The Star Trek (2009) Trailer has a great moment where the bad guy, who seems to be getting pummeled screams "Fire Everything."
So how does this play in your Social Media engagement world? Some questions for reflecting on how you engage with "community" and what type of conversationalist you are.
Social Media Questions to Help Your Self-Evaluation
Do you run into a party and yell, "HEY EVERYBODY, I’VE ARRIVED!"
How often do you update your Facebook status?
Do you use IM/Chat on Facebook? What services are you connected to? And when do you open them?
Do you have different social networks/sites for different purposes?
What is your most relevant profile on the web? So if I Googled your name (which I’m doing right now as you read this) what is the most important piece of information YOU want me to have about you?
What is good Twitter etiquette? And do you have different habits for your Facebook page or LinkedIN page?
Age old social media bait question: Do you keep your personal and professional social media information separated? Do you think it is helpful to imagine a separation even if Googling will not filter them for anyone else?
Now I will try and answer the question in my opinion. (IMO = in my opinion OR IMHO = in my humble opinion, which it is rarely humble, but I’m working on that)
Social Media Rules of Engagement (Participation and Being Real Online)
A. I don’t enter a room and try and dominate the presence. So you might consider how you enter conversations. Even asynchronous conversations. (asynchronous example: commenting and posting on social media sites at various times during a week or month) An senior citizen once told me, "Take a while to get to know us before you speak." That is the best social media advice you will get all year.
B. Facebook or LinkedIN status updates. The question came out of a philosophical question I posed to a friend this morning as we were talking about online stuff. "So if I started using Tweetdeck to update my FB status (now possible) every time I tweeted, would that be cool or not cool?"
The answer was, "Definitely not cool."
The reasoning was about how Facebook or LinkedIN have been used in the past. Neither of us use FB or L-In for "chat" or conversation. At least not at the "status" level. But… Everything is changing. The sites and tools are changing. Twitter is changing FB and LinkedIN. (Maybe not for the better, but that is for you to decide.)
So would it be gaming the FB world to update my status 15 times a day? (that’s my average tweet output) At the moment I would have to say yes. But the newest Tweetdeck has added a check box to allow me to update my Facebook and Google+ updates.. Contemplating.
UPDATE 2012: I now FB about 3 – 8 times a day. There are a few of us that carry on healthy dialogues using FB. Post a funny question and 10 or so friends will comment. Give an open ended status update and some friends will ask, "What was that about?" And my Twitter participation has fallen off. Try asking an open-ended question on Twitter these days. I get NOTHING.
C. I don’t like chat on FB. Not sure why, but the FB "friends" are not necessarily the "close" contacts that I want to be available to via IM/chat. So for the most part, when I am on FB proper (as in browsing the FB site) I keep my "chat" feature off, by showing my status as "offline." But I’m might be online, I’m just not that into SOME of my FB "friends."
But Adium, my multi-service IM client (now I can even add my skype to it) allows me to connect to FB and LinkedIN chat using the one interface. But… I don’t like it. I have disconnected my FB IM info from Adium. I had to do so with Skype too, because I was getting too much noise. And I will admit that I am opening Adium or IM less and less. Currently less than once a day. So if you wanna ping me you’d be best of sending an email. (yep, remember that old thang?) Twitter maybe, but I don’t really stay on Twitter either.
D. Different Sites for Different Functions (NOT in order of priority)
Facebook (for fun, apps and groups are mostly play)
Uber.la (my blog and voice to the world)
iGoogle (my own RSS dashboard and search engine)
Posterous (an alternative blog platform where I am experimenting with poetry, music and more "best of" type posting)
Tweetdeck (not really a site, I know, but tell that to Seesmic or Peoplebrowsr, so it feels like a site that’s wrapped in AIR)
Another NOT-AN-APP but Txting has become the communication mode of choice with a number of close friends
E. My consolidated profile page on uber.la, but I am building that one to serve this function. If I had to pick one, I’d have to go with LinkedIN. Cause in the end, social media is fun but if it doesn’t result in business for someone at the end of the day, I won’t get paid.
F. Twitter Ettiquette. The number of status, or posts on Twitter is pretty much unlimited. I’m actively seeking insights to this question on the Twitter Way page. On FB and LinkedIN, I’d say between 1 – 3 status updates a day would be a max.
G. PUBLIC/PROFESSIONAL vs PRIVATE social media networks. Good luck if you are trying to keep them separate. But the best piece of advice I’ve seen on this topic is this. Don’t post it, tweet it, IM it, email it to ANYONE unless you are comfortable with it being on the front page of YOU.COM. Cause ultimately those drunk date pics are going to find their way back to haunt you, like they did the stars of High School Musical and Pamela Anderson. Just don’t do it.
H. Your resume is now Google. Search your name and your Twitter ID on a regular basis. Set up a Google Alert to send an email when a new mention of your name is found. It’s a nice confirmation that your blog post has been indexed AND it will alert you to any places where you need to respond to questions or give updates. KNOW YOUR GOOGLE SERP. (Search Engine Results Page)