My 10 Social Media Principles

These days it seems ‘de rigueur’ to work according to a set of Principles. I blame GDS :)

At work I have outsourced the heavy lifting to Aviation House and just follow these https://www.gov.uk/designprinciples but I’ve been thinking a bit about my own, personal principles when it comes to this blog and particularly social media. Especially since my recent talk at #somesw and also some stuff I contributed to a Twitter conversation on social media.

So here are mine;

1. Be myself.
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I follow the ‘whole person’ attitude to social media. I don’t have separate work and personal accounts. Like Popeye once said “I yam what I yam.” I’m not saying this is for everyone but it is my approach. My voice online is pretty much my voice full stop (Bristolian accent and all.)

2. Be honest.
Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portrait
While I do self-censor myself to some extent – I am a professional after all – I do try and have my online presence honestly reflect my state of mind. That said while I am honest and open I do not share everything. I try to be honest about that as well :)

3. Be helpful.
A London 2012 Games Maker stands ready at Heathrow
Nothing has been more helpful to my career than this blog and Twitter. The amount of support and assistance I have got over the years is immeasurable and as such I try to give back at least a tiny portion of what I have received.

4. Practice the equivalent of the ‘law of two feet’
Male_feet
The ‘law of two feet’ is a guiding principle for ‘open space’ or ‘bar camp’ events. It basically says;

“If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.”

Online I take this to mean if I don’t follow accounts, read blogs or contribute to communities once I am no longer enjoying the experience. I choose my online experience.

5. Don’t engage trolls.
TROLLS - 1992
This is, luckily, not something I have to deal with that often. Certainly not on a personal level. That said my rule is simple and based on my Jay-Z guide;

“A wise man told me don’t argue with fools
Cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who.”

6. Don’t sweat the numbers. It is quality not quantity.
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Worst thing about Twitter is the follower/following counters. Actually scrub that that worst thing is those services that tell you when you get unfollowed. I read somewhere the phrase “not all followers are created equal”. That is the key – smaller numbers but more engagement – that is my goal.

7. Mistakes happen. Admit them. Move on.
Dont_Eving_Thank_Off_It
Posted from the wrong account? Published something earlier than scheduled? Embarrassing typo in title? Messed up a DM so the world can see? Me too. Oh well. It isn’t heart surgery.

8. Share and share alike.
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Link to at least as much of other peoples content as your own. I fail at this on Google+ horribly. It is far too easy to become very narcissistic online and this is part of number 3.

9. Don’t cross the streams.
crossing-marketing-streams
My Twitter and Facebook communities are very different for the most part. Anything I write here is unlikely to be of interest to any more than one or two people over on Fb whereas at least a few more on Twitter seem to regular read things here. Stuff I’ve started to write on Medium seems to appeal to both groups. I know this is a bit of a cop-out from my ‘whole person’ approach from (2) but I can live with it :)

10. Have fun.
Hals,_Dirck_-_Merry_Party_in_a_Tavern_-_1628
I do this stuff for a living as well but if it starts to always feel like a job and that is the only way it becomes tenable to engage? That will be the end of it for me. Maybe I’ll spend more time on G+ as at least nobody would see it over there.

5 thoughts on “My 10 Social Media Principles

  1. Pingback: Principles | A Little Pin Up Everyday

  2. Nice use of images, but shouldn’t it be George Washington rather than Lincoln to illustrate not telling a lie? ;)

  3. Published something earlier than scheduled? It’s not heart surgery. Except publishing GDP early might cause a few people to need heart surgery. Note to self: never let Matt too close to the publishing queue. I’m sure you will be happy about this. I suspect you even wrote this post to ensure that never happens.

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