Being Social

§ July 5th, 2011 § Filed under communication, marketing, small business, training, writing § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , § 10 Comments

There’s always a price to be paid for doing, being, and having more, and it has little to do with working harder or knowing the “right” people. In as few words as possible, “get out more.”  – TUT… A Note from the Universe (Mike Dooley)

A few events lately have convinced me that it is time for some comments on social media. This is not designed to be a list of rules. One of the things I love about social media is that it is still in flux. We’re learning “acceptable” behavior as we go along. I’ve come up with a few suggestions, though, and would welcome your comments.

To the extent that you would keep your personal life and work life separate, keep your personal and work social media separate. I have two Facebook pages – one for business and one that is personal. My personal page is primarily a space for connecting with friends, although many of my friends are also business acquaintances. I only become “friends” with people I have actually met (with a few famous exceptions), and all are people whom I would invite to my home.

I started with two Twitter accounts, but am starting to meld those into one.  I accept everyone at LinkedIn, because I view that as a business network only.

I don’t think there should be any rules here, except to think about what your purpose is for the particular social media channel before you start accepting friends, following, and linking. Let that purpose guide you. Just stay civil online and be sure to proofread. Remember who has access when posting your location or any updates.  If your friends have photos of you in compromising positions, well, that’s another whole issue.

Please remember that just because you are good at connecting on social media does not mean that you are sociable. Sometimes the skills that make a person truly excellent at social media are not the skills that make him or her personable or well-mannered. Both venues require a bit of “walking in the other person’s shoes,” but the in-person interaction can be more difficult for people who are introverted. If you feel more comfortable online, you may need to work on your face-to-face manners. Make sure that you smile, make eye contact, act courteously, and follow through on commitments. When you are with someone in person, stop texting and updating, and be present.

Finally, the more social media you participate in, the more you need to connect in real life to balance yourself out. Recently, I joined a new friend for lunch. We initially met through a #BMPR event and started following each other on Twitter. We know each other more based on what we Tweet than an in-person connection. As I approached her, I realized that I was visualizing her name with an @ in front of it.

That’s when you know you have spent too much time online.

What guidelines would you like for social media? Join the conversation – post your comments here.

10 Responses to “Being Social”

  • Sylvia Herrera says:

    I will follow your advice…once I start facebooking. Sylvia

  • Mike Reyes says:

    Hi Crystal,
    Great topic! I especially agree with; “when you’re with someone,stop texting,checking your email, etc.”. The message you’re sending that person is that they are less important than the person you’re texting, who is not even there! How’s that for poor manners, what would Mama think? 🙂


  • I’d like to offer up a suggestion: social media is for connecting, sharing, etc. I find when posts are judgemental they take away from the connecting/sharing purpose and consequently, creates a new tone…and not a good one. Opinions are fine and intended, but perhaps judgement is best kept off the internet

  • admin says:

    Sylvia, it’s time!

  • admin says:

    Mike, you are so right. I turn my phone to silent when I’m meeting with anyone. I don’t want to be distracted.

  • admin says:

    Andrea, I don’t think we need to avoid posting our opinions, but keeping civil is crucial. If we met someone face-to-face and they expressed a point of view that we disagreed with, we would probably just let them know that we don’t share that view. But there is no point in arguing. Now if we could just get Congress to adhere to civility. (sigh)

  • Dan Scanlon says:

    Crystal, I, too, am balancing a couple of twitter accounts, working on setting up a third Facebook presence (business), & starting up a second blog (also business).

    I think I’m very aware of what I say, how & to whom, but I have been caught out a few times, as well. You make a VERY good point of balancing online participation with face-to-face interaction.

    To that end I’m working with somebody in Austin to set up a sister Formula 1 racing fan club here in San Antonio – it’s a work in progress. We are ALL excited about Formula 1 coming to South/Central Texas & the stallar racing facility (Circuit of The Americas) being built just south of the Austin Bergstrom airport, in Elroy, TX

  • admin says:

    Dan, it can get confusing, can’t it? I’m starting to realize that I’m probably better off just being me – no matter where I am. That means sharing the political and spiritual side of me with business contacts. I’m not sure I want to do that, but it sure would be easier than trying to keep those parts of me separated.

    Good luck on the Formula I efforts!

  • Jackie says:

    I know it can be confusing keeping the business you separate from the personal you. But if you ever want a living example of why you don’t want to share your political and spiritual self with all of your business contacts just look at the Brown Coffee Co. mess over the last few weeks. It all started with a short tweet expressing his personal opinion. Agree or disagree, it has had an impact on his business.

  • admin says:

    Jackie, if I ever expressed an opinion like the one tweeted by Brown Coffee, I’d stop doing business with myself. 🙂

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