Tuesday Tip 005: How to Eliminate Distractions on Social Media

If you're anything like me, social media can be a black hole of procrastination. Buzzfeed articles, is it a dog/is it a muffin memes, photos of friends, Bernie Sanders GIFs, reminders from Facebook of things that happened 10 years ago...the list goes on. 

But I'm a big believer that in order to enjoy social media we have to control our experience on each platform. That's why I swear by three tools that I use to focus my social media experience and get to the good stuff. I highlight the first one in the video below. 

Here's a link to the Newsfeed Eradicator Google Chrome extension.

My two other secret weapons of social media satisfaction and productivity are Nuzzel and Facebook lists.

Nuzzel is a daily digest that I get in my inbox that gives me a rundown of the most shared articles on my Twitter feed. Because I'm pretty serious about who I follow on Twitter, this digest gives me a bird's eye view of the conversation and posts that I will find important. And I get to see them all in one place eliminating the need to go hunting on Twitter for interesting or helpful posts.

Facebook Lists help me categorize the various pages that I follow on Facebook so I can just see posts from the individuals and businesses that really interest me. I have them categorized by different topics. A few separate lists that I have include Social Media, Thought Leaders, Bloggers and Theatre. This is helpful in cutting through the noise of all of the hundreds of pages and people I'm following on Facebook and helps me quickly find the content that I'm looking for. Also, as a social media professional I can compare the social posts of several different companies, individuals or media entities in one continuous stream so I can see what types of posts are trending and who is doing what. It's lovely.

So those are a few of the tools that I use so I don't get sucked into the social media abyss. I'd love to hear YOUR tips for using social media without letting it own your day. Drop in the comments!
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7 Surprising Ways to Use Hashtags

Hashtags have infiltrated the culture. In fact, there's a new generation that doesn't even see a pound sign. So, other than #liveauthentic and ironic quips, are hashtags actually useful? 

If you're building a brand and have a specific message to spread, then the answer is "yes."

Hashtags amplify messages and help to tell stories in ways that media hasn't previously seen. When paired with other tools like video and images, hashtags illuminate perspectives we most certainly never would have experienced. Think front row seats to not only your friend's wedding across the country but to global events like the Olympics.

So how can you use hashtags, in practical terms, today? Here are seven ways. 

7 Surprising Ways to Use Hashtags

1. Hashtags can be used to expose you to new audiences on Instagram. Hashtags can be used to find new images or to expose your work to a new, relevant audience.

2. Hashtags are integral to Twitter chats. Did you know there are tons of organized conversations on Twitter around specific topics on just about any subject? Twitter chats help you connect with others around a given topic. It’s a great way to grow your audience and contribute to relevant conversations. 

3. Show your audience more of your brand by adopting your own hashtag. This is a great way to not only brand each of your Instagram posts but also for your fans to get involved and share their photos of your product or event.

4. Use trending hashtags to increase views on your tweets. Do you have something relevant to add to a trending topic on Twitter? Using a hashtag that already has a lot of eyes on it means your tweet will be exposed to more people.

5. Encourage fans to use your hashtag. Build community with brand loyalists by encouraging them to adopt and own the hashtag. 

6. Use hashtags across social media channels, connecting your message across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even YouTube.

7. Utilize hashtags for social listening. Determine which hashtags and keywords people are using when they are talking about a topic relevant to you. For example, in my work with Broadway shows, we regularly monitor hashtags and keywords that include names of our lead performers and alternate spellings of show titles. 

Social media, as a whole, affords pretty incredible opportunities to find and connect with people who are interested in what you have to offer. I encourage you to try using hashtags in a new way and see what kind of results you get. 

What's the biggest win you've experienced thus far using hashtags?

Mine are finding people with similar interests on Twitter because of Twitter chats + seeing my own wedding from about a hundred different angles. #Hilos1021 if you're curious. ;-)

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Social Media: Good vs Evil (or "It Might Be Time to Pull the Plug If…")

socialmediagoodvsevil

Social media. You crazy thing you.

