Discover > Magazine > September 2009 > Social revolution > Social skills
10 social media tips
1. Connect the dots.
“At some point you will find that you have an incredible number of accounts open with various sites,” Finney says. To avoid having to log on to each account to make updates, try linking your Twitter status to multiple sites so that when you tweet, your status is also posted to Facebook, Plaxo, any of your social media sites.
2. Plan your profile.
Be sure to flesh out your profile on each social network before you start connecting to others. You don’t want to be mistaken for one of the many “automated accounts” out there, causing people to block or ignore your account.
3. Speak out.
Don’t be afraid to have open conversations with members in the public forum even when all members do not agree. While you don’t want to have nasty arguments online, a heated but respectful debate is a great way to attract attention and interest. When people can see the decision making process it gives them a better idea of how the club operates and why they should join.
4. Share your sources.
Always give credit to the person who had the original thought or idea you are sharing.
5. Keep it professional.
Personal posting is fine for your personal account. If you have an account in your club’s name, make sure your posts are appropriate for representing the club.
You have a limited number of characters on some platforms and creative abbreviation is fine. Spelling mistakes still reflect poorly on the quality of your information.
7. Don’t believe everything you read.
That is especially true for those things read online, says Dr. Michael Osit, author of Generation Text: “People can lie to you, manipulate or even trick you. And you need to be aware that not everything you see and read is really true.”
8. Keep all audiences in mind.
Only post things you wouldn’t mind your teachers, parents, college recruiters or potential future employers seeing. Nothing is ever really private online.
9. Choose login information carefully.
Vary your passwords and avoid easy-to-guess ones like your best friend’s name or your date of birth. Choose a sentence, or combine your favorite candy with your favorite movie, adding the initials of the site to make them different site by site. Also, don’t share your passwords.
10. Get a second opinion.
Before going “live” with your profile, check it again and have a friend or parent take a look to make sure you aren’t sharing too much personal information.
Sources: Dan Finney and lmk.girlscouts.org.