Facebook dictates: “Like me!” Click on a picture, share it, like it. Everything is visual so apart from typing your username and password at log-in, you are practically no longer required to be able to read and write.
Twitter dictates: “Be brief!” 140 characters or bust. Think and talk in slogans for the ultimate short-attention-span gluttons for information. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Google+ dictates: “Use keywords!” SEO-friendly keywords are necessary to get found on Google, so seduce your audience with clever headlines and engender an “I’m cooler than you” mentality by carefully selecting circles of people who deserve to see your content.
LinkedIn dictates: “Endorse!” LinkedIn is the least social of all social networks where avoiding friendly communication is the norm: it is the cocktail party for people who choose to have the least amount of interaction to close a deal. Click on a skill associated with a profile to endorse your contact and you have skipped at least three awkward conversations with someone you haven’t spoken to in five years but could be useful to get you a job or contract.
So what’s the lesson there?
1 Be friendly, always. A genuine “Good morning! How are you?” always gets you the most interaction on facebook (I’m referring to business pages). > Connect with me on facebook
2 Get involved in conversation. You can start or contribute to a debate on twitter and people respond to and respect someone who has an opinion and can make a good argument. > Connect with me on twitter
3 Use pictures but only to get traffic to your website. Facebook has become a small village when pictures are circulated inside the social network and facebookers are not venturing out into the outside world as much. Make a point of always including a link to your website when you post a picture.
4 Use Google+ to have video chats, the call quality is excellent and you can organise conference calls with up to 10 people. > Connect with me on Google+
5 If you want to endorse someone on LinkedIn, write a testimonial instead of clicking on the “endorse skill” button. It builds goodwill and makes for a more genuine business relationship. > Connect with me on LinkedIn
Don’t let social media use you. Learn the rules and adapt them to make social media work for you.