As we discussed in a recent post, people are so worried about coming across wrong online that they are refusing to participate. Sure, they will like, comment, or share a post from time to time. But getting them to create something from scratch? It is hard to do for some people.
Tips for Participating without Risking your Reputation (too much)
- If your posts usually attract some response from your friends or followers but occasionally something you post gets no reaction whatsoever — no likes, comments, shares, RTs, nothing — that can be a sign not to post that sort of thing again. Sometimes we are deaf, dumb and blind to our biases or old habits. Maybe something that is funny to you isn’t appropriate anymore. Times change. Listen to the silence to make sure you are not alienating people. Controversial or contrarian can be ok. Coming across as boorish or insensitive is not.
- If you are struggling with what to post, quotes from famous people, especially when tied to an image, work great. By sharing quotes that are meaningful to you, you are sharing your story and providing value to an audience who may value the quote. Not everything you do has to be original. When you do share other people’s ideas or thoughts, always give credit. A link back to the source is good etiquette.
Found this excellent quote and image at https://plus.google.com/105927011583510008537/posts/VvaLYtoR4VT
- Always stay on the bright side of things. Never go negative. Shakespeare said, “The nature of bad news infects the teller.” No one likes to be around or socialize with down-in-the-dumps negative types. Social media is all about being social and too much negativity will get you shunned. Having a really bad day? Fine, feel free to share it to get some sympathy. But if people come to expect it of you, you won’t be as successful online. You might attract other negative types, but who wants that? Put a positive spin on things and pretty soon that is how you will start to feel about them. Count your blessings and share them to lift people up. Inspire people.
- Fear is crippling. If you are constantly afraid of criticism and rejection and you can’t find a way to post without fear of embarrassment, then I suggest you read this book by Dale Carnegie, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” I read this book several times earlier in my life and it really put things in perspective for me.
- Remember that social media generally shows us the images of the actual people we are engaging with, rather than their silhouettes. They aren’t anonymous. That means people are on their best (or better) behavior and are not throwing bricks like they do when posting anonymously to newspaper articles, for instance. As long as you stick to the high road, you come out the winner, no matter what they say and do. Let them call you names. You answer politely. Let them ridicule or slander you. You stick to the facts. They might bark and shout but at the end of the day, reasonable people earn our respect.
I will end this section with a quote from the great poet Robert Frost,
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
So get out there and engage with the world without fear of looking like a fool. You won’t.