The third #ReclaimSocial day is fast approaching (6 February). The day is an opportunity to flood social media with positivity by sharing good news stories and celebrating heroes of positivity. Get involved if you can. The day aims to kickstart a rebalancing of the scales of hate and bad behaviour on social media.
We all have a role to play in demonstrating good behaviour every day. Both personally and from any corporate accounts we manage. Here are five examples of social media etiquette to generate a culture of positive connections (mostly relating to Twitter).
You might do all of these already. In which case, you are a hero of positivity!
Acknowledge when you have seen something
If you have paused to look at someone’s photo or thread or story – why not say something? Tell them that you have seen what they have done and what it meant to you.
You don’t have to write a pithy comment. A ‘thanks for sharing’ or ‘lovely photo’ or a thumbs up, is easy to do. We all need to feel seen.
If no one comments or interacts, we might not bother to post something similar again. What’s the point if it didn’t connect?
A like is ok but is a very passive interaction. Take 10 seconds to say something nice. Share the love.
Recognise when someone has interacted with you
I see this all the time on charity accounts. An organisation might ask a friendly open question in order to generate some user-generated content and to be fun on a Monday morning…. And then not respond to any of the responses.
So, all the people who have bothered to share a photo of their muddy run or say that they have spotted one of the campaign posters on the tube, are left hanging. Maybe they won’t interact in this positive way again? Maybe they think less of the charity?
Social media / comms teams can be spread very thinly and don’t have time to respond to large number of comments. But building connections and a community of supporters is very important.
If you don’t have time to respond to the comments, don’t ask a question.
If you do have time, acknowledge someone’s action. Being warm, open and inclusive may encourage other people to comment in future.
I think this is particularly important for member organisations and those which are looking for people to share their experiences. For example, National Trust are really good at chatting. This example from Transport for All asks people to fill in a survey about problems with dockless bikes but hasn’t responded to replies.
Say please and thank you
Remember when people used to say ‘Please RT’ in their tweets? There was evidence that posts with this in, were more frequently shared. Was it the power of the please or a polite ask that made the difference?
Do you say thank you when people RT something of yours with a comment?
Be social on social media
Back in the day, people used to share regular #FollowFriday recommendations of @people they liked on Twitter. It was a bit annoying but mostly nice. People also used to welcome new followers. Or send a welcome DM to say a personal hello (or an annoying auto one).
It might have gone out of fashion to do these things. People might also have stopped for a quick hello or a chat. It was nice. It was social.
Share good stuff
Interaction doesn’t have to be around a heated debate or responding to a negative piece of news or mass RIPing someone who has died.
Be generous with your knowledge and ideas. Share stuff that you love and makes you smile.
And switch off
As charities, prolifically using social media as part of our work, we may see examples of trolling or negative behaviour on a daily basis. These might appear as negative comments under our posts, hate stories directed at our organisation or projects, or trolling of staff or corporate accounts.
These actions are draining, frightening and depressing to deal with.
Sometimes it is best to just switch off. And do something else instead.
- Nine ways to spread positivity and #ReclaimSocial professionally and personally – Tereza Litsa for Charity Comms.
- A wellbeing guide for comms professionals – Charity Comms.
- Polly Neate: Dealing with trolls – the downside of social media – Civil Society
What are your top tips for good behaviour or encouraging a culture of positivity? I’d love to hear them.
Tips about making the social media you consume, positive
- Young Minds’ #OwnYourFeed campaign has lots of great tips about social media and mental health. This video has a good shareable summary.
- Refresh your feed: ideas for making your social media a more positive place – Children’s Society.