This is a guest post that I wrote for Joey Strawn‘s blog. Joey and I met through Twitter and have become fast friends. Joey will be guest posting on my blog this week as well, so be sure to come back for an awesome post from him.
* * *
Okay, okay, I know there are no “rules” for social media. I get it. There’s no right way to use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You don’t get a handbook when you sign up and you are completely at liberty to use the tools however you like.
But let’s be completely honest here — there are some sure-fire ways to hack people off when using social media. If you want to use social media for good (and I hope you do), here’s a list of “UnRules” or things to avoid so you can build a strong, engaged community:
UnRule #1 — Don’t send automated Direct Messages.
People who use automated direct messages are spammers. You may fight me on this one, but these are unwanted messages that are purely promotional – “Check out my post about how you can get a gagillion followers with this free tool!” or “Thanks for following! Check out my blog! Like me on facebook! Download my e-book!”. It feels like a used car salesman screaming at you. What’s even worse is when you receive these messages at 3 a.m.
Other automated DMs include a seemingly personal message by asking you to “tell me about yourself.” Although this seems okay at first blush, many people don’t respond when you actually reply. So, did they really want to connect with you? Probably not. If the point of social media is to connect, shouldn’t you strive for human interaction instead of using a robot? If you want to welcome followers, do it the old fashioned way — one at a time.
To read the complete list of “UnRules”, check out the full post on Joey Strawn’s blog.