In 35 years of business ownership, I’ve seen a lot of change. It’s hard to even remember a time when we didn’t rely on computers. It really makes me laugh to remember my first cell phone. It was about the size of a shoe with a huge antennae that stuck out of my purse – sort of like carrying a large umbrella. And all you could use it for was phone calls- remember that?!
Change comes so fast you can just blink – then find yourself staring at something new you must adapt to. The key to maintaining your equilibrium in our fast-paced world is holding fast to those things that are unchanging.
One thing that will never change is the importance of relationships. Regardless of how many gadgets you own, success revolves around relationships. This applies to success in business, marriage, parenting – success in everything.
An enduring truth is that strategies change but principles don’t. And so it is with etiquette and manners in the context of Social Media. I smile to think that Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior has been updated to include cell phone etiquette. There have always been those who set the gold standard for manners (especially in my world, but that’s a story for another time). That gold standard has not yet been set in the world of Social Media, so I’m jumping in to help set the bar high.
Social Media Manners – 3 Truths to Build On
1. Do what you say, say what you mean, be what you seem. In other words, be yourself. Your best self. It was ingrained in me that “if you always tell the truth, you’ll never have to remember what you told who.” It’s all about being anchored to the core values of integrity & authenticity.
2. Be nice. Robert Fulghum’s simplification of this important truth resulted in his bestseller, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten“. His list of rules directly applies to Social Media:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody…
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.”
3. Get over yourself, it’s not about you. I had to learn years ago not to live by feelings and emotions (as valid as they may be) in order to stay focused on the truly important things. I refer to core values a lot, and it’s because they ARE the truly important things. Behavior that is motivated by kindness and consideration may ride in new forms in our digital, high tech world, but the core value of caring and a generous spirit is bedrock to build on.
Of course, once you’ve laid a solid foundation, there’s much to do. Practical things that take time and effort. Obviously, success in Social Media isn’t based on good intentions – it depends on you showing up consistently and getting involved in a meaningful way.
Take 5 minutes to test your social media savvy with this free Quiz. You’ll receive a FREE pdf on the ABC’s of Social Media Manners when you complete the quiz. Test your savvy now!