I know some of you are going to read that title and think "Seriously? Haven't we been over and over this topic?" While typically I'd be in agreement some of the things I've seen lately have led me to believe that perhaps these things aren't as widely known as I thought they were.
The first, and perhaps most important, rule is: Put the emphasis on the Social not the MEdia. In other words, don't make it all about you. Why are you on facebook and twitter and whatever else if you aren't there to connect with others? That's why it's called SOCIAL media. Talk to people, even if you don't know them. Engage others in conversation. Don't just talk about what's going on in your life, your career, etc.
Don't spam. Twitter and Goodreads seem to be where this happens most often. Don't set up your account to auto message new followers with 'Buy my book' or 'Like my page' or 'subscribe to my blog.' And don't recommend your own book to people. No matter how much you're sure they'll like it, just don't.
Do reach out to others, offer them support, congratulate them. Comment on the cute pictures of their kids. Be friendly.
Do remember that if you wouldn't be willing to say something to someone's face, don't say it online. Be respectful of other's feelings.
And finally, for this blog post anyway, have fun. Find your niche and enjoy it.
*Kathleen Collins is anxiously awaiting the release of her first book, Realm Walker, on October 28, 2013. You can find her online at kathleencollins.net and on twitter at @kathy_collins