Because of my access to you I’ve built a business, grown friendships, been confronted by a famous person, an acquaintance, and a stranger. I like you less when people use you to talk about politicians. I like you more when people use you to spread awareness about international crises and ways we can band together to make a difference

The truth is sometimes we need a breather from you—from your ever-present, all-access, overload of information. Sometimes people use you to complain, to be passive aggressive and to overshare. When we humans have a platform to share our thoughts it can get a little funny. So today I’m proposing ten reasons that we, your oh-so-faithful users, may need to take a break from you. (I’m going to move on to addressing the readers directly now. You may not want to listen…) 

It Might Be Time to Pull the Plug on Social Media If…

1. It makes you more angry than happy.

2. It makes you more jealous than happy.

3. You can’t resist the urge to lecture your friends and followers. 

4. You feel like your impulse control is waning. You check it at every opportunity. 

5. You spend a lot of time following people you don’t actually have relationships with in real life. 

6. You post content that you wouldn’t say out loud to a bunch of acquaintances. 

7. You can’t resist the urge to confront someone you know in real life on social media.

8. You can’t resist the urge to confront someone you don’t know in real life on social media. 

9. You feel guilty and voyeuristic about how you spend your time on social media. 

10. You’re so annoyed by the content that other people post that you volley back and post about your frustration. 

Perhaps you sense the common theme here. If social media draws out negative emotions in you more often than positive ones then maybe you should pull the plug. If you have trouble with boundaries and self-control on social media then maybe you should pull the plug. If using social media means you are observing life more than contributing to it maybe you should pull the plug. 

Social media is a mystifying animal. Just this week we Peanutized ourselves, raved about Ryan Adams’ 1989, and mourned the loss of Yogi Berra together online. We experience community with people we never would have had a meaningful conversation with at this point in our lives if it weren’t for social media. 

We can interact with like-minded people, learn from thought leaders, see our friends’ children grow up across the country, and even share a laugh together via social media. 

This vast landscape of online communication can be used for good and it can be used for evil. If social media brings up more negative feelings than positive ones, it may be time to shut it down for a little while or for a long while. 

Don’t forget that you ultimately hold the power. You are not held prisoner to any negativity that creeps into your life via social media. You can use the platform for good or you can opt out altogether. Just don’t be passive. That’s the big request here. Social media can be used for good or it can be used for evil. I encourage you, use it for good! 

Do you struggle with any (or many) of the items I listed above? What do you do to combat those tendencies? I’d love to hear about your strategy in the comments! 

Hilary's Social Media Tuesday Tip 002: Your 13-Second Hashtag Tutorial (Plus a Bonus!)

Hey guys! Back again with another Tuesday Tip! Today we're talking about hashtags and reach. If we're creating content for business we certainly want to reach as many people as possible. Are hashtags the way to go? Should you always slap on a hashtag just in case it helps expand your audience? It's important to know how hashtags work on each social platform. Here's a quick run-down of what you need to know.

1. Twitter. Hashtags can be very effective for growing your audience. I would encourage you to really only use them when they're highly appropriate for a certain audience. And more often than not add them on at the end. Because #nothing is more #annoying than a #tweet that looks like #this. #amiright?

2. Instagram. This is the place where you can really feel that hashtag freedom--especially if you put your hashtags in a comment below your caption rather than right in the caption. To each his own but I'm comfortable with seeing a good 9 or 10 hashtags if they are purposeful.

3. Linkedin. Leave your hashtags at home people because they don't do anything for you on this platform!

4. Facebook. This one is tricky guys. Hashtags do work on Facebook but they don't actually expand your reach. Facebook's algorithm actually punishes posts that include hashtags. So avoid, avoid!

And a bonus that didn't fit in my 13-second video:

5. Pinterest. Hashtags are only clickable in a pin description. Don't bother with them on boards or in your profile bio. Words without hashtags are just as searchable as words with hashtags on Pinterest. So unless you're creating a special hashtag just for your brand and you want consistency across Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, it may not be worth bothering.

I hope you've found this brief hashtag tutorial helpful. If you have any other hashtag questions feel free to throw them at me!

Top 5 Memories of 2014 & HSL Around the Web: December

My Top 5 Memories of 2014
My Top 5 Memories of 2014

Wow, here I sit writing to you on the last day of 2014. What a year it has been! My top 5 highlights of 2014 that come to mind are: performing in Mary Poppins, attending the Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder after-Tony party with Spotco in Rockefeller Center, visiting Charleston for the first time, running the Virginia 4-Miler, and traveling to California in October.

Work has been incredible this year. I worked a lot of hours but I've seen really solid results. HSL Creative has grown and transformed and so have I. While reflecting on 2014 is fun, I'm way more jazzed about looking forward to 2015. This is a big year. I'll be focusing a lot of my efforts on working as a brand journalist with Pursuant, a fundraising agency. My goal with my work with Pursuant is to help the nonprofit clients we serve share their exciting and moving stories, whether it's through a video, a blog post, a magazine article or even a podcast.

