Social Member Responsibilities and Group Etiquette
1. When joining a social network you are expected to become very familiar with its User Agreement Dos and Don’ts.
2. Once registered configure your account. I highly recommend that you choose to the security options the platform may offer. Not all platforms have security by default so you have to secure your account manually through your profile settings.
3. Be prepared to develop your social profile to suit/compliment the given social platform you have just joined. There are several genres of platforms so I recommend you do not cookie-cut your profile across the various networks. This will help others in your sphere-of-influence (SOI) across your network see you in diverse lights.
4. It is imperative that you develop your profile before you begin contacting your SOI, attempt to expand it, or join interest groups.
Designing Your Profile for Publication
“Prepare the face to meet the faces that you meet” Speaking the language of your consumers.
I learned this from T.S. Eliot in ninth grade while I was attending special extracurricular privately funded programs at Columbia University
1. Do not use email on your profile headline or title field. When you break the paradigm norm, it creates distrust. Including your email address next to your profile name or title is usually construed as a desperate and aggressive move. It is counterproductive. Find the happy medium. Hence, if you wish to publish your contact information it is recommended you place it in the “Personal Contact Information” module. In some platforms this module can be re-positioned up or down where ever you wish
2. Refrain from overt open solicitations such as “Invite me! Let’s Connect”. This behavior is usually against Group Rules for valid reasons. A skilled marketer/social networker knows intuitively not to solicit. It is much more productive to create alliances through an appropriate situational bonding process
Joining groups of interest
1. Groups and forums are important social venues for many reasons:
a. Meeting new people
b. Sharing your thoughts
c. Displaying your professional skill sets prowess through discussions
d. The perfect venue for developing your SOI and creating social and/or professional alliances.
Upon entering a group as new member
1. Read your “Welcome Message” and follow its guidance on what is expected of you as a group member
a. Group Owners in a social network expect you to be familiar with the User Agreement of the given social/professional platform as well as the individual Group rules in support their group’s mission and vision.
2. Upon entering the group, immediately look for the “Group Rules” and read them carefully
a. If you have questions regarding the group rules send message to the owner requesting clarification
b. The Group Rules is usually an adaptive living document. Hence it is your responsibility to read them from time to time to keep in tune and refresh your memory
3. Give before you take! Do not join a group just so that you can begin advertising your products and services. And never ever advertise a competing group unless you have written permission to do so
4. Remember that your Discussion posts are your calling cards. They are the equivalent of your thirty seconds commercials. Hence, you might wish to think about:
Ø How you approach your fellow members
Ø Blatantly and/or insidiously nagging solicitations are viewed as anti-social
Ø When someone sends you an invitation; be flattered no matter who it is. Do not demonstrate anti-social tendencies by reporting the person. Either ignore or send them a thank you note. It is never wise to burn bridges!
Ø Hence, be kind and embracing of others. Respect yourself enough to demonstrate appreciation of your fellow members
Managing Your Discussions threads
Responsibilities of a Discussions Poster:
1. Before you start posting browse for similar topics
a. Most group platforms have a Search tab. Take advantage of it. Your will discover a wealth of knowledge others have shared…
b. Existing Discussions can easily be revived by continuing to post comments
2. Posting a well written Statement
3. Managing your thread
When you wish to ask a question of your fellow members or pose a premise, present a hypothesis, and/or share your theories on a subject matter for which you would appreciate feedback; you must manage it if you wish to maximize the level of responses:
1. Acknowledge the responses with a tone of appreciation
2. If needed ask for clarification to their responses
3. If you are not getting any responses, perhaps it is because you might have to re-phrase yourself
4. … but never, ever abandon your Discussions; especially if members are demonstrating interest by engaging. It is your responsibility as a poster to make sure that the Group Rules are being observed within your thread
I. Read and understand your community Group Rules
II. Browse around the group and become acquainted with the consensus
III. Become acquainted with the group’s Managers and use them to your advantage
IV. Introduce yourself to the group
a. Most groups will have an on-going discussion thread established for the sole purpose of encouraging the new member to introduce his skill sets to the group. This is his/her thirty second commercial.
V. Be involved and engaging
a. Some groups have a Community Suggestion Box
i. Always share your views on how to improve your community
ii. What you enjoy the most about your group
iii. What things you would change about your group
iv. …and anything else you would like to share with your group managers
Thank you and Happy Social Media Cyber Trails…
~ Virginia BenedictProfessional Social Media Community Management (since 1992)
Market Engineering Strategist (cir 1984)
Systems & Network Security/Computer Forensics (cir 2000)
Technologies Analyst (since 1989)
“Encouraging Innovation Through Though Process” ©All WWRR
P.S., This document is a work-in-progress. Please feel free to message me with your feedback and suggestions, additions or comments. If your feedback is added to the document you shall be given credit.