Social Media Best Practices

We’ve heard a number of ideas on using social media as a tool. Here is some of what the SPJ has to say about some of the best social media practices:

1. Start with a plan: Before you sign up for a social site, come up with a game plan. You should be able to answer these questions: What do you want to accomplish? How much time do you have to spend on maintaining a social profile? …
2. Fill out your profile: Adding a photo or filling out your bio may seem basic, but it shows the community that you care. …
3. Be transparent: Interacting with folks on social sites can be a very personal experience. Users want to trust you – so make sure your profiles honestly portray who you are, what company you work for and why you’re on that site.

4. Be genuine: Stay true to who you are. People will want to connect with you if they feel you offer an authentic relationship. …
5. Stay active and commit time to building your profile: Creating a successful profile online can take weeks, if not months. During that time you’ll learn it’s important to maintain and update your profile every day. …
6. Listen and interact: For the most part, being active on social sites requires two things: participating and listening. Remember that your profile isn’t a one-sided conversation. …
7. Follow people back: It’s a general courtesy to follow those who friend you. …
8. Edit your posts: Become familiar with the editing options each site offers. On Twitter you can determine how your Tweet reads; but did you also know that you can edit the headline, description and photo on a link posted in Facebook or a link submitted to Digg? …
9. Track metrics: If you’re not sure how much of an impact you’re making, check your metrics. This could be as easy as setting up an account with bit.ly, a link shortening service. …
10. Mistakes happen: We all make mistakes online, but it’s important to learn from them and move on. If a message does go out that’s incorrect or inappropriate, take a moment to correct that mistake or apologize. …

Note: post edited 6/14/10

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