My work with HSL Creative will continue in the form of consulting, strategy and workshops. Our first workshop of the year is Blogging for Business at Toolry on January 17. It's $50--a steal--for the knowledge and practical help you'll walk away with.

More on the excitement of 2015 in my next post. For now a look back on all the places I've been published around the web this month. Happy Holidays!!

The HSL Creative Blog
Announcing the HSL Creative Blogging Workshop
Gift Guide for the Entrepreneur
5 Reasons Every Artist Should Have Two Careers

The Clutch Guide Blog 6 Tips to Avoid Becoming the Grinch This Christmas

Forefront Blog A Leader's Mentor

Lynchburg Business 9 Secrets to Improving Your Website Content

The Digital Drip Pursuant Gives Back: Repairing Wells Through Global Aid Network
Happy Holidays from Pursuant

And I also launched a side project that brings fairytale and superhero characters to life for children's events and parties in Virginia: Enchanting Entertainment Company. Check it out!

Hilary is an entrepreneur, musical theatre performer, and a brand journalist with Pursuant. Connect with her on Twitter

6 Reasons Someone You Know Did the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

In the name of ethical journey I feel it is my duty to share that I did this to myself.
In the name of ethical journey I feel it is my duty to share that I did this to myself.

Did you see an ice bucket video this week?

How about tweets or Instagram photos about #Ferguson?

What about the Downton Abbey philanthropic photo response to its historical snafu?

You probably saw at least one of these--if not all three.

What do these three social media viral moments have in common?

A purpose beyond simply entertainment, attention, and 15 minutes of fame.

Let’s start by analyzing the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Why did it work?

1. Whether watching or participating--it’s fun. Watching friends’ reactions the moment after cold water is dumped on them is priceless. And continues to be as long as people you actually know and like are participating. I’ve enjoyed watching the varying levels of theatrics that occur as people mentally prepare for the deluge and after it's been poured.

2. It’s a strange equalizer. Ok, so you’re not nominating Steven Spielberg like Oprah did. But this #ALSIceBucketChallenge is an opportunity for people to act out being the celebrity of their own social network for a day. How often do you and Jennifer Lopez and Bill Gates and Lady Gaga all do the same thing in a given day? It’s like a strange game of “celebrities, they’re just like us.”

3. It’s doable. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge is a fairly uncomplicated endeavor. What you need: a bucket, ice water, a friend with a camera, and the ability to name three friends to do it next. This mode of philanthropy may be mildly inconvenient (getting wet when not taking a shower can slow your day down a little) but difficult, it is not. Mark Zuckerberg can do it and oh yeah, so can you.

4. It’s for a good cause. Who doesn’t want to be a helper, giver, public servant, hero? Whether it seems obvious to you or not--this is a way to get the do-gooder euphoria without having to do very much (nope, you didn't dig a well in Africa, you poured water on your head). A lot of times philanthropy sounds like it is something for people who have all the time in the world or all the money in the world. But to participate in this, all you need is water, a bucket, and a camera (and hopefully a little cash to donate).

5. It’s goofy but has merit. Few adults would jump on the bandwagon of teenagers pulling pranks and posting them online (Planking? Hitting each other? Trying to drink a gallon of milk? Please stop.) But somehow the lure of a good cause (and the fact that nobody wants to wimp out on a worthwhile dare--especially if Matt Lauer was brave enough to do it) and your silly prank has gone viral.

6. People love their friends and doing good (and getting a little credit for doing good.) This is why Facebook has 1.23 billion active users--people want to connect with loved ones. The Ice Bucket Challenge pairs bonding with friends with doing something philanthropic and fun (and showing it to the world). So people get a trio of highs: shared experiences, doing something good for someone else and showing the world they are generous/fun people.

Whether or not you’ve embraced what some are calling “slacktivism,” the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has spread an astounding amount of awareness for the debilitating and fatal disease as well as raised millions of dollars. None of that would’ve happened without social media.

Bottom line: social media is THE way people are connecting with their communities and networks. They are sharing what’s important to them and hopefully beginning to realize that we can all make a difference--no matter the size of our platform.

So did you take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Were you a skeptic? Did you change your mind?

Will You Do Anything Social Media Free This Year?

