and negative and also bump up or blog/channel's status in searches. At least, that's what we like when the comment is relevant.

Let's say I put up a post about my favourite products from Lush. The kind of comments I expect to receive would be 'My favourite Lush product is ... Have you tried it?'.

A lot of people tend to just have a comment that they appear to copy and paste into comment sections, making themselves look dumb in the process. 'WOW great post! I agree! Follow my blog!' Famalam, I just posted about bath bombs - 'wow' worthy? I don't think so. Also notice that this person hasn't mentioned anything about Lush, bath bombs, or anything like that. It's got nothing to do with my post, has it?

If you want more traffic to your blog, no blogger will object to you including a link to your blog at the end of a well thought out response to their post, but just demanding that we check you out when you haven't engaged with us at all isn't going to go down well. Posting comments that are worthwhile means most bloggers will return the favour, bringing in more viewers and engagement to your content.

So please, don't just comment 'f4f?'

These are my thoughts on some of the things I've witnessed on social media. Remember to try to keep your accounts positive towards yourself and others - we all need to vent sometimes but a public platform probably isn't the best place to do it. Stay kind and pleasant to your followers, and think before you post.

What advice would you give about social media etiquette?

Happy tweeting!

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