Many of us heard this often as children. As we played on the playground with our friends, most of us were simply told, “Be Nice.” What does being “nice” mean? Think about it. Are you kind, friendly and courteous to others?
To be “nice” is to be kind to others. On the playground as children, most of us learned a great deal about being “nice”.
It is important to remember that you are defining your brand in a very social environment that reaches many more individuals then you can imagine. Know this for sure; if you are nice to others, you will find success.
Respect. It is a small word that is powerful beyond measure. On the playground as children, we were taught to respect others. We learned to respect our friend’s personal space, property, privacy, values and individuality.
Take these childhood lessons learned with you as you engage with others on Social Media. If someone is not engaging or has upset you, do not address this publicly. If you are marketing a product, do not spam others. If you do not agree with someone’s politics or religion keep your thoughts to yourself. If you must share your opinion or emotions, do so within a private email or direct message. Respect your online connections. They are real people, in real life. The only difference is you are engaging in real life online.
On the playground we were told to share the jump rope, the swings, the slide, the ball, etc. If you were a good “sharer” you may have experienced how wonderful it felt to share with others. Undoubtedly in doing so, you made others feel good about you too.
Make this happen within your online engagements. Share the posts and work of your followers. Leave comments on their site. When you validate others, you send out the energy that you are kind. This will attract many new followers who engage in the same manner.
Look around, The Law of Attraction is operating right in your nest of fabulous.
Say Thank You
When someone was nice to us on the playground as a child, we were taught to say thank you. It is very important to do the same on Social Media. When someone adds you as a connection, mentions you or validates you in anyway, say thank you.
These two words establish trust and likability. Remember, both are critical to brand reputation and to building both business and personal relationships.
When on the playground, we were allowed to have fun and let loose. The same is appropriate at times, on Social Media forums.
However, just as we were told to not “yell” or “scream” on the playground, we must keep our “voice” down on Twitter. Yelling on Social Media is seen when someone uses all capital or bold lettering. Be careful with this. Many will take offense. No Yelling. Ever.
When you were young, did you help another child on the playground when they fell, or did you look at them thinking, “He should have known not to play like that on the jungle gym.”
On Social Media, many untrained and uncertain individuals are joining every day. If you are sent spam, auto Direct Messages or a Facebook friend request without a note, don’t be too harsh. Try to recall the many mistakes you made when the world of Social Media was new to you. Stop and offer help.
My desire and mission is to educate others on the “Fine Art of the Social Media Dance.” This strong desire to help others is the very reason I developed my brand, seminars and trainings. For those of us who are experienced and well versed on the DO’s and DO NOT’s of Social Media, we must remember that just as earlier settlers defined the USA Territories, we are driving today’s “wagon train” and have discovered, developed and defined the social norms for Social Media. Let’s circle our wagons and protect, educate and help our new friends and connections.
Ask for Help
Just as we were told to help others who need us on the playground of our childhood, we were also told to ask for help when we need it.
Reach out to your connections and mentors. Ask questions and seek advice when you need it. If you have been playing “nice” and established your likability and trust reputation, your followers will not hesitate to help. I have been assisted when I have needed it. All I need to say was “Can anyone answer this question….?” I continue to be amazed at how supportive my connections are on Social Media.
It is however, very important to remember when asking for help, that you do not expect or demand free consulting services. Asking a simple question that requires a simple response is appropriate. A “picking someone’s brain” session via the phone or email should be paid for. Taking advantage of someone is never a benefit to your success on Social Media. Remember to respect your connections.
Do you recall jumping rope or playing ball on the playground with your core group of friends, when out of the corner of your eye you saw a classmate sitting alone? We were taught to include that child and we must remember to do so when on Social Media.
Introduce a new follower that you respect to others. If someone joins in a conversation, respond and welcome them to do so. Remember, your core group of connections on Social Media, once never was. At one point, each of us sat alone in our nest. Reach out, engage and include both your core connections and your new ones.
Think about it. It is never acceptable to gossip about another person online or off. Many “fights” on the playground of our youth resulted from such poor behavior, and many have occurred on Social Media as well. To engage, repeat or repost gossip, ill will, or any communication that is hearsay is not only very poor manners, it is against the law to slander others.
Only re post or restate positive statements of others. If you see something negative stated, ask yourself how you feel as you read it. Most of us will have an uneasy reaction. When you repeat such statements, you will have many feel uneasy of you. As a result, you may as well toss the adjectives likeability and trust out of the list of words many may use to describe you.
It is simple, if you have nothing nice to say, do not say, tweet or post anything at all.
Just as we were taught not to gossip about others, we would certainly have faced consequences if we were to use foul language and profanity on the playground. As adults, we are responsible for our actions and reactions to others.
If you engage using profanity on Social Media, you will alienate, offend and loose followers. Trust me. It is not professional, courteous or appealing. I have read posts that have offered very timely and important information that I have been unable to recommend to others. Even a dash of profane language will stop me in my tracks.
Expressing yourself as “you” is important, but if “you” use profanity in your daily life, do not do so on Social Media. Ask yourself, “Would say that word out loud at a networking event?” Most of us would answer no.
Hopefully, you are making new connections each day on Social Media. If so, each post is a first glance and first impression of you to your new followers. Keep the foul language out of your nest.
The Bully of our playground days is often the same bully who acts passively and/or overtly aggressive on Social Media platforms.
You may be observed as a bully if you demand others to friend or follow you, are rude in your engaging and whenever you act as though you have more power then someone else. I have seen this happen often on Social Media platforms. I have observed people publicly announce many rude statements directed at individuals made in the public stream. I will often block anyone who exhibits such behavior or makes statements of others that are in anyway negative. It is toxic and bully like.
You cannot change a bully. I recommend you do not engage or reply to rude behavior. You can only control your reaction to such behavior. Simply hit the block or un-friend button. You are in control of what you see and with whom you engage. Keep your nest clear of negative clutter. This will leave room for connections that are positive and supportive.
Take a Time Out
When we were tired, angry, or feeling badly on the playground, most of us were told to take a time out. If you are feeling negative within your day, take a time out from Social Media.
Word of mouth has gone global; do not share with the world how badly you are feeling. Social Media is not therapy. We are at a networking event and/or social gathering. Ask yourself if you would attend an offline event feeling this way and vent inappropriately there? If you would not, do not engage on Social Media.
Let’s enjoy our playground of today! We may not have posted rules, but we do have many lessons learned that we may implement within our online community conversations. Play nice and you will build a circle of friends, business partners and clients who know, like and trust you!
For more education on Social Media Manners®, join the chat #SMmanners held each Tuesday at 10pm/est live on Twitter
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