This is where Facebook oversharers go when the wifi’s out. Image courtesy of Flickr user Mike G. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.So, as you probably aren’t aware, I spent many hours of my formative years reading fanfiction on the intertubes. (Mock it and I will cut you.) Turns out, fandom is actually a pretty good place to learn the social media ropes for a variety of reasons. Most importantly for our purposes here, there’s a big internal rule within fandom that crossposting (posting one story in multiple places) is noted, apologized for, and rarely done.

Social media should be more like fandom.

If you’ve got the usual array of social media accounts–Twitter/Google /Facebook/LinkedIn/SkankJank–it’s easy to make it so that your single post can be sent off to every single one of those networks in one application. When the information you’re conveying to people is widely applicable and the massive crossposting is rare, that’s fine.

Easy crossposting starts to be an issue when every single one of your updates goes out to every single one of your networks. For people who follow you on multiple networks–and if you’re networking well, there will be a few of them–this is incredibly annoying. People who are following you on multiple networks are also the people you least want to annoy, as they’re your biggest fans or people you know in real life.

Mass crossposting is usually an indication that you’re using each network in exactly the same way. That’s a rookie mistake. Each of your social networks should serve a distinct purpose in representing you online, and the information that’s relevant to one channel should most likely not be relevant to all other channels unless you’re a Kardashian. Here are some guidelines for each network.

Facebook: Keep it primarily personal, though you can post when you get a new job or something similar. Privacy lock everything so that you can be more open on here if you want. Post infrequently. People who status update more than twice a day have a special place in hell.

Google : Doesn’t have its own protocols yet, so do whatever you want. If you crosspost everything from Twitter into G , your techsavvy friends (which are probably the only ones on G ) will mute you on one of the networks. You can probably afford to make your G feed the same as your Facebook feed without angering that many people. Tech-focused content will do well here.

Twitter: Try not to post more than once an hour. If this is an issue for you, use Twuffer. If you link your Twitter stream to Facebook, you’re probably being annoying. If you keep your account public, which you should, never speak badly of an individual, and aim for bon mots. On Facebook, people are willing to listen to you just being you. On Twitter, you should be singing for your supper by being funny or useful, particularly if you’re using Twitter in a professional capacity.

LinkedIn: Keep posts industry-related and useful. This is not the site for personal updates. Crossposts between here and Facebook or G should be carefully thought about and most likely avoided. Crossposts between here and Twitter only work if your Twitter account is career-related. When in doubt, don’t.

If following you on multiple networks provides distinct, rewarding insights, people are going to be more likely to actually listen to you. Hopefully, that’s why you’re on social media in the first place.