Getting involved in a social network can be intimidating when you don't know the platform's etiquette. With its own lingo, acronyms, and hashtags, a social network might seem more complicated than it actually is.
But many of the rules in social media are the same ones taught in kindergarten, and here are a few to keep in mind.
Be yourself. To quote Oscar Wilde, "be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Being yourself doesn't mean being self-absorbed but being true to who you are.
Love data? Proclaim that love. Obsessed with email marketing? Embrace the email marketer you are. If you're a desperately unhip, small-business owner who cares about Big Data, be that online, too. Don't force pop-culture references in your comments or pretend to understand what you don't know.
Pay attention. Just like children are told to pay attention to their teachers, folks need to pay attention to the conversations around them. What are the latest trends, developments, and PR hits and misses being discussed?
In the following infographic, Uberflip suggests that those on social networks ask themselves, "What's new? How can I improve?" Remember that education is a lifelong process.
Ask for help. When a student has a question, he raises his hand. Likewise, you shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. Don't know the difference between an RT and an MT on Twitter? Ask. If you don't ask, you won't know. Ignorance can lead to missed opportunities or, worse, a social media fail.
To find out more about how lessons from kindergarten can be applied to social media etiquette, check out the following infographic.