We’re used to watching what we say – and how we say it. Communication has always been one of the main modes we use in making connections, and t we’ve always had to be aware of how to we go about it. You were probably taught to be polite, to listen, but also engage – to speak your opinion in a friendly and non antagonistic way, to be calm, to be informative, and to be interesting.
And in 2006, social media widened these communicative horizone a hundredfold with the inception of Facebook and Twitter – and within a year, their popularity skyrocketed, and quickly became social hubs for friends, coworkers, business partners, and more. But as sites themselves have advanced – Twitter now has 232 million mothly active users, and Google Plus’ Hangouts has integrated the WebRTC into a social platform in a way that has never been done before – so have the standards by which users are expected to behave. Facebook may have little in common with an actual business meeting, but they are similar in that they both have standards of etiquette that can make or break your communication with coworkers and clients alike.
Now, we still maintain the need to present ourselves in a way that is approachable, respectable and knowledgeable.
But with so many social media platforms, it’s sometimes hard to keep face. It’s not always easy to remember that posting more than once or twice a day on Facebook looks desperate and too eager, but that tweeting to your Twitter five times a day is just right (if not a little on the low side.)
Every platform has it’s own integrated structure, giving each a specific benefit that you cannot reap from other sites. Because of each entirely unique mode of communication, sharing, and engagement, it’s important to understand how to navigate the social waters on each.
For example, Twitter is the king of connection – with one tweet you can find yourself in a conversation with a celebrity, and one hashtag can hack you in to a whole new conversation with all kinds of new people who #feelthewayyoudo.
Whereas if you looked at a social media site like Facebook, it is much more founded in the honing of an individual or business’s presence, or “face.” It’s the cyber-business card of social media. This is where you’ll find the family photos that were cropped just right, well-edited statuses about the upcoming Christmas marketing season, and perfected header images that reflect a business’s essence, or an individual’s personality.
And unless you spend a lot of time daily on these sites – keeping updated with their new templates and software integrations, interacting with groups, friends, fans, followers, the like – it’s not always easy to understand the nuances that provide a set of rules for how you should conduct yourself on each.
But understanding social media isn’t only a matter of avoiding the typical faux paus of using too many emoticons in one status – it’s utilizing each for their maximum potential. You are on social media because there is much to gain from it. Bussinesses like * and * were made by social media. Companies like * and * were, on the flip side, saved by it.
Social media is your place to shine. Know how to use it – so you’ll know how to take advantage of it.
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