Oversharing the Right Way
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One way of doing Social Badly Until You Can Social Better is by making the common mistake of oversharing. We’ve all seen some of these gems: pictures of children being potty trained, unfortunate (and often unaware) people in hospital beds, the status blow-by-blow of a breakup, the public airing of personal grievances.
But oversharing doesn’t always have to lead to an argument with your family because you chose to post about Uncle Jim’s death before calling home.
For some of you, let’s face it—you’re not that creative. It’s okay. The good news is that exceptionally creative people like to show off their creations on social media. And another way to overshare is through the constant positive reinforcement of other people’s thoughts, pictures, videos, articles, etc. by sharing, replying, reposting, reblogging, and commenting on their content.
A Favorite is Twitter’s version of a polite chuckle.
— Annie Colbert (@anniecolbert) August 11, 2014
(I actually did favorite that one.)
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t Like or Favorite things, but if you want to build fans, friends, or a community on social media, in the words of the New Radicals: “We only get what we give.”
You can just as easily type a few words, a sticker, or emoji into the comment section to show support. When you post a comment, your name or page name gets more exposure. You can even take a step further and share the post—words or no words. People (especially content managers) like when you share, they might even return the favor.
Some social media “gurus” will warn against the twitter reply function—if you hit reply, only your followers will see, and your witty banter lives in obscurity. There has been a trend to shield against this by placing a “.” or other character before the reply but this is just extra work.
Half of the fun of twitter is replying to someone and actually getting a response. Hooray! You have a conversation and probably a new ally who will add you their twitter list of “People Who Reply”.
Who knows if this function will still be relevant as twitter continues to evolve.
You can retweet or quote tweets and make a creative person happy that you cared enough to “fistbump” their content. Twitter has gone through many iterations of the RT.
Now you don’t have to worry about having room for someone else’s handle to fit the character limit. Just click the approval arrows and make someone feel validated in an instant. You might also get added to their twitter list of “People Who Retweet”.
The reblog is for those of us addicted to Tumblr and is the laziest yet most amazing thing you can do to add content and keep a thread alive while adding your own sauce to the dish.
Tumblr is the place where you can have a thriving site by curating gifs, photos, and quotes from other people and none of the content is actually yours.
Do your photos always seem to come out too blurry or too dark or too boring for instagram? Or do you keep your phone tucked away in your pocket or purse because the last time you tried to be a photographer, your phone ended up in the toilet…or under the wheels of an automobile…or flying off the balcony…or falling into Lake Putyourphoneaway?
The Repost app (or similar service) is the cure for those of you who don’t take pictures or, if you do, you still can’t filter your way to a good shot.
REMEMBER TO CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
Sharing cats in costumes to dog cosplay lovers won’t do you any good. Sharing a 2500-word opinion piece on fracking may not gain traction with your visual friends unless you respect the medium. Make sure you are choosing your content wisely to curate content appropriately. If you can’t come up with new content every day of the week, there is an enormous social web of existing content to choose from that will be useful to your audience, as well as send an appreciative ping back to the person who created it.
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