Social Media: The Etiquette of Sharing Content


“If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine.” 
― Steven Tyler

The saying says… “Sharing Is Caring”!!! This is not always a true statement in the world of social media. If you are an avid social media user, you may have noticed the following:

  • Requests for page “likes” that are not returned.
  • Retweets unreciprocated or impermanent followers.
  • You visit blogs, share content, and receive no acknowledgement. There’s no comment of thanks or a brief visit to your blog or Facebook page.

I refer to these fair – weather Twitter tweeters, greedy Facebookers, and illiberal bloggers as social media vampires. Beware! They lay in wait, ready to pounce and suck the blood of what could be faithful supporters. Thus, leaving them cowering in a virtual corner reluctant to share the content of those outside their immediate circle. This type of behavior is detrimental to social media users who believes in the old saying “One good deed deserves another.” Retweeting, liking, following back, sharing and, or, even a short comment extending gratitude is an act of appreciation.

Time is precious; No one wants to waste it!

Be cognitive of a person’s time. When your content is liked or shared, be conscious of the fact that someone took time out of their day to read, comment and share your content. That my friend is a privilege, not a requirement! How hard is it to return the favor? Let me tell you it’s not hard at all, whether you send an automated thank you, tweet some content of theirs, or simply like a post. Show appreciation for the 5 to 10 minutes they took out of their day.

To follow or unfollow, that is the question.

“#unfollow I see 200 followers who unfollowed me.” I know this tweet is familiar to those of us who use it. I love the ability to find out who my real followers are and who I need to stop supporting. Beware of these fly- by- night followers. They troll for frequent tweeters, retweet your content, then eventually follow. The social media enthusiast takes the bait by following back and tweeting frequently. The numbers shark will then wait for the perfect time to unfollow while the unsuspecting victim continues to show support. It’s all a numbers game! The Sharks deceitful way of gaining followers for their own benefit.

A blog is used in many ways: a magazine, diary, or business. It thrives off of its subscribers who are the contributors, customers, and fans that encourage the blogger to post and grow in popularity. They peruse posts and share what interests them. Word of mouth travels fast, but a click travels at the speed of light. Think about how many thank you messages you have received from the blogs you have visited. A distasteful way of building a social media presence would be not acknowledging your visitors and fans. They’re no longer worthy of my support… #unfollow.

Build a #socialmedia tribe.

Content sharing can be a rewarding experience if your strategy is favorable to everyone. Post content to your active platforms both manually and via an automated system. Some responses to content are worthy of a personal touch. How would you feel if you received a generic Thank you note from someone you invested precious time supporting? Very unappreciated.

Be mindful that most followers search for content. Your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page is one in a trillion, but they chose you. The social media gods have smiled upon you; be grateful, follow and share the content of your newbies. Not only are you building a tribe but also long lasting relationships.

Proper social sharing etiquette encourages people to share your posts consistently. I share, you share. I like, you like. One hand washing the other allows both parties to excel. A social community with trust and loyalty as its foundation will not crumble and fall.

Social Media: Engagement is important.

I feel compelled to explain the proper social media engagement for tangible success, briefly. The majority of people believe automated responses are socially acceptable, showing authenticity is mainly what makes people loyal. The intimacy of one-on–one contact reveals the human side of your blog, Twitter, and Facebook page. Automated comments and tweets are not problematic and can be quite useful but not for all situations. Don’t fall into the trap of being viewed as a robot.

Look at it like this, everyone that invests time sharing your content ensures the success of your site. If you are asked a question that is not a FAQ, or a very personal comment is made, or a compliment is extended, your personal attention is well deserved. It may only take five minutes to add another person to your tribe which will last a lifetime. The best part is you’re spending time not money!

Long lasting social media relationships are more valuable to your social media strategy than the content you’re promoting. Good luck out there in building your social media tribe. Comments and questions are welcomed.

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  1. Reblogged this on Live…Love…Share!!! and commented:

    As a #socialmedia coordinator and enthusiast, I wrote this article for “Two Drops of Ink” regarding the importance of #sharing #content. Many have commented that it was very informative. A great follow up to the reblogged post by Peter Giblett.

  2. Hi, Lydia. Once again, you’ve taking the mystery out of a social media topic. I get careless and don’t share, but what I try to do is with each new follower, I’ll immediately go to their feed and find something that I can genuinely feel good about sharing and then do that.

    I also try on “Thank You Thursdays” (my reminder) to list those who’ve followed for that week. I don’t always get to it, but feel good when I do.

    I know you practice what you preach and are a wonderful resource and writer here at Two Drops. Thanks for the effort you put into this, and for the reminder to mind our manners.

    • Hello Marilyn, Going to their feed and sharing acceptable content is an acceptable way of saying “Thanks”. Everyone does not have the time to go send individual thank you’s. Although, the automated thanks and content sharing is acceptable. For personal compliments and comments you and Scott are awesome at response time and showing appreciation. Thanks so much for the pat on the back. I Love It!!!

  3. Very well stated. On sites like Twitter I usually try to reciprocate by retweeting or liking or replying to tweets. That seems in the long run to be more helpful than sending a thank you every time someone retweets. That retweet may not appear for a day or two because I do schedule ahead to try to balance my feed. Sometimes I may retweet a special tweet I really like to more than one account. I do try to thank people who share my posts on Facebook.

    • Thanks for your comment Barbara. My point exactly! You show appreciation for the support of your followers. Your practices I would find proper etiquette and I would continue to tweet and retweet your content. Let’s keep in mind those who show very little to no appreciation. I totally appreciate you responding to this post. Thanks so much. I hope to have the ability to chat with you again.

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