This only matters if you wish to be relevant
Note: This advice only matters if you want to be taken seriously. If you are happy to be a caricature, don’t change anything.
“Interesting is as interesting does.”
Facebook is very interesting. It’s interesting because there are people there.. and people are interesting.
Hint: Interesting is a great term. I use it all the time. Sometimes it means
Interesting: intellectually stimulating due to perspective and life experience or knowledge.
But other times it is a euphemism for “bizarre”, or “mean”, or “foolish”, any number of other less flattering ideas.
If I refer to you, something, or someone as “interesting”, you will have to decipher what I mean.
I don’t apologize
When I give my presentation, “Don’t Waste Your Time: The Ugly Truth About Social Media”, I cover this topic. I used to start the section with, “I apologize if I offend anyone with this.”
But that was a lie. I don’t apologize so I’ve removed that qualifier from this section.
4 People You Cannot Be Online
Facebook for me is a business/social medium. Really, in that order. My advice is geared towards those in a similar position.
The political ranter/conspiracist
The political ranter posts stories and opinions from any “alternative” news source to show that the “other side” is clearly racist, communist, evil, stupid, out to destroy the nation, hates the rich/poor, etc.
Or they post about Obama’s missing birth certificate, how George Bush and his administration are behind 9-11, etc.
I support your right to be as crazy as you want to be. My advice, however, is to keep it within the walls of your Tuesday night meeting of the “Crazy Conspiracy of the Month” club.
We are all a little crazy and you are allowed to be so. My advice is only for those of you who also wish to be taken seriously.
The angry individual/life ranter
“I’m so mad at my husband. He is such at $%^ and sometimes I wonder why I married him.” Or “My son/daughter did x, y, or z stupid thing today. What is wrong with kids?”
Listen, I understand that we all have challenges. But is Facebook and your 500 “close friends” the right place to air this stuff? You have real friends. Call someone up.. rant, complain, etc. – maybe you’ll feel better. But I promise you, I’m probably not the person to help you with this. Plus, most of us believe in the “there are 2 sides to every story” and you are probably just pandering to the worst side of your friends list.
Instead, having a challenging day with someone, if you must post something, post a “Challenging day. Working through some things. Time to call a friend.”
The used car salesman
I see this a lot. Someone post daily a link to their website and a “I do this.” Message. Guess what.. so do many others. Instead, add some value. For instance, write a blog entry or a note that gives me some suggestions on how I can do what you do for myself.
Some people struggle with this concept. Feel as though they are giving away the farm. And yes, you are and you should. Why? Because most people cannot or will not do it for themselves any way. But for those who will, you gain social standing and become a go-to source for that information.
It isn’t about you and your services – it is about adding value to the network.
The social media slut.. er.. loose individual
I wrote a blog entry, “Keep Your Tongue Out of my Mouth”.
Scenario: When I connect with someone I try to put the relationship in context. I write them a note – particularly if I do not know them. I introduce what I do and how I use social media. I ask them to write me back with the same information and then ask them how I can help them.
I had done this with an individual a few months ago. They had not accepted my friend request for a week or so but when they did, they suddenly “invited me” to like more than 15 pages in about 2 minutes. None of the pages were particularly interesting to me.
They never responded to my personal message. They skipped dinner and drinks and stuck their tongue right into my mouth. It was gross!
I don’t “Like” pages unless I “Like them”. I don’t trade likes – because those aren’t really “likes”.
It isn’t a matter of “Am I allowed?” but “Should I?”
Don’t get me wrong. You can be any of those individuals above. I know several of them. I like them. I interact with them occasionally.. but I don’t take them seriously.
Be interesting but don’t be “interesting.”