Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How To Be a Good Social Media Steward

As a blogger, I am very active on social media. I co-host a linkup on Sundays and read a lot of blog posts. I participate in 2 sharing pods on Instagram and look at a lot of Instagram posts. While I love to hate on Facebook, I have an active presence there with a page and participation in several sharing groups. I use Twitter but still don't really get it. Pinterest is one of my number one referral sources and so I work really hard to develop pins that are attractive and likely to be repinned.

So you might call me fairly well acquainted with social media. I wouldn't call myself an expert. I play by the rules. I come by my likes and shares fairly.

Sometimes social media makes me cranky. Not only because people don't follow the "rules" but because they're posting things that maybe they shouldn't. Based on my observations, I've got some tips for playing nice on social media.



Check Your Spelling and Grammar Before You Post: Poor spelling and bad grammar just make you look unintelligent. Grammarly is a free plugin that no blogger should be without. 'Nuff said.

Stay Positive, but Keep it Real: No one wants to read a rant or constant complaining, but people know that life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Even if you're having a really bad day, find something good to say. It's also ok to share if you're having a tough time. Sometimes the glass is half empty.

Consider Your Tone: As someone who is fluent in sarcasm, I've learned the hard way that sometimes sarcasm doesn't translate well in a text message. Read, re-read, and re-read again before you post. Or post a disclaimer.
catchingfireflies.com
Give Credit Where Credit is Due: It isn't easy to come up with an original idea for a blog post or recipe but if you got an idea from another poster, give them credit. Even if it is a little shout out. Karma being a bitch and all that. Plus, it's just the right thing to do.

Sharing is Caring: Like what you've read or seen? Share the post! This is a community, after all, and we all benefit from good content.

Don't Link and Leave: We have pretty good reciprocity in our linkup, but there are a few bloggers who drop links every week and don't comment on our posts. Not only is it happening blog linkups but in social media sharing groups posters are dropping links like it's hot and not reciprocating. Read the rules before you link and do the right thing.

Check Yourself: A few weeks ago, a member of a group that I'm in posted a photo of his running watch. Beyond the watch, I saw hairy legs and then I saw a toilet paper roll on the wall. Oh lord, it was a toilet selfie. Ewwwww. Ladies, I've seen unintentional crotch shots, I've seen cleavage--or maybe that was the intent? If you're not an exhibitionist, then examine your pictures before you post them.

A Small Amount of Self-Praise Goes a Long Way: We're all there to support each other, no doubt! So share your accomplishments. Just realize there is a fine line between bragging and sharing. Oh and "humblebrag"?

In order to protect the anonymity of the runner who posted this, I didn't share the photo that accompanied the tweet. 
Avoid Oversharing: Not everyone wants to read the details about your bodily functions or what you ate, much less look at pictures of them. Maybe some people wanted to see the gory details from my bike crash, but it's not something I like to see, so I didn't post it. Same with those black toenails. Subtlety is the key. Let people read between the lines if they want but keep all the specifics to yourself.

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say....: When I was growing up, this was the cardinal rule in my house. I have no filter, so sometimes it's hard for me to hold back. Sometimes the nicest thing you can do when you see a questionable photo or post is to say nothing at all. If you feel that you have to acknowledge the post, you can always just "like" it and move on.

Take the Time to Read the Post: I cannot tell you how many times I've read comments on a blog post or an Instagram post that have nothing to do with what has been written. It isn't hard to figure out when a commenter hasn't read the post. A few weeks ago after I crashed my bike, I posted 2 pictures on Instagram. One was a before picture of me smiling on my bike, the other was after where I showed my ripped shirt. I wrote about my experience in the comments. Do you know how many times people commented "great job"?

Leave Thoughtful Comments: Anything is better than "nice post". Show the poster that you've taken the time to read and consider what they've written.

Finally, ask yourself: Before posting, ask yourself if this something I'd want my mom, spouse, boss, or even your children to read/look at. Your social media presence doesn't exist in a vacuum. Once you post, it's out there for everyone to see. Forever.

Do you have any tips that I missed? What's your biggest social media pet peeve?

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run and with Debbie and Lora for Running Coaches' Corner.










73 comments :

  1. Great tips! I have most of the same pet peeves that you do about social media. I have been thinking about using Pinterest, but it seems so confusing to me! I will have to check it out.

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    1. I still don't really understand pinterest, but when I check my blog stats, I get a lot of views from my pins.

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  2. Yes to all. Its really interesting to witness the various ways people conduct themselves on social media.

