You know, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a social media “rule” is actually a generally accepted social convention or merely the opinion of the author of a list of rules like this list of The 29 Rules of Social Media. Now, to start with, I have a rule for blogs and other websites that I wish everyone would follow and that is, DON’T have weird features on your website that make it difficult or confusing for first time visitors like, for example, like having the content not appear until you move your mouse to the right. What the F, dude? Seriously? Why?
But anyway, moving on. Some of the 29 rules are site specific so I’ll skip over the ones for sites I’ve never visited, and I’ll skip over some others because I simply don’t have anything to say about them. First, for all sites:
Share several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours. – I’m not good with scheduling. Well, I’m okay but I share when I have something to say or when I have a few minutes when I have nothing better to do. It’s social media, dude, not like a job.
Respond to all comments as quickly as you can. – I would like to respond quickly but sometimes I just don’t have anything to say and sometimes I don’t think of anything until hours or a day or two later.
Know the art of the hashtag. 1 hashtag is fine. 10 hashtags are not. – Agreed. I don’t use hashtags much anyway.
Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second. – I hadn’t heard of the 80/20 rule. It depends on what I’m looking for. If I’m looking for entertainment I expect it to be 100% entertainment. If I’m looking for shoes or fabric or something it’s okay if you’re trying to sell it to me.
These are for Twitter:
Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you. – Shouldn’t that be “people who follow you”? Anyway. Not sure about this one. Seems like a good rule but I can see how this might seem polite to some people.
Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply. – Ridiculous! Sometimes 140 characters is barely enough and you expect me to limit myself to even fewer?
I haven’t been on Twitter regularly for a long time. I like it, maybe better than Facebook, and keep thinking I want to get back on it but for some reason I just don’t.
Don’t Like your own post. – Do people do that? Actually, I wouldn’t do it but I don’t see how it could hurt or inconvenience anyone. So someone’s post has 4 likes instead of 3, or 1 instead of none. Is this really a problem? Sure it says something about you if Like your own posts but other than that…
Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission. – Probably a good idea for legal reasons.
Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post. – Agreed. I haven’t experienced this myself though.
Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares. – OMG! YES! Please, please, please stop doing this! I get so freaking tired of the “Share if…” you love your mom, dad, kids, husband, wife, brother, sister, America, Jesus, or puppies images on Facebook. This is one of those things, though, that I was talking about that are probably opinions more than social conventions because almost everyone seems to think this is okay.
I’m not on LinkedIn or Instagram so I won’t comment on those. I signed up for Pinterest but I’ve never used it because there were no instructions or “getting started” guide or anything like that. Or at least not an adequate guide. I can’t remember exactly. Sure I could have figured it out but I hate being a newbie and not knowing how to do anything and having to figure it out as I go along. The rules? I’m not sure. I was interested in Pinterest mainly as a way of keeping track of things I see online that I want to be able to find again so I don’t have to keep bookmarking things and have an endless list of bookmarks which I will probably lose again because I always do eventually. But that was just my idea; I’m not sure how Pinterest really works and it’s kind of annoying to think that if I ever started using it I would have this social obligation to use it a certain way and follow certain rules when all I really want to do is keep track of stuff.
I’m on Google+ but I rarely use it. I think I might (not sure because I haven’t used it that much) like it better than Facebook if anyone I know was actually on it and actually used it but the few family and friends I have that use social media prefer Facebook so that’s where I go too.