Mind Your Social Media Manners…

On Wednesdays I like to share information on writing, publishing and marketing.

Writer Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Mind Your Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media killed most of the daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

Whatever negative side effects social media might have it does have equal and opposite positive effects as well. For me I have never felt so much a part of so many completely different communities as I do now. Writers/Bloggers truly are the most supportive, genuine and friendly people I have ever known.

As we enter into what may be a contentious political season I thought this would be a good time to share some social media etiquette and tips that I have learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

It is social media not sell media. There are many companies out there that will take your money and instruct you to auto post the same posts across all of your social media platforms. Posts like ‘BUY my book’ ‘Must Read 500- 5 star reviews.’ Then there are those direct messages you receive thirty seconds after you follow someone that requests you to, buy my book, like my page, follow my blog and don’t forget to favorite and share this message. These companies will fill your head with numbers that sound important but they are useless. Social media is about being social and making real connections. Auto posting/ constant selling will leave people thinking you are lazy and unapproachable and they will keep scrolling.

Avery sleeping


Once you post it, it cannot be erased. In 2016 this is still important. If you are not sure about posting or responding to something take the time to think about it before you post or respond.

Ignore Posts that offend you. It would be great if we never had to lay eyes on or hear anything that offends us but when it comes to social media we are going to see plenty. It always feels good to be part of a ‘do good’ mob but choose your mobs wisely. Don’t take someone’s dislike of children or pets so personally and just scroll on. Trust me your mood will be better if you just ignore and scroll on. If it persists, and you can’t seem to ignore the offensive posts, hide them, disable notifications from that person or unfriend them.

You owe no one an explanation to unfriend/unfollow. There is never a need to announce things like ‘I am cleaning up my friend list.’ Just unfollow people quietly and move on.


In 2016 it is still a bad idea to vague post, chronically complain, overshare and post in clumps, frequently. ‘I am so upset’ ‘Some people need to just shut up’ and ‘you know who you are.’ If you share someone’s post or an article always write something personal about it such as why you liked it or didn’t like it. I need to take my own advice on this one.

Do not post spoilers. Be considerate of our friends in different time zones. If you cannot wait to talk about that winner or scene, take it private.

Limit rants. Sometimes a good rant can be healthy and prompt positive conversation. It is a good idea to only post them occasionally.

Never use more than two or three hashtags in one post. If you use hashtags use the ones that already exist, don’t make them up unless it is one you are going to continue to use. For the best results use tags that are trending. The exception is Instagram where it is okay to use more hashtags.

The buzz about you, your book, business or blog should NEVER come from you. This is simple; you only gain credibility when other people post about your work. That doesn’t mean you cannot share exciting information or good news. There is a big difference between good news and overselling.

If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person don’t say it on social media. It is a good idea to stop and think before reacting on social media. There is a way to say and mean what you want to say without being mean. We are writers, right?

It is okay to discuss politics and religion. Discuss is the key word here. We should always respect each other’s views or beliefs even if they are different from our own, especially if we have no idea what is behind those views. Discussion and debate are healthy. Headlines, info dumping and talking points are annoying.

What did I miss?

Happy Writing,



10 Responses to “Mind Your Social Media Manners…”

  • Anna:

    If only I knew this before I dived in. Oh well, that’s life. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  • Make sure you know what you’re sharing. I had one friend who shared something that said the opposite of what she wanted she wanted to share. She had not read it carefully enough. Also, if you are sharing something about a popular TV show, remember that many of us don’t watch it in real time. We DVR it for later, so maybe we should all start those kinds of post by saying “Spoiler Alert re: ——“, so someone can skip your post if they haven’t seen it yet.

  • Excellent tips, Doreen! I have unfollowed a lot of people and, like you, done it quietly. Vague posting is a big pet peeve of mine. Those are the folks next on the list for unfollowing. 😉

  • I remember how I used to watch soap operas. Now all the drama can be found online.

  • I love how you said social media probably killed the soap operas. I bet it has. And it’s true that we’ve never been more connected than we are today even if it’s virtual. Great tips. It’s always best to make authentic connections.

  • These are all great tips. When it comes to social media, it’s kind of like the wild west out there. And, yes, please stop posting spoilers that ruin it for those of us on the West Coast!

  • Doreen I loved every one of these. Social media is such a wonderful thing but it needs to be used with kindness and discretion. I will only read and participate in positive and affirmative stuff – there is enough awful stuff in the world without adding to it. And I will quietly leave and avoid anything that smacks of values I don’t hold because “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

  • Helene Cohen Bludman:

    Excellent tips, Doreen. I agree about the spoilers. Too many times I have had something ruined because someone posted before I had seen the show.

  • Sue:

    I agree about all of these Doreen. Don’t you hate it when you are on a different time zone and someone posts the finale results of a program you have given the last 12 weeks of your life to? LOL:) I’ve always felt terrible when I unlike someone but I noticed the other week I was friends with people I didn’t even know (probably met once through blogging). I need to do a friend audit. Thanks for a great reminder. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty.

  • All great rules. And oh, those hashtags. I used to see so many posts with 6 to 10 hashtags. I mean, seriously????

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