Six Tips for a Successful Social Media Existence



Picture from Garfield Anderssen via Flickr

[This post that I did about 8 years ago is one of my favorites and I am running it again today.]

These are rules I have written for myself, to (hopefully) live long and prosper in social media.  I am neither a social media “expert” nor wildly successful in generating business through social media.  But these rules make sense.


  1. Keep it positive.  The world is full of negative events and people.  For an example, follow any major news stream.  There is no reason to add to it.  Emphasizing negative points and people perceived “failings” does not add any value; it simply poisons the atmosphere.
  2. Respond to messages (particularly @ messages and direct messages on Twitter) If someone talks to you in “real” life, you usually answer.  Why should it be different in social media?  It should not.  Acknowledge people when you are singled out through a Facebook Wall Posting or Twitter @ message.  It only takes a couple of seconds.
  3. Post value.  Common sense dictates people will want to follow if you offer something valuable to them.  It might be a tip, an interesting news story or interesting local events.  There are millions of messages to read, the ones that stand out add value.
  4. Provide links that work.  This is a minor item, but clicking on links to interesting content that are broken is annoying.  If it happens more than once or twice with a particular source, I’m not inclined to keep clicking.
  5. If you understand it, leave it alone.  No one likes a nitpicker: in social media or in life.  It’s easy to mistype or leave out a word.  Usually, it is clear what the poster meant; if it is, there is no need to correct or question the post.  If there is a legitimate question about the post, ask the question in a way that is not smug or condescending.
  6. Be real. This phrase means different things to different people. When I use it, I’m talking about allowing all of the content I generate on this site to be a reflection of who I am.


Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."


Hi Shawn,

Thanks for the tips!


medical assistant

this post is very usefull thx!

Shawn J. Roberts

Your welcome, thank you for reading it!

Glenda Standfield

Awesome pics! I love the post so much! xoxo

Alida Dspain

There is an excellent article regarding getting mass traffic from Twitter via your WordPress based blog. Here it is:

Ryan Hukill

I agree completely, and I’d say that if someone’s only going to follow one of these rules, it should be #2. Most people miss the boat by not engaging in real conversation. That’s where the value is. That’s where the relationships are built. Besides, who wants to have a one-sided conversation?

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you for the comment, Ryan, you are someone who in my opinion is doing social media the rigth way.