The first lady celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday with a secret, social media free, dance party at the White House complete with a Beyoncé serenade. While that sounds about right for Michelle Obama the part of that announcement that caught my eye was “social media free.”

I also just saw a tweet from a friend who said he purposefully left his smart phone at home when he went out last night. Happiness ensued:

https://twitter.com/jasongotay/status/424942101785493504

I don’t know about you but the idea of leaving my phone at home on purpose or not documenting one of the most epic birthday parties of the year on Instagram gives me the shakes a little bit.

And that’s not a good thing.

At the beginning of the year I made some decisions and goals for the year. Among them: don’t look at my iPhone during church.

Like seriously--how sad is that?

In this world of smartphones being an acceptable accessory just about anywhere, it’s easy to think we always need to check our phones or at least have them within arm’s length.

But what if you leave it at home so you can have coffee with a friend without mentally being pulled into the office?

What if you can leave it in the car so you’re not distracted by notifications during the pastor’s sermon?

What if you can actually experience the feeling of being bored waiting in line at Walmart without giving yourself that mindless entertainment of scrolling through your Twitter feed?

While I’m obviously all for maximizing the potential of social media to improve lives, I readily recognize that boundaries need to be made and life is not meant to be experienced with our eyes constantly glued to screens.

I’m gonna try to be a little more mindful of that in 2014. I’m gonna let myself be a little more focused on the person in front of me. A little more bored in the grocery store line.

What will you do social media free in 2014?

10 Social Media Resolutions to Adopt This Year

The new year is upon us and with it is the opportunity to turn around some of our bad habits regarding our health, time, money and even social media. Yes, staggering numbers of people around the world have social media profiles but many of those people don’t have any kind of social strategy.

Social media just becomes one big time zapper when we don’t have any intention behind it.

So here are ten suggested social media resolutions for the year ahead.

1. I will know my privacy settings and make sure I’m sharing with the appropriate audience. As of last year 13 million people in the US had never touched their privacy settings on Facebook. That means you may be one of those people who is sharing content that is public for any identity thief, bot or creep to see. Get familiar with your privacy settings on all your social networks.

2. I will decide my intent for each social media platform I’m on whether it is growing my business network, staying connected to old friends, or increasing my platform as a thought leader.

3. I will only post content that is useful, uplifting or fun. Enough of the snark and the angry political posts. In many ways what I post on social media will be my legacy long after I’m gone. I want those messages to be inspiring. I will not use social media as a platform to be condescending, hurtful or whiny.

4. I will not overshare on social media. Whether it’s a family argument, details of an illness or my nephew’s bodily functions, I will not share anything that will gross out or embarrass anyone on social media.

5. I will not take myself too seriously on social media. Social media is the place to show the human side of my business. It’s also the place where I can share news about my business with my personal acquaintances. I will balance each business-esque post with other posts that show that I’m a human just like you.

6. I will be open to trying new platforms but I will stay focused. I will spend the bulk of my precious time focusing on one or two platforms that have proven to give me return on investment for my business but I will stay up to speed on popular apps and platforms. There’s nothing like being the last of your friends to log in to MySpace.

7. I will engage with others and respond when people communicate with me. Every comment on every photo posted to Facebook doesn’t necessarily merit a response but if someone wants to dialogue on Twitter it’s not beneficial to ignore him or her. Responses are a great way to show people you value them.

8. I will use social media to connect to leaders in my field and people who I admire. Social provides an incomparable opportunity to connect with thought leaders and great writers. This is an opportunity not to be wasted.

9. I will use apps like Buffer and Pocket to aggregate and share content that is useful to people who follow my accounts. So much interesting and helpful content is pumped through social media every day. With the right tools I can share the best of it with my tribe.

10. I will make private content more private and public content more public. I’ve decided to make my Instagram account private and be intentional about sharing photos through Twitter and Facebook when I want to share them with people I both know and don’t know. On the other hand my Twitter posts continue to be public and I’m hoping to increase my presence there by 30% this year.

Social media is all about being intentional with your time and the messages you send out into the world. In 2014 consider the value you want to add to society through your social media presence.

So here you have 10 suggested resolutions for the new year.

Tell me, what would you add to the list?

