Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Quick Refresher on Social Media Etiquette

Recently I was asked, along with the rest of the executive board of Temple University’s Public Relations Student Society of America, to host a social media workshop for PRSSA members. Most of my colleagues selected a specific social media channel to present on but I wanted to focus on something larger, more encompassing. I chose to create a basic list of what to do and what to avoid on social media. A thought struck me while writing my section of the presentation: this information is crucial for anyone living in the digital age, not just PRSSA members. So, without further adieu, I present to you a very condensed refresher on social media etiquette.

So, what exactly is social media? Social media refers to web and mobile technologies that foster instant, interactive dialogue between peers, organizations, companies, and public figures. Social media creates networks of people who share common interests, backgrounds, beliefs, attitudes, and values. Recently, social media has been an integral part in organizing everything from Saturday night parties to democratic movements.

Here are three key tenants of proper social media use:

  • Play nice. Treat your fellow digital citizens how you would like to be treated. Respect the opinions and privacy of others, limit cursing and be as helpful as possible.
  • Be interactive. The “social” in social media is there for a reason. Social media is perfect for exchanging ideas and networking, don’t waste the opportunity by setting up excessive privacy filters.
  • Personal, not private. Everything you say online is public and permanent. Social media is a great personal tool; just don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want a future employer or your parents to see.

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