Social media is actually relevantly new, and it’s usually anything but social. I mean, how are you going to start a conversation around small bites of useless information? It’s like someone yelling random things at you as you walk past them on the street. No one is going to stop and start a conversation with someone like that. The same basic premise applies to social media. If you just throw out random information like what you had for breakfast, you are only going to end up looking stupid. Want to know how you can avoid this all too common issue? Check out these ten tips to get started.
1. Use Full Sentences
There is nothing more annoying than reading a post you don’t understand. Remember many of your followers are not fluent in ‘internet speak.’ Instead of chopping up your sentences and doing away with basic grammar, make it a point to craft your posts using full sentences. Instead of just a few individuals understanding your post, all of your followers will be able to.
2. Use Full Words (Mostly)
One thing the internet has done to the modern world is created an unwarranted fondness for abbreviation. While some abbreviations are fine because everyone will understand them, most of them are not. This goes hand and hand with tip number one. If you want all your followers to understand what your post is saying, you need to use full words the vast majority of the time.
3. Call People By Their Name
When speaking to a specific follower, use their name. You would be surprised at how personal your comments might seem just because you’ve taken the time to write out their name. It makes people feel more connected to you and/or your company, which is always a big plus.
4. Just Be Nice!
Want to avoid looking stupid? Then just be nice! Don’t start arguments, don’t respond to rude comments, don’t rant, don’t rave… just don’t! Many people fail to realize that niceness applies even when you are sitting behind a computer screen. Just because people can’t see your face doesn’t mean good manners and common sense are thrown out the window. Remember: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
5. Try Asking Questions
Instead of blurting something random out on your posts, try ending it with a question. Questions warrant answers, which come in the form of responses (comments) by your followers. This is a great way to boost engagement and avoid looking stupid.
6. Be Interesting
Don’t sound like a robot or repeat the same thing over and over again. If you want to avoid looking stupid on social media, you need to be interesting. Switch things up. Share or post about things you have yet to see your competitors post about. Being unique will ensure people still want to hear what you have to say.
7. Compliment Others
Compliments are one of the highest forms of manners that can be expressed online. Tell people they have great ideas, their graphics are appealing and informative, that what they said was truly intriguing. Not only will you be actively engaging with your followers and competitors, you will also be showing them you genuinely care.
8. Incorporate Videos
Videos have a tendency to be much more personal than posts because they incorporate human images and voices. In a world where human interaction has transferred to bland words on a blinking screen, this form of human engagement can make a world of difference in the way your followers view you.
9. Never Take Yourself Too Seriously
It’s both easy and natural to get caught up in yourself and your own importance. Social media can easily exemplify this natural urge. If you want to avoid looking stupid, however, you need to quell it. Never take yourself too seriously. Don’t craft posts making you look more important than you really are, and never respond to comments against you or your company in any way but professional.
10. Be Consistent, Not Random
Consistency is key in everything you do, and social media is no exception. You can’t simply blurt out random things and expect people to be entertained or engaged. Posts letting people know what you ate for supper, what you are wearing, or quoting something without an obvious cause are random. You can alter this a little by asking a question. For example, don’t say “I ate chicken w/mashed potatoes & gravy for supper.” Instead, phrase it like this: “I had chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy for supper. What did you have?” Be consistent in asking questions, posting solid information, and fully written words/sentences. You’ll soon see a big jump in your engagement levels.
If you want to avoid looking stupid on social media, a good place to start is by implementing the ten tips listed above. While they do not cover all of the ‘stupid’ social media practices people have grown to believe are useful, they do cover the most basic ones. Don’t let this deter you, however. Remember that even the smallest steps in the right direction can lead to a huge boost in engagement.