Introducing our newest eBook: Social Media for Live Experiences

In 2013 I've gotten the opportunity to dive into one of the most fascinating areas of my work: utilizing social media to enhance live events. Earlier this year I completed my master's thesis that analyzed a famous Broadway Twitter campaign and all summer I managed the social media accounts for Endstation Theatre Company's Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. So I got the opportunity to learn about the integration of social media, mobile devices and live events in an academic context and then a real-life highly practical context. Now I want to share with you what I've learned. I've teamed up again with Ben Stroup Enterprises to write Social Media for Live Experiences. This six-chapter book is a quick read that walks you through marketing a live event (whether it's a play, a church event or a conference) by connecting with your audience through social channels before, during and after the event takes place.

Social media is changing the landscape of communication. How will you utilize it?

5 Easy Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Business’ Social Media Presence

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It’s a given that your business needs to have a social media presence. And you’ve probably got one. But what can you do to make it just a little better today without spending a lot of extra time and energy? Here’s five tips you can implement today to improve your company’s social media presence.

1. Ask questions. Social media is about starting conversations. When was the last time your business to consumer brand asked a question of your audience online? Even on a business page, you don’t have to be “all business.” You can recognize a current event or national holiday and ask people about their plans. ie: "Anybody out there got a case of the Mondays? Comment on this post and come in before 9 AM for a free drip coffee. We want to make your week a little better."

2. Put a face with a name. When it comes to a social media presence for a small business a logo is good but a face is better. Go ahead and put an image of the owner or an employee as the profile picture for your business’ social media account. This brings accessibility and a personal touch to your online engagement.

3. Respond within 24 hours. Have you ever tried to get answers from a brand via Twitter or Facebook only to never hear from them? Not exactly sparkling customer service. Commit to responding to messages, comments and @ replies within 24 hours. The sooner the better.

4. Add photos. With the popularity of apps like Snapchat, Instagram and even the social media giant Pinterest, there’s no denying that images are everything. Post photos from time to time that exude your company culture.

5. Show some personality. Feel free to express excitement over a new product line. Post an article that has a controversial perspective on a business trend. Do anything but be all self-promotey all the time. Contribute value to the online conversation and avoid being confused for a robot.

What about you? Do you have any easy solutions for stepping up a company’s social media game?

The #1 Reason I Feel Ok Even Though I Don’t Live in a Major City

Me in Washington Square Park this Weekend. Taken by Juan-Carlos Lagares.
Me in Washington Square Park this Weekend. Taken by Juan-Carlos Lagares.

I’m from Nashville. A medium-sized city that as of late has become a “cool” place to live.

After college I spent time living back there as well as in Orlando and New York when I wasn’t living in quaint Virginia towns working in the theatre.

While people think it’s cool that I’m from Music City, nothing sounds sexier to the indiscriminate American than when you say you live in New York City.

Maybe it’s that so many people skulk through Times Square each year and can’t imagine that people actually live on that island. Maybe it’s because of the Stock Market or Broadway or Gossip Girl.

Any of those ways, since my last two years living in beautiful Central Virginia (far, far from the pace of the Big Apple) I’ve felt pangs of feeling less important, less “in the thick of it,” less, well, exciting, without a Manhattan zip code.

But as I was in New York this weekend I was reminded of the #1 reason that I have made peace with my (most likely temporary) residence outside of the Big Apple.

Social Media.

What I crave about living in a major city is the ability to rub elbows with influential people. I want to be challenged by people who hustle, have big dreams, and make a large and lasting impact on the world. There’s something about the pace of that place. People who mean business about their business move there.

Yes, there are pros and cons to living anywhere. If I was living on the Upper West Side I wouldn’t be writing to you today from my 200 square foot sunroom/office with windows on three walls (it’s a peaceful place).

But today is different than yesteryear. With the advent of online communities like Google+, Twitter and even sites like LevoLeague, I can connect with braniac freelance writers who do what I do but have more experience in the trenches. And spoiler: they live all over--not just in New York.

If I were in an isolated, internet-free world, I may be pretty sad about not living in a major city. But that is not the world in which I live. I am among a generation that has obscene amounts of information at our fingertips. I can read the daily musings of people like Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt, and Jenny Blake and also enjoy the low cost of living and fresh air. It’s good to be alive. Right now. Right here.

What say you? Do you live in a small city? Longing for a major city? Which pace do you prefer? What are the drawbacks?

