How To Be A Good Social Citizen
Your digital life and real life aren’t separate entities, but are intertwined. Manners, courtesy and general social constructs still exist online. Your efforts to be a good citizen translate to the Web. So take a second to ask yourself: Are you a good SOCIAL citizen? If you’re not sure, here are a few diagnostic questions to ask yourself:
Do you push?Is every post a promotion of your business or product? This is the equivalent of sending junk mail and shoving flyers in people’s faces. It’s annoying. And just like junk mail and flyers tossed aside (or hopefully recycled), the message you are pushing will be ignored.
Do you interact?Are you on a social network but not an active participant, using it only for collecting information? Maybe no one knows you are doing this, but it’s important to interact with others online, just like in person. You can interact in many ways, from commenting on blog posts to participating in discussions on LinkedIn. If you have something of value to add to a conversation or would like to start a new conversation, say it.
Do you respond?Ignoring someone who talks to you directly is just as rude on a social network as it is in person. If someone engages with you, respond! Even if it is negative, you need to respond. If you let a negative comment hang out there without responding, it has the potential to get much worse.
Do you stalk?It’s okay to really like a brand or person, but liking and responding to every single post is a little creepy. And if you are doing this to try and increase your own influence rating, it’s pretty obvious. Especially if you are posting links every time. For example:
Awesome Person: I really like X because of Y. Stalker: Really!? Me too! See here: www.worthlesslink.com
Do you overload?If you are posting 10+ updates at once, you can count on being unfollowed almost immediately. It’s too much, and it makes it seem like you are just posting to post. A good rule for real life and digital life: Speak when you have something valuable to say, but otherwise stay silent.
Social Citizenship RemediesIf you think you might be a bad social citizen, don’t worry. It’s easy to fix, and you can always find a second chance. Just keep in mind the following for a full recovery:
- The Internet is a place to engage with others, not just push your own agenda or content.
- Relationships and great networks can be created simply by interacting with others.
- There’s no silence that needs to be filled on a network--you don’t have to say random things to ensure there isn’t a pause.
- Dumping content into a network is likely to get you dumped.