Today, I want to spend a little time talking about social media behavior. I spend a lot of time marketing to clients online and I have more than the average number of social media connections, so probably have a feel for the unspoken rules. In short, don’t annoy people. Think about your audience and whether you’re using your connections, let’s call that exploiting, in a way the average person would find annoying. The real world and the online world, in this case Facebook, can be remarkably similar. SPAM, unsolicited e-mail sent to a large number of addresses, or junk mail in real world, has another meaning for me. To me it means any communication I don’t want. I’m sometimes “Tagged” in a post on Facebook, but occasionally the “TAGGING” moves to an entirely new level. Have you ever been tagged in a commercial advertisement or, if you use Twitter, had an @yourusername added to an unrelated post? Using someone’s online identity to boost traffic or hijack their connections is just annoying! No one wants to see frequent notifications saying they’ve been tagged in a picture or post, only to see a commercial advertisement. We have more limited SPAM filtering for social media. I tend to remove tags the first time or two. If the behavior continues, the only alternative is to eliminate the connection.
While I do also use social media for work, I take the time to show consideration. Pages on Facebook are meant for commercial promotion. I rarely post commercially in my personal feed. Posting real estate listings in a personal feed always feels a little like exploiting my friends. The correct and polite way to promote a product is through a page, where your followers choose to “opt in” or through a reasonable volume of advertising targeted to an audience you feel would want to buy your product. I try to avoid two things. I never want to force anyone to see something too often or see something they find annoying.
When should you tag someone? They’re actually in the picture is one clue. I never mind being tagged, when the picture shows me at an event or activity, with one exception. If the shot is clearly unflattering, you probably should avoid tagging. Just use some common sense and think about it this way. Your friends or connections trusted you to publicly post pictures and share their identity. Exploiting that connection is the height of bad manners…a little like stealing the silverware. It also adds a picture of an unrelated something to their online collection of “Pictures you’re tagged in”…..a future reminder of someone’s poor social media etiquette.