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As a social media professional, my days are often spent creating compelling content, engaging with our community, or strategizing about whether that hot new social network is actually relevant for our business.

But when a colleague recently asked me whether or not it was okay to like her own Instagram photo, it made me think — what are other questions about social media etiquette that everyone is thinking, but nobody is asking? Here I'll share my take on some of these not-so-dumb questions.

Whether you're looking to build up your own personal brand via social channels, or manage social media on behalf of a company, here's some practical advice from the Salesforce social team.

1. When is it okay to like your own social media posts or photos?

I'd argue that it never is, but to each their own. If you decide something is worth sharing to your social media accounts, by default you already 'like' it! No need to hit that like button again.

While brands may be tempted to do this because they think it may increase their reach, it's better to let your followers make the call and show you their affinity.



2. Is it a selfie if other people are in it?

The term “selfie” is now a staple of social media activity. In 2014, Merriam-Webster officially added it to the dictionary — by definition, it is a photo that you take of yourself. Whether you use an outstretched arm, selfie stick, or mirror, if you're in it and you're also the one taking the photo, it counts.

And if it's you taking the photo with 10 of your closest friends behind you? Not a selfie — though some might argue that it is for you, but not for them. But please don't start calling it an “usie” either.



3. How about if someone else takes a photo of just you? Can that be a selfie?

Nope. Again, a selfie by definition is a photo that one has taken of oneself. While the photos from your latest vacation of you standing in front of various scenic backdrops might get you a ton of likes, they're not selfies.

4. Why do people use super-long hashtags that clearly have no purpose?

More than likely, the poster is just trying to be funny! These hashtags don't really have a functional purpose, like adding to relevant conversations or making the post discoverable by more like-minded people, and they are more an attempt to be clever.

For example, adding #custserv to posts about how millennials are shaking up how companies should approach customer care may get your post seen by more service professionals, but #idontgetthepointofhashtagsanyway clearly won't (though it may get you a chuckle from your followers).



Have a social media question you were always afraid to ask? Tell us @Salesforce