Life & Business

Social Media DOs & (Please) DON’Ts

by Adam J. Kurtz

Social Media DOs & (Please) DON'Ts
Just saying “social media” out loud makes me cringe. It’s completely devoid of the heart and personality that make #posting and #sharing so great to begin with. But as we grow into media-savvy fans, brands, or both, we begin to understand why that robotic step back makes sense. Social media isn’t just a way to shout about feelings, it’s also a useful tool and it needs to be treated like one.

When cooking, there’s the recipe, and then there’s the stuff you figure out on your own. Though I can’t really cook, I can post like it’s my job (and sometimes it is). Here’s what I’ve learned. –ADAMJK

Social Media DOs & (Please) DON'Ts
DO: Be Honest
DO: Be Nice
DO: Be Spontaneous
DO: Be A Fan
DON'T: Be (Too) Desperate
DON'T: Be Untouchable
DON'T: Be Cocky
DON'T: Be Missing


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Adam J. Kurtz Adam J. Kurtz is a Brooklyn-based artist and author of several books including the international-bestselling 1 Page at a Time journal. His dark (but optimistic) humor comes to life in an offbeat line of gifts and small trinkets. Follow @ADAMJK for more.


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  • Buffering as we speak! Such great reminders to treat social media with spontaneity and common sense. Thank you!


  • wooo glad to see another post by Adam! And glad to see someone outline the ‘unwritten rules of social media’ ;)

  • I’d love to see more businesses and individuals follow through on these tips. Sometimes I wonder why so many accounts that have huge followings are so selective in whom they choose to follow back. Where is the “social” in that part of social media? I’m also baffled by the people out there with tons of admirers to who don’t engage with their fans unless those fans are similarly popular and recognized within their industry. I am always pleasantly surprised when someone whose post I’ve commented on has noticed and actually replies with a quick thank you. A simple gesture like that makes me think those people really enjoy the community they’ve built up within their followers.

    • Kate

      I think there’s a catch 22 with “big” accounts and follow-backs. At a certain point, if you’re looking to actually see the people you follow in your update feed, you have to edit down a bit, otherwise you’ll never see them. I deal with that every day with our account. I hardly ever see the updates from the majority of the people I follow because I’m following a lot of people. I’m always tempted to edit down to a smaller follower list, but I like the randomness that sometimes comes from following a ton of people. I may not see someone’s update for a week and then catch it randomly the week after, inspiring me to go through their archives and catch up. But for me, that breaking point was around 2500 people, after that I noticed I started missing regular updates from people I like following :(


      • Agreed. I think a lot of people end up creating separate business and personal accounts for that reason, but that’s sort of a headache in and of itself. That’s why I think it’s nice to see interaction in the comments or replies between the big accounts and their followers. :-) If you’re just one person doing it, though, of course there’s only so much time you can devote to that. Catch 22, indeed!

        • This is such a good conversation. I myself really limit who I follow, even skipping close friends, who I’ll choose to follow on one place, like Facebook, over another. Certain platforms (like instagram, which is so immediate and so visual) can really overwhelm me. I had to really decide what kind of inspiration to be following – more artists, less hot guys, basically.

          But yeah, oh my god, if someone is being awesome in the comments you gotta talk to them. It can be hard when updates move fast (it’s so easy to miss things) but I always try to look at who’s tagging and what they have to say. I always feel grateful that anyone cares what I have to share at all.

          • Thanks for sharing that insight! Good stuff to keep in mind. You’re right, if you follow a ton of people, you’re going to miss some posts and might not be able to keep up with comments or tags.

            This was a great post, so much food for thought!

  • I’d also suggest instagram posters not use 40+ hashtags after each photo (ie #blessed #happy #grey #soft) ad nauseum.

  • This was SO great to read. For the first time in my career, I’ve been engaged to direct content and social media for a brand that isn’t my own. I find it SO difficult to tell the brand story (which, for the record, is one I really like!) without seeming inauthentic.

    This is a really great list to refer to. Thanks Adam and Grace!

  • What a nice post and how real piece of advice!

    Social media can be a great tool for sharing, but it can also became a place just to say anything that no one cares about. Speak, but saying something interesting. I like it.

    SJ – simplyconversing