If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network, you have probably run across people with annoying egos and their relentless stream of tweets or updates. There are people who think they’re an “expert” at anything (or everything) and aren’t afraid to make it known.
Of course, the real experts who have the insightful information to share usually have a better grasp on how much to say, and how often to say it. The rules of social interaction that you already know from real life actually apply online as well. But given the always-on nature of social networks, it’s good to check yourself so you don’t inadvertently repel the audience you’re trying to attract. Here are a few guidelines:
Don’t Oversell. Sure, you might be a good salesperson, but the key to keeping customers is knowing when to stop selling. Savvy internet audiences (i.e., the kind you want) know when they’re being marketed to no matter how clever you think you are. Sell too much, and they’ll tune you out. Whether you’re hawking a product or selling yourself, less is always more.
Don’t Overpost. Post a few insightful comments or witty updates each day. Posting every 30 minutes with replies, one-liners, and pointless statements is a quick way to get people to stop following you. People will think less about how awesome you are and instead wonder if you ever get any work done.
Don’t Overshare. Ever heard of TMI? It stands for “too much information,” and if you want to be professional and taken seriously there are certain things in your personal life that should not be revealed. Keep it classy and ask yourself if you’d really want your boss and colleagues to know about your personal hygiene habits (or lack thereof).
Don’t Be Rude. This seems pretty obvious, but the Internet has an uncanny ability to bring out the worst in some people. Before you hit ‘post,’ think: (a) Would I say this to someone’s face? And, (b) Do I want this remark to live forever? That should tell you everything you need to know whether or not to make it public.
Straightforward, isn’t it? Applying the social norms of the real world online and honing your self-editing skills will keep those followers following.