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  3. Yes to all of the above! I guess there will always be people who will not reciprocate and there is nothing we can really do about that. I like the idea of only posting what you would want your mom or child to read from you. I've definitely seen some things and thought,"why do you need to post this?". I would add for Pinterest-think about whether this is something that people would want to pin. Not all IG and FB posts are pinterest worthy and vice versa. Have a good one!

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    1. I have that same thought about pins. It's hard when you participate in a sharing forum and there are pins that aren't really general interest.

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  4. Many is the time that I want to rant about an awful post but decide to hold back. I agree that if I have nothing nice to say, say nothing. That does not preclude well-thought out criticism, if it's couched in civility, at the least. Besides, most folks who post hateful comments are looking for a fight. Better not to engage. I'll never change their minds, anyway.

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    1. Sometimes I'll write a comment, re-read it, and then not post it. It's not always worth it.

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  5. This reminds me of "Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten". You would think by now, people would know how to act on social media. I sometimes read stuff and think, "what was he/she thinking???" I'm especially perplexed by the bloggers who have absolutely no literacy skills. I'm not just talking about a few typos. If you know grammar is not your best skill, why not have a friend proofread before you post?

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    1. I'm frustrated by bad grammar too. Especially when people use the apostrophe-s for plurals. In their titles! I see it everywhere and if they used the grammarly plug in, it would catch it.

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  6. So true! I can be sarcastic in real life but I've learned that I just can't do it in writing. My biggest pet peeve is probably the not reciprocating thing.

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    1. I'm always surprised by people who don't understand sarcasm...lol

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  7. The whole "here's my blog please link back to it" without a comment thing . . .

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    1. Reciprocity makes this blogging thing better for all of us.

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  8. Thanks for putting this out there. I tend to forget sarcasm doesn't always translate well on social media. And I cringe when I see poor grammar or misspelled words, even when they are my own.

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    1. As much as we try to avoid it, bad grammar and spelling happens. But when it's habitual...

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  9. All great tips. As the youngest of 4, I heard "if you can't say anything nice..." hundreds (possibly thousands) of times in my childhood. It's a tough rule to follow, but it sure makes clean up easier!

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  10. I love all of this!! Thank you!

    I have learned very well that sarcasm does not read well... and I am with you, i speak fluent sarcasm, dry humor, but I have come to learn so much from my tone on social media.

    I think we also need to remember that blogs are not the places where we can rant and complain about OTHER bloggers... like back a few years ago, two runners i knew were fighting with each other, and kept throwing jabs at each other on social media... it was dramatic!!!

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  11. “Nice post” is like my spammer red flag! I just trash them. I agree with ALL your points. There really is certain courtesies that need to be followed, even in the social media world. Gosh it’s tempting to share ugly toenail pictures though... maybe one per year? ;) Too much?

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    1. I didn't share my wounds from my bike crash--but I guess I should have because there were comments later that readers didn't realize how badly I was hurt!

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  12. YES! I am totally with you on these!! Especially about grammar (#grammarnerd) and taking time to read the post. I read other posts and I even get mad when I see people's lame comments that showed they didn't read. Grrr...... And I was just talking about that whole "if you don't have anything nice to say...." rule. Also, the cardinal rule when I was growing up.

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    1. You would think by now that people would get the spelling and grammar thing, but nope, it still exists!

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  13. Humblebrag and food pictures, top my hate them list! Although I do have one friend who can take awesome pictures of food, so her I will give a pass to on that point. I also think understand how your proclamations read to your audience, perception is reality. If you are the VP of a Running Club and you post things like "DNF = failure" "we had to wait again to regroup on the run" and then scratch your head and wonder why people drop out of your club, maybe you aren't speaking on behalf of the club however, dare I say it again, perception is reality! My perception of you as a runner and as a team member is you are supportive no matter what however there comes a point, long past the point it was due, where you can no longer suffer fools.

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    1. I don't mind beautifully photographed food, but when people take pictures of their meals on paper plates... you know what I'm talking about.

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  14. My personal favorite is when someone calls another person an idiot while using typos and/or poor grammar.

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    1. That kind of ruins their argument, doesn't it?

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  15. Can I add some? I know this isn't a strong and fast rule, but I think Bloggers should only Link Up, ONE blog post per link up. I do sometimes get frustrated when I've already commented on a blogger's post and am ready to move on and share the link love with another blogger only to find out that the next post is from the SAME blogger. Time is precious and if I've already spent time on a post, it's only fair I move on and give my time to another blogger.

    And another one. I don't get on Pinterest as much as I'd like but when people post to a group board ( I love that they share other Bloggers posts), but they really need to check and see how many times that post has been posted to that board. Like 10 bloggers will all post the same race recap in a group board and it becomes a little much, no what I mean?

