Everyone loves Friends. Even the cool guys who pretend that they don’t… they’re watching the re-runs on Comedy Central with everyone else. Whilst the show wrapped up in 2004 (9 years ago!!!) when social media was just beginning to find its feet, our 6 friends taught us some valuable lessons which everyone should consider when socialising online.
1. Sure, big yourself up a bit… but don’t brag
A big part of social media is self-promotion and developing your own ‘brand’, whether we may like it or not. Personally the words ‘Personal Brand’ make me a gag a little but it’s a bug bear of social media I’ve come to accept. It’s important to know the line between a little bit of harmless self-promo and downright public boasting.
2. Stick to what you know
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to use your social media (for business, for personal use etc.) it’s best to stick with your original intention for your profile. This means if you’re using, say, Twitter as part of a business do not tweet any personal information or personal opinions as this can quickly go against you.
Remember when you’re tweeting or commenting or anything through a business account, you can do fairly bad damage if you post something which is (a) not anything to do with the business, and (b) opinions which are your own and not that of the business you are representing.
3. But don’t be afraid to shock sometimes
Whilst you should try to stick to the original intention for your profiles, don’t be afraid to mix it up occasionally. Maybe don’t put a dead animal on your head with a jaunty little hat though. You don’t want your followers to know exactly what you’re going to say before you’ve posted it so try to throw in a curve ball every now and then to keep your profiles fresh and interesting.
4. Don’t drink and Tweet kids
If you take away anything from this post please let it be this. Everyone knows the terrifying feeling the morning after the night before when you check your phone to see the dreaded texts that were sent at or just how many people from your phonebook you tried to call at 4am.
This was bad enough but with social media becoming an integral part of our lives, the panicked phone check the next morning has become exponentially worse. Sending an embarrassing text is bad enough but you can at least take solace in the fact (hopefully) only one person has seen it. Do this on social media and every one of your followers just saw. Our advice? Log out of all your accounts beforehand and you should be fine.
Unless you marry your ex in Vegas… we can’t help with that.
Following on from the last point, it’s imperative to remember that what you’re putting out on social media is there for everyone to see. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, like Chandler asking Monica to marry him because he was sorry… in front of everyone.
Think carefully about what you’re saying and how it reflects on your own personal brand (ugh!) or the business you are representing. This may sound obvious but a lot of people make the mistake of getting too comfortable on their accounts and forgetting not only how many people they are reaching, but who.
6. Don’t get too repetitive
PIVOT! PIVOT!!! PIVOT!!!!! Here Ross Geller once again shows us what not to do in life (poor Ross). Repeating yourself will result in someone eventually telling you to shut up. There are few social media sins worse than repeating your content all the time.
Whether this is someone who constantly Instagrams pictures of their lunch (hang your head in shame) or someone who tweets the same mundane content over and over, remember that social media is about engagement. No one wants to engage with someone with nothing new to say!
7. A little flattery never hurt anyone
We are definitely not suggesting you use Joey’s famous line on all your followers (but if you do, please let us know how it goes) however using a little flattery to get you further is perfectly acceptable. Social media is a fantastic tool for building relationships and engaging your followers, so every now and then it’s okay to indulge in some downright sweet talk.
8. Don’t try to be cool
If you’re not 19… don’t try to be. There’s nothing un-cooler than trying to be cool. I’m not cool, I never have been and never will be and I’m perfectly happy to admit that! Don’t try to impress your followers. If you’re trying to impress them, you won’t. Just be yourself! I’ll stop now before I burst into song.
9. You’re never too old
If Danny DeVito can pull of being a 50 year old stripper then you are definitely not too old for social media.
A lot of people think of social media as something only for the young ‘uns but this is most definitely not the case. Not only is social media a fantastic tool for communication at any age (has anyone else suffered the embarrassment of their parents being on Facebook, commenting on every single thing you ever post?) but it can also give your career an impressive boost through making contacts and subsequent relationships.
More and more frequently employers will look at your CV and then your social media presence, so make sure your voice is heard on the net!
10. And don’t forget about the simple life
Sometimes there’s nothing better than just switching off everything and relaxing in the canoe in the middle of your living room. What do you mean you don’t have a canoe in the middle of your living room?!
About the Author
Caitlin Linskey is our superstar social media intern, and also a fan of Friends. But then again, who isn’t (a fan of Friends)?