Thought we were kidding about sharing social media info? We’ll be doing that more in addition to sharing the decorative painting & design visuals! (It’s all about balance here at Fauxology — creating the beauties AND running a creative business.) Dana Tucker shares her thoughts and experiences surrounding “netiquette”, meaning, the proper etiquette to keep in mind while surfing the web. It’s a fantastic post and I hope you enjoy it! Take it away, Dana!
I have to admit that I am a digital early adopter. As soon as I heard about Twitter, I was on board and tweeting within the hour. It was so new at the time that no one really knew how to use it properly. It became clear to me very quickly that the way to use this new technology to my advantage was to LISTEN FIRST and build relationships.
My mom gave me some very valuable advice when I was in 4th grade. I was having trouble making friends and she said, “The way to make friends is to NOT talk about yourself. Ask them what they like to do, what their interests are, and what fun things they have going on in their life”. To this day , that is the most valuable advice anyone has ever given me. This advice also holds true in the social media landscape. Ronda Carman of All the Best Blog stated this point perfectly during her session at the Design Bloggers Conference. She said, “Social Media is like a big, giant cocktail party.”
You wouldn’t barge into a cocktail party saying, “Look at me”, “Buy products from me”, “Read my blog”, “Take my class”. You would ease into conversations, build a rapport and gain credibility. You would ask questions of the other person and then respond to questions asked of you. Keep this in mind as you navigate the social media webisphere and it will serve you well.
The absolute best reference I can offer on this topic was recently written by Chris Brogan called AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA. I would make this article required reading if you are using social media in any form. I am including some of his pointers below and have added some of my own tips for the painting/design industry.
- Friending Do yourself a favor and “friend” or “follow” everyone you can find in your industry including your competition. Being friends with your competition might require you to sensor some of your posts and not tweet/post intimate details of what you are working on, but the rewards will be far greater. Not only will you be inspired by seeing and hearing about the wonderful projects and commissions that are being executed, you will be pushed to your limits to produce your best work when you know that it will be seen/heard/commented on by a jury of your peers. I have personally benefited greatly by making friends with local artists. It has led to collaboration, camaraderie, and lead sharing.
- Commenting The SINGLE BEST WAY to build relationships is by commenting on others’ posts, photos, tweets, status updates, videos, blogs, etc… Be genuine. If you see something you like, hit the “like” button. If you see something you love, leave a comment. If you see something amazing, share it with your friends. Think about it. Wouldn’t it make your day to have someone share your art, project, or profound thoughts with the world? While we are on this topic I’d like to make two points. a) ALWAYS give credit to the original poster and the source. Someone is working hard to find all the great articles and projects you see. If you like it and re-post it, give credit to the person who found it in the first place. b) If you are reading a blog post someone has posted on Facebook or Twitter, don’t just comment on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you also leave a comment on the actual blog post itself. Think of it as giving the blogger a pat on the back. Bloggers work very hard coming up with fresh and relevant content. There is nothing more rewarding for a blogger than to see multiple comments on a post. It is validation that they are on the right track with their readers.
- Don’t re-tweet or re-post someone’s praise of you In a real life social situation would you walk up to someone and say, “Hey, everyone says the project I just finished was gorgeous?” Uh, No! Instead make a habit of re-posting and re-tweeting the compliments that the friends in your network are receiving. Hopefully, they will return the favor and do the same for you.
- Interact I think the biggest opportunity people miss with social media is that they throw out a tweet, post, or status update that sparks conversation and they don’t join in. You should always be gracious, thank people for compliments and comments and “likes”. Isn’t that how you would respond in real life? As Chris Brogan says, “You should be the #1 commenter on your blog”. I would also stretch that to include being the #1 commenter in your comment streams on your Facebook wall.
- Linking If you are talking about someone in your blog, link to their website, blog, facebook or twitter page. If you are mentioning someone on Facebook, link to their profile. On Twitter, use the @ and their Twitter handle. This is a great way to promote your friends by introducing them to all your other friends.
- Posting- If you have a business, a blog, or something you are selling, promote OTHERS more than you promote yourself. The rule of thumb is 10:1. For every one thing you say to promote yourself you should say 10 things NOT about yourself.
So there you have it, some basic guidelines to winning friends and influencing people on line. It’s time to practice, jump in and join the conversation!
- Dana Tucker