    I could go on but no need to hijack your post...! Oh, and I totally know what you mean about people not reading posts.

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    1. You can hijack my post! I'm thrilled that so many people are commenting and sharing. It feels good to commiserate, doesn't it?

      I understand your issue with the group boards. I think there's 2 issues: one, that the pinner needs to look at the board before pinning to it and two, a lot of us are in sharing groups and are asked to pin things that don't fit on any of our boards. Both of those are tough. I'm not making excuses (well maybe I am) but that's my story.

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    2. Oh, and I just noticed I used no" instead of "know" in the above comment. I "Know" the difference but that's what I get when I comment on my phone. I blog on my phone quite often so I do ended up finding mistakes on my comments. (My excuse)!

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  16. I've got to say that I agree with all your points. I do admit that I get a good chuckle when someone comments on a blog post with a question that I clearly talked about or explained in the post.

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    1. Now that I co-host the Weekly Wrap, I see it happening all the time. It's kind of comical and sometimes I call out the commenter in my response (nicely, of course).

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  17. I am gagging over the TOILET SELFIE!! JUST NO!!! What is wrong with people?! WHY ON EARTH would you post that!!! JUST NO! LOL!

    And I am right there with you - when it comes to commenting on blogs, "nice post" or "cool" is pointless. Don't bother commenting if you don't have more than one word to say. Oh and the best is when people legit do NOT read your post and then ask you questions in the comments and you think to yourself, UM I ANSWERED THAT QUESTION RIGHT UP THERE!!! Not going to lie, I sometimes call people out for this!

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    1. The toilet selfie completely took me by surprise. I was going to comment on it, like, are you sitting on the toilet? but I think the guy isn't 100%. It's in one of my RA groups. So I let it go.

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  18. Great points you have here Wendy! I love the grammaIt drives me crazy when I see so many typos (your/you're, their/there, etc). Yeah, I don't understand the whole apostrophe-s thing for plural. How and why?

    A toilet selfie? That is something new. Definitely a NO.

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    1. Proofreading is definitely important before posting!

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  19. Yes, I'm nodding my head in agreement with everything mentioned. The generic "nice post!" comment is such a blatant lazy move, especially when I notice the same person making it on several different posts. A pet peeve I have (and I may be alone or at least in the minority) is when writers throw out a lot of technical terms and assume their readers all know their "language." I probably over-explain things, but I don't want any new readers (who may not all be runners) to get lost in my text of running jargon. And that toilet selfie...EEEWWWWWW! What the WHAT?

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    1. I haven't noticed the technical posts but I agree that it's helpful to explain things.

      There are a lot of questionable selfies being posted. Personally, I check mine very closely to make sure nothing is hanging out. I don't want to attract the wrong kind of people...

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  20. Yes, yes, yes to all of these tips! One of my biggest pet peeves (as a blogger) is those that link and leave. MAN it boils my blood.

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    1. Right? We do have a pretty good response rate with the WW but I've stopped going to blogs that link and leave. I'd like to delete those links but my partner holds the key to that..she's nicer than me!

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  21. These are all great tips! I had when bloggers drop a link but don't comment on anyone elses blog. Same thing for the Instagram pods as well. We're all here to support each other!

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    1. Yeah, what's up with the pods? We've got a few people who never participate!

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  22. I am trying very, very hard to play by the rules. I find it very frustrating at times. I used to post in the weekly wrap linkup and would literally go to every blog post in the link up only to have 5 people actually reciprocate (and you know how many linkups there are!). I used to love twitter and met loads of people (also in real life) via that media channel. But nowadays it seems like everything is an ad (which is FINE, but not all of us are doing this to make money) and it’s hard to engage with people (my opinion, not proven to be “true”).

    Something that bothers me on the world wide web…(emphasis on “world”) – giveaways for example where it’s NOT indicated that it’s US only. There are plenty of people out there interested in English-language blogs that are not necessarily in the US. Just a pet peeve, nothing major.

    I think I still have a lot to learn (even though I am blogging for 9 years) and I sometimes wish it were simpler but this is what it is, right?

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    1. I feel like blogging is always evolving. But participation is the only way you can grow your viewership. I'm not sure why people weren't reciprocating when you commented. That's just rude.

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  23. Great tips! Social media is a bear! I wish I wasn't on it so much, but with the blog we almost have to!

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  24. Love this! It made me laugh and nod my head at the same time. Especially #1! You know me. I've recently seen two posts on Instagram where people used "workout" as a verb and it was all I could do to shut up and move on. :-) I do get tired of people who don't reciprocate in sharing threads, though for the most part I've left those and stick with the smaller but more responsible groups.

