Social Media can be a real time sink. There is no doubt. And with out a strategy, the danger of spending hours online and getting nothing accomplished is very real.

So in response to this apparent need of saving people time online, Social Media Aggregation services were invented. These services allow you to simply post your update once, and 40 of your social media sites get the update simultaneously.

Seems like a good idea, right?

Well, I say Absolutely NOT. That’s like going to a baseball game and asking who is playing guard.

Each Social Media community carries it’s own level of intimacy. And if you have a strategy for using Social Media to get your next job, then you wouldn’t have the time sink issue to begin with.

Lets review some of the most popular social media sites and what is and is not acceptable. I call this the “Rules of Intimacy”.

LinkedIn Rules of Intimacy

  • Yes, LinkedIn allow you to post updates about what you are doing. But it NOT Twitter.
  • Don’t post more than 1 time per day
  • It’s not the place for personal details
  • Do post using your professional keywords

Twitter Rules of Intimacy

  • This is the place to be personal, and you should be at least 80% of the time
  • The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll get and the better your network
  • Don’t try to sell people anything, and likewise, only tweet about your job search 5-10% of the time
  • Interact, thank people for re-tweeting and reply to direct messages

Facebook Rules of Intimacy

Just a quick note, said that 34% of employers rejected someone based on what they found on Facebook. Be Careful!

  • If you don’t want to use Facebook for your job search, then lock it down. Make sure employers can’t get in there.
  • If you do want to use Facebook for your job search, decide if you’ll let strangers see your profile and keep it clean
  • Delete obscene photos, games or applications as well as messages from friends that won’t go over well
  • Option: if you want to keep Facebook for friends but still want to leverage it for your job search, just start your own Fan Page

Some friends of mine decided to call in sick to work and go surfing. They took some great photos of their time at the coast and one friend posted on the other friend’s wall, “We should call in sick more often”.

Their boss had access to their profiles and was checking up on them. Yikes. They didn’t get fired, but they aren’t on good standing either.

Take time to learn the social rules of each community and then follow them. Remember, quality of interaction is WAY more important than being able to post to 40 sites at once. I’d rather have one good cookie then a bag full of bad ones.

What are your reactions to this post? Do you have a funny story to tell? More advice for other readers? Please share them in the comments below.