8 essentials of social media etiquette

social media globeSocial media rules can be complex and confusing, writes BuzzFeed Senior Writer Tom Phillips, who offers eight ways to navigate online.

1.  Know the lingo. For example, some people call any picture on social media a selfie, when that term only refers to photos taken of the subject, by the subject.

2.  Approve sparingly. A simple click can show you agree with something—but be careful. Giving a thumbs up can be unclear on Twitter. Is it a high-five or an invitation to flirt?

3.  Don’t be vague. If you need to call someone out, call them out.

4.  Remember, not everything needs a hashtag. Putting a hashtag on #every #little #thing or in an #efforttolooklikeyouknowwhatyouredoingis messy and bizarre.

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5.  Use each platform for its purpose. Twitter, Facebook and Linked­­In all have different purposes and audiences. Keep them separated—LinkedIn is work-oriented, and the other two are social.

6.  Don’t obsess over retweets. Retweeting doesn’t build a good online experience.

7.  Slow down. When you’re tempted to react, take a breath— and hit delete instead of post.

8.  Take it all with a grain of salt. Just remember that others have their own ideas about the rules, too.

— Adapted from “Mind Your Manners: A Timely Guide to Social Media,” Tom Phillips.