 

5 Best Practices to Increase Your Happiness on Twitter

Twitter is but one of several social networks that are used by millions of people every day. If you’ve ever started to get bored with Twitter, were ready to delete your account, or wondered why people used the 140-character tool in the first place, check out these five tips for enjoying Twitter 1. Determine how you want to use it. My favorite social network is Twitter. Why? Because I follow a mix of friends, family, and thought leaders that post interesting, engaging content that is useful to me. A follow list without purpose could you leave you bored and annoyed on Twitter. But following your favorite author, magazine, or athlete could make it very exciting.

2. Utilize a source like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to make sure you don’t miss important posts. As a social media professional I use Tweetdeck to schedule posts and to follow several lists from each accounts I manage. It helps me stay organized and keep track of the content that I know our readers would want to see. Using Twitter without other applications almost guarantees that you'll be overwhelmed and that you'll miss the good stuff.

3. Utilize Buffer. This fantastic tool let’s you skip a step when it comes to scheduling posts. You can set up a schedule for when you want posts to drop and Buffer slides each post into a slot. With the Buffer button in my tool bar it’s so easy to keep the content flowing without having to stop and decide exactly what time it’s going out. Buffer is also awesome because it gives me an analytics report that tells me how each post is working. I can find out number of clicks, favorites, retweets, shares, etc.

4. Favorite tweets that you want to return to. When I’ve got a little down time and I'm scrolling through Twitter on my iPhone I don’t usually want to click away from my feed. I’d rather read a full-length article on my iPad or laptop. I primarily use my favorites as a bookmarking tool where I can go back and locate content that piqued my interest. Sometimes it’s a quote I want to recycle, sometimes it’s just a tweet that I find funny, but often it’s a link to an article that I want to read later. Favoriting an item is the way I “save for later” and it works great.

5. Interact with others. Connecting with friends, colleagues, thought leaders, and people who you admire, is one of the hands down best aspects of Twitter. Last week I had a tweet exchange with Dr. Karen Prior, the woman who wrote my favorite book of the year. I began an email exchange with Howard Sherman, the former Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, because I engaged with him on Twitter. Twitter is no replacement for eye contact and a firm handshake but it is an unprecedented mode of connecting with people. Maximizing that opportunity is by far Twitter’s coolest feature.

What is your favorite use for Twitter? Do you find other social networks to be more useful?

7 Tips for Being Your Own Publicist Online

Secret's out: we are not all celebrities and big shots that have a Samantha Jones-esque worldly wise publicist looking out for the messages we are sending out into the universe. Today your social media personality contributes heavily to client and colleague and even potential employer perceptions of you. Here are seven best practices for keeping a positive image online.

1. Vent somewhere else. Feeling the need to let off a little steam? Text a friend, write in your journal, or share it with your spouse. Don't type a status update. Venting via social media may have more negative repercussions than positive ones. You may come across as someone who has poor judgment or looks as if they have no one to talk to in the real world. It's bad press all the way around. Don't do it.

2. Keep away from unpleasantries. Whether it's photos of dead animals, oversharing about your morning hygiene routine or the details of your illness--think about your queasiest friend. Would she want to hear about it? If not, then just don't mention it.

3. Don't treat social media like a megaphone. Engage with others! Respond, comment, like. Don't waste hours of your day, of course, but the truly adept social networker finds that happy balance between sharing with his or her tribe and engaging with them. It's just rude to constantly post messages online and not respond to anyone else. Online manners FTW.

4. Avoid potentially offensive or polarizing statements. You probably know someone who is relatively meek in person and then seems to be an angry confrontational jerk on Facebook, amiright? Chances are, your perception of him has been affected by what he posts. There's nothing like logging on and realizing that former quiet, coworker is a little bit racist. Avoid off color jokes, criticizing others, and making sweeping statements regarding current events. Whatever you post can and could be used against you. So, just keep it classy.

5. Balance out that self-promotion. Social media provides an incredible venue to promote work that excites you. There's no reason not to let the world know when your album drops, you have a big art show, or are speaking at a conference. Just make sure you don't only turn to the interwebs when you have something to promote. Experts say self-promotion should be 10% or less of what you post. Adhering to that rule is a good idea.

6. Observe the Grandma Rule. Great question to ask yourself before posting anything: would I want Grandma to see this post? If yes, then go ahead and post it. If no, just skip it.

7. When in doubt, less is more. People can't twist the words you never say (or, type).  Don't feel the need to post something every day. Click "send" when you have something to contribute. Our words are our legacy.

What do you think? Do you have any rules to live by as you use social media? Do you have any tips for what to avoid? Post em in the comments!