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    1. We can only keep preaching and hope that people will get it!

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  25. These are all GREAT tips - and toilet selfie OMG... that's just awful! I try to walk a balance between keeping it real and not complaining too much. Some weeks are easier than others! My social media pet peeve are the bloggers/influencers that don't follow the sponsored posts rules - if you're going to take the time to find sponsors, you should know the legalities.

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    1. I will admit that sometimes I forget to hashtag ad when I post on Twitter or IG. When people don't follow those rules, it doesn't bother me because it doesn't really affect me, per se.

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  26. So much of posting on the internet is just awkward if you don't use common sense. Especially when it's a selfie that you haven't checked the background before posting haha! Just use common sense!

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  27. I didn't know that's what a link up meant - so if I click on one, I'll just move through to the next automatically? Obviously I've never participated, LOL. Years ago, when Instagram and Twitter were new, bloggers were all up in arms about being on all the platforms. I looked at it and thought, that's too much work, never did it for my blog, and don't regret having zero social media presence, although who knows, maybe I might have ended up making some money for blogging? Probably not. Any case, I like to scroll through Instagram but don't follow very many people.

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    1. I'm so surprised you've never done a linkup! It's fun. It's been a great way to connect with other bloggers. Altho you don't seem to have that issue! :)

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  28. My biggest pet-peeve is spelling errors! I use free Grammarly to check on spelling and basic sentence structure. Yikes about the dude and his running watch post - I always check on how my photos look before posting. Thanks for all the helpful advice!

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  29. These are all awesome tips!!!! I reread and reread anything I post multiple times for any grammar errors. Also I will never post anything I wouldn't say in person. My biggest pet peeve is those who hide behind their keyboards saying things they would never say in person!

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    1. That's a great rule--I should have included that!

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  30. These are all great tips, I like the "watch your tone". It's so hard to convey sarcasm in mere written words bc body language and tone of voice is null on a blog!!! I have to say, one of my pet peeves is either commenting things you'd never say to a persons face or obviously "staged" photos....

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    1. Yeah, I don't like staged photos either! I mean, why?

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  31. You covered a good amount of tips here! I definitely like the "if you don't have anything nice to say" tip. Then, the oversharing... ha, we all definitely don't need to see someone's black toenail. LOL!
    Oh, and I so love sarcasm and a good sense of humor. It's no fun to be too serious. :)

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  32. Spelling and grammar. O.M.G.

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  33. Great tips!

    Spelling and grammar bother me. And I also can't handle the constant complaining and negativity. I get that life isn't always peaches and cream, but it doesn't always have to be spread all over social, in my opinion.

    I really love social media. It's a great world for an introvert like me. However, people definitely should continue to think before they post. It's the right thing to do.

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    1. I really appreciate your always very thoughtful comments!!!

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  34. Yes to all of these! You've touched on some of my pet peeves - the lack of attention to grammar and spelling drives me nuts. And, I have to say I'm constantly amazed at what some people will post on IG!

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    1. It's so hard to comment on some of those posts. I like to reciprocate but sometimes I just can't.

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  35. Yes to all of this. I’m all for the more interaction, sharing, commenting, etc. the better. You can’t people to come interact with your content without you doing the same with other people’s content. That’s just the polite thing to do.

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  36. If you're too busy to at least comment on the host's/hosts' post(s), surely you're too busy to link up at all? I try not to add my link until I have time to comment, and if that means I am linking up later than most people, oh well.

    One of my pet peeves is bot comments on Instagram. I used to be in a "pod" where a couple people were clearly using a bot to comment on other members' posts. I mean, ick.

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  37. OMG Thanks for this post! I was just thinking today why do some people follow me on IG but never seem interested in anything I have posted??? Some followers are awesome but some just follow and that's it??? I don't really get how it all works or should work but I usually won't follow just because you are following me or I will delete you if you have no interest in my post but flood my IG with yours???? Is that wrong?? Also, Link-ups? How does that work...That I have actually seen but I don't get it so I don't participate but I think I would like to. Instagram pods? Humblebrag? Lots to learn :)

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  38. I love this! My top social media / Internet policy, which chimes with your last point, is "Never say anything online you wouldn't be happy to shout in the middle of town". Luckily, not having grown up with social media, I'm quite sensible. I'm with you on the oversharing, too.

    My pet peeve is people who don't respond, esp to blog comments. Yes, it doesn't have to be immediate, and yes, sometimes just a like on a comment is fine, but people who court responses but then don't respond to them at all disappoint me. I like interaction, and I try to respond to everything directed at me, again, as I wouldn't listen to someone say something to me then turn away and ignore them.

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