I read a lot about “Social Media” and all the rules that people have come up with, the tips and tricks that have been enumerated, and my friend Chris Brogan has even created an entire book on the subject that he signs in airport bookstores so they can’t possibly return them to the publisher.
But I’m not sure (sorry, Chris!) that it really has to be all that complex. I’m a simple man, and have trouble remembering lots of rules. It’s the reason I don’t play card games, join secret societies, or work for the Transportation Safety Administration. Rules make my head hurt.
But Social Media (have you heard, now we’re supposed to call it “SoMe”? Sounds like a sports drink.) really doesn’t have to be that hard. Let old Uncle Dick simplify it for you.
Just focus on “Social”.
Long before you met the Twitters or logged on to the Interwebs, you knew how to be social. Dress nice, look them in the eye, and have a firm handshake. Don’t go where you’re not wanted, speak when spoken to, and respect your elders. Introduce yourself, be interesting, and don’t hog the conversation. Find out what the other person is interested in, don’t yell and knock things over, help someone if you can.
People generally get into trouble with Social Media when they do something that would get them thrown out of a cocktail party or put in detention in the 3rd grade. And they’re successful with Social Media when they do stuff that would get them invited back.
So don’t spill, don’t hog all the pizza rolls, and don’t try to pick up your host’s teenage daughter. And you’ll do fine.