Lizmonster’s Guide to Social Media

I’m deep in the throes of editing, and having a small freakout about hitting my November deadline. So, because I’ve been distracting myself a lot with the usual social media suspects, I’m presenting my personal list of Dos and Don’ts for Twitter and Facebook.

(Please note that I violate every one of these rules, every day. Take this “advice” with a big honkin’ grain of salt.)

DO write about yourself. This seems a no-brainer; but I have friended/followed you because something about you is interesting to me. If I didn’t want to know who you are – even small things – I wouldn’t have bothered.

DON’T write about yourself to the exclusion of everything else. Spread the love. Retweet your friends. Toss me an article that gave you a giggle, or made you think. Share a photograph, or a funny saying, or even an LOL cat now and then.

DO tell me about your projects: books you’ve published (or are working on), software you’re writing, pottery, travel, knitting…creativity is interesting to me in all its forms.

DO tell me where I can buy your stuff. Yes, really. Give me a link to your book, or your Etsy shop, or your web site. On the other hand…

DON’T link to your stuff over and over and over again. I don’t mind a daily tweet; but those programs that’ll toss out a pre-made tweet for you once an hour? Yeah, don’t use those. That’s just annoying, and I start tuning things out that I don’t want to miss.

DO tell me what you believe. I may not agree with you, but if you care about something enough to want to write about it, I’ll read. But –

DON’T – please, please, please don’t – give me any of that passive-aggressive I BET 90% OF PEOPLE WHO READ THIS WON’T REPOST stuff. I may absolutely agree with your statement or your cause; but that’s just a chain letter, without even the remote chance that the guy at the top of the list is going to send me a dollar.

DO give me your good news – book reviews, excellent grades, a lovely vacation, surviving a summer baby-sitting your sister’s kids. Good news makes me smile. And if sharing bad news helps you get through it – share that, too.

DON’T post drunk. You are not that funny when you’re drunk. Trust me; I’ve done it. I know what I’m talking about.

And the last one, which is nearest and dearest to my heart:

DO forgive me when I break my own rules. We are none of us perfect. I enjoy social media because it can give me a window into people I know well, in addition to people I’m just starting to get to know. The Internet is fascinating in that it preserves our mistakes as well as our successes. The number of us that interface perfectly with the world every day is close to zero.

Personally, I find that kind of comforting.

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