Social Norms Of Social Media

The key to improving your social media reputation

By Caden Koenig

When MySpace was released in 2003, it started a craze of social media. Today, MySpace is no more, a mere dinosaur of technology. At first, the new, countless different social networks ran amuck with no rules. The lawlessness lingers to this day. But for the average person, there are some unspoken rules when using the big three (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter); the social norms.

As each social network has become popular, there are now different rules on how to conduct yourself upon these individual networks to blend into the norm.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

Let’s start with Instagram. If you have not found out yet, many people are adamant about not posting twice in a day in fear of judgment of another follower’s opinion. This has now evolved into a rule about double posting. Now double posting is few and far between on Instagram unless it comes from one’s spam account (which we’ll will talk about more later). A frequent poster on Instagram will be seen with a new post maybe 3-5 times a week, which is still daring. Maybe the reason is that the post is a photo and not as common as a concise, typed up representation of your thoughts.

Spam accounts are a new fad in the Instagram world that seem to defy these rules. Spam accounts break most social norms because they are the account only a select few are allowed to follow (since most are private) and they are used to post, rant, and even flaunt new apparel. The majority of posts that make it to one’s spam feed are full of photos people consider not good enough for their real Instagram account but good enough to share on social media.

Next is Twitter. There is no judgment placed upon multiple tweets or retweets in a day. Many prefer this to tweeting rarely. This norm does not apply as much to Twitter because a simple tweet does not make as many waves as a picture most likely elaborately filtered and edited before being posted.

As the first norm now hits the last of the big three, Facebook, the rule appears nonexistent. Now that it is common knowledge that parents have taken over Facebook, posts of any sorts in any quantity are welcomed by the caring parents that grasp onto the new technology.

Next, there are the minor rules that, for the most part, go unnoticed or unfollowed. These include following-to-follower ratio, excessive commenting/ retweeting, or the normal posting hours.

Many find the “ratio,” as it is commonly referred to, as not much of a rule, but rather a way to flaunt your status of how cool or interesting others think you are on your social network. Really, this means nothing. Disregard it because anybody who wants followers can get them and you can follow as many people as you want.

Next is excessive commenting or retweeting. It is not necessarily frowned upon to be so active, but the constant retweeting of unnecessary videos or commenting inside jokes you have between the commenter and the poster may agitate a few.

The recommended posting hours are usually somewhere in the afternoon to night time (roughly 2-8 p.m.). Posting sometime in this time period will most likely get you the most likes and activity out of your followers.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

No matter the judgment one may receive from being active and posting to entertain all of their followers, this norm trumps all: no politics.

Never, ever, ever should the average person discuss their political views on social media. While some people probably enjoy reading this type of post, trouble always comes from it on all three platforms.

Talking politics leads to arguments between people who would never dare say the things they are posting if they were face to face. Truthfully, and frankly, few people really care. It is your opinion and you stand by it, but all your followers don’t have to have the same opinion. It’s like the old saying that people would tell each other before you could argue about it behind a screen, “Never talk about money, religion, or politics.”

Following these recommendations will boost and most likely improve your social media reputation.