Social Networking Do's and Don'ts

Social networking has made the world a smaller place. It is an invaluable tool when used in a responsible manner. Every pageant contestant needs to include social networking in their personal marketing plan and should understand the role social media plays in the promotion of their community service platform and the pageant they represent. Learn to utilize this powerful networking and marketing tool in a positive way to enhance your pageant career, and avoid common online blunders. 

DO build relationships. Engage your followers in conversation, share information and help share their information as well. Social networking is about give and take. Rather than worrying about how many followers you have, focus on building a relationship with the followers you do have. Keeping the interaction fresh and fun will make others want to join in the conversation!
DON’T share negative content. Social networking is not the place for you to vent about your boyfriend, your mom, your diet, school, work, or not winning.  
DO support your fellow contestants. Give a shout of encouragement or congratulations!
DON’T give us too much information. Your social media network does not need to know every detail of your life. Live in the moment and know what to keep to yourself. 
DO promote your appearances and service projects. Let people know about your public events so they can support you or contribute to your service efforts. 
DON’T be overly religious, political or sexual in nature. Save your strong opinions for the interview room. Social networking is an opportunity to appeal to the masses, make contacts and promote your work. 
DO be a source of inspiration. Share the things that inspire you and offer your own personal insight into positive thinking.
DON’T share pictures you wouldn’t want one of your pageant judges to see (or your parents for that matter). I suggest limiting what your Facebook friends can tag you in as well. Utilize the privacy setting social networks offer, however, don’t rest on those alone. Make good choices and remember that once something is on the internet, it’s there for the masses to see. 
DO showcase your leadership. Let everyone know the good works you are doing in your community and beyond.
DON’T give the world a play by play of your whereabouts. Safety is a real issue, especially for a beautiful, successful pageant star such as yourself. Promoting public appearances is one thing, but be careful not to give away your location when traveling. Comment after the fact in order to ensure your safety. 
DO promote your platform by blogging and sharing related links. For instance, if your platform is one of Cancer prevention, offer prevention tips like reminders to do self exams, have regular check-ups, and promote cancer fighting foods and recipes. 
Maintain ongoing development of quality content on all your social networks. That includes incorporating your website and blogs into the mix. Social networking is an information highway, but it is also a form of entertainment. Keep it interesting as you build relationships with people you might never have had the opportunity to connect with outside of social media. Make sure the image you are creating throughout your social networks is consistent with who you are and your personal pageant package. 

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