What is key when engaging communities on social media?

This is going to sound a little trite or maybe overly simplistic, but I think the real key when engaging with anyone online can be summed as:

Don’t be a jerk.

Little things matter. Whether it’s respecting pronouns, being inclusive in what you post, trying to make sure that your jokes don’t cross over to the offensive, or just not engaging when you know that it won’t end well. Having a voice is great. Being a part of a community that is active and vocal is amazing. But at the end of the day we all have a responsibility to just be cool as a cucumber with one another. I know I miss the mark sometimes, and I think it’s okay to fail and acknowledge that it’s part of learning. But I think it’s so pivotal to learn from those failures and be better. Know when to apologize, know when to ask if there’s something you don’t get, and know when to walk away from the screen and let the conversation end.

Making great content, being funny, having the perfect reply, being the mememaster extraordinaire are all great. But at the end of the day a community is only strong if it’s united in the idea that everyone is welcome and their contributions matter. Being the type of person and contributor that facilitates that is the main way anyone can help ensure the longevity and strength of any online community.


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