At Dreamforce 2011, I met up with a small group who called themselves “girly geeks” for an informal happy hour. They were welcoming and genuine. They were supportive and encouraging. They were fiercely committed to making sure that the voice of women had a place in the Salesforce ecosystem. They rekindled the passion I had for my Salesforce admin work, and inspired me to get involved in both my local community and the online community.

When I returned from that year’s Dreamforce, I started attending my local user group meetups. I started writing a Salesforce blog. And for the first time in my professional life, I started engaging with the Salesforce community online. These things were all very new to me! Especially communicating via the internet in a professional capacity, rather than just in my personal life.

When I first became active on Twitter and in the Success Community, I was anxious about everything I posted. It took me a while to find my “voice” and feel completely comfortable, both as a blogger and as someone sharing information in the community.  Over time – and as the internet has become increasingly negative and unkind – I’ve developed some guidelines for how and what I post, and questions that I like to ask myself.

  • Be helpful or useful! Don’t post without a purpose. (What is my goal in posting this?)
  • Make sure the post is clear, and easily consumable. (Have I made what I want to convey obvious to anyone who might read it?)
  • Don’t be offensive or negative. (Am I being condescending? Am I reacting to another post without thinking? Am I needlessly debating a point to prove someone wrong?)
  • Mean what you say. (Is this really the information that I want to be sharing?)
  • Don’t blindly retweet or repost things, especially links to articles. (Did I read the whole article? Do I truly agree with this, enough to share it?)
  • Be yourself and speak your mind. (Is it genuine? Is this how I would sound if I said it out loud?)

And one more rule that I have – more for peace of mind than for posting – never, ever base your personal worth of the number of likes, reposts, or retweets you get. It’s awesome when other people share or respond to what you post. But if you posted something because you truly wanted to share it, then that is enough.

These apply to comments/responses to other people’s posts, too! However you participate in social media, mindfulness is key. Think before you post. Be curious, not condescending. Find your voice, be yourself, and have fun with it!

Related post: Making the Most of the Success Community

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