There are a variety of resources online for teaching good social media etiquette. The following tips, for example, sourced from USA TODAY‘s college preparedness website feature a great list of rules that will prepare you for success:

YOU ARE WHAT YOU ‘TWEET’

Every post, retweet, link and picture that you share is a reflection of who you are. Your social media profiles tell your story and give you the chance to create a brand for yourself. Every platform has a separate audience for you to broadcast that message to. Find the right channels for your desired industry and use social media to accomplish your goals.

THE GRANDMA, FIRST GRADER, BOSS RULE

Ask yourself, “Would I want my grandma to see this post? What about a classroom full of first graders? My boss?” If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no,’ do not post it.

What you share online can be found, even when you hit that delete button two hours later. It’s better to learn this now then in 20 years when you’re running for Congress. Above all else, do not PUI (Post Under the Influence).

FACE YOUR PROBLEMS, DON’T FACEBOOK YOUR PROBLEMS.

Too often, we let our emotions get the best of us and post updates without thinking. This could be posting an angry subtweet, making a Facebook status about the boyfriend that broke up with you or even making an insulting comment on someone else’s post.

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, MAKE A LINKEDIN PROFILE.

LinkedIn is an awesome resource for college students, especially those who are job-hunting. It provides a platform to network with professionals in your field and join groups to ask relevant questions. Unfortunately, college students tend to spend less time on LinkedIn compared with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.

DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY.

Use your head. Social media was never meant to be a journal for your every thought or action. When in doubt, remember what Dwight Schrute said. “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ And if they would, I do not do that thing.”Source: 5 simple rules for social media by Courtney Smith

Following the rules can bring success

Consider Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He uses his social media platforms to present his thoughts about current events. Because he is an astrophysicist, his posts are often intellectual, but with a comedic twist.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Another public figure, Joel Osteen, is a motivational speaker and pastor of Lakewood Church in Texas. His social media is used to encourage and inspire his followers to follow their dreams and embrace positive thinking.JTNDYmxvY2txdW90ZSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10d2VldCUyMiUyMGRhdGEtbGFuZyUzRCUyMmVuJTIyJTNFJTNDcCUyMGxhbmclM0QlMjJlbiUyMiUyMGRpciUzRCUyMmx0ciUyMiUzRVlvdSUyMGNhbiVFMiU4MCU5OXQlMjBzdG9wJTIwcGVvcGxlJTIwZnJvbSUyMHNheWluZyUyMHRoaW5ncyUzQiUyMHlvdSUyMGNhbiVFMiU4MCU5OXQlMjBwcmV2ZW50JTIwdGhlJTIwbmVnYXRpdmUlMkMlMjBidXQlMjB5b3UlMjBkb24lRTIlODAlOTl0JTIwaGF2ZSUyMHRvJTIwYWxsb3clMjBpdCUyMGludG8lMjB5b3VyJTIwc3Bpcml0LiUzQyUyRnAlM0UlMjZtZGFzaCUzQiUyMEpvZWwlMjBPc3RlZW4lMjAlMjglNDBKb2VsT3N0ZWVuJTI5JTIwJTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGSm9lbE9zdGVlbiUyRnN0YXR1cyUyRjY5OTU3MTgzMjA5NDEyNjA4MCUyMiUzRUZlYnJ1YXJ5JTIwMTYlMkMlMjAyMDE2JTNDJTJGYSUzRSUzQyUyRmJsb2NrcXVvdGUlM0UlMjAlM0NzY3JpcHQlMjBhc3luYyUyMHNyYyUzRCUyMiUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==JTNDYmxvY2txdW90ZSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10d2VldCUyMiUyMGRhdGEtbGFuZyUzRCUyMmVuJTIyJTNFJTNDcCUyMGxhbmclM0QlMjJlbiUyMiUyMGRpciUzRCUyMmx0ciUyMiUzRVJ1biUyMHlvdXIlMjByYWNlLiUyMEZvY3VzJTIwb24lMjB5b3VyJTIwZ29hbHMlMkMlMjBhbmQlMjBHb2QlMjB3aWxsJTIwYnJpbmclMjB0aGUlMjByaWdodCUyMHBlb3BsZSUyMGludG8lMjB5b3VyJTIwbGlmZS4lM0MlMkZwJTNFJTI2bWRhc2glM0IlMjBKb2VsJTIwT3N0ZWVuJTIwJTI4JTQwSm9lbE9zdGVlbiUyOSUyMCUzQ2ElMjBocmVmJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZ0d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRkpvZWxPc3RlZW4lMkZzdGF0dXMlMkY3MDA2NDg2NDMyODAyNjkzMTIlMjIlM0VGZWJydWFyeSUyMDE5JTJDJTIwMjAxNiUzQyUyRmElM0UlM0MlMkZibG9ja3F1b3RlJTNFJTIwJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZwbGF0Zm9ybS50d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRndpZGdldHMuanMlMjIlMjBjaGFyc2V0JTNEJTIydXRmLTglMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0U=JTNDYmxvY2txdW90ZSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10d2VldCUyMiUyMGRhdGEtbGFuZyUzRCUyMmVuJTIyJTNFJTNDcCUyMGxhbmclM0QlMjJlbiUyMiUyMGRpciUzRCUyMmx0ciUyMiUzRUJlZm9yZSUyMHlvdSUyMGp1ZGdlJTIwc29tZW9uZSUyQyUyMHJlbWVtYmVyJTJDJTIweW91JTIwZG9uJUUyJTgwJTk5dCUyMGtub3clMjBob3clMjBHb2QlMjBpcyUyMGdvaW5nJTIwdG8lMjB1c2UlMjB0aGVtLiUzQyUyRnAlM0UlMjZtZGFzaCUzQiUyMEpvZWwlMjBPc3RlZW4lMjAlMjglNDBKb2VsT3N0ZWVuJTI5JTIwJTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGSm9lbE9zdGVlbiUyRnN0YXR1cyUyRjcwMjEwMzI5ODE4MzE5NjY3MiUyMiUzRUZlYnJ1YXJ5JTIwMjMlMkMlMjAyMDE2JTNDJTJGYSUzRSUzQyUyRmJsb2NrcXVvdGUlM0UlMjAlM0NzY3JpcHQlMjBhc3luYyUyMHNyYyUzRCUyMiUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==Even though these public figures are in two different professions, both of them follow the traditional “rules” of social media. They don’t post anything they wouldn’t want their grandma to read, and if they are critical of other people, it is always respectful.

Both Tyson and Osteen have been able to use their social media presence to reach a wider audience and consequently gain more opportunities (books, television, podcasts) to strengthen their brand.

Leverage your following for more opportunities

Karen Civil is an entrepreneur widely respected in the hip hop community as a trend setter and taste maker. She is know for her website, which features entertainment news, music, and interviews with artists. But she is also a talented PR and communications specialist who has learned how to use her blog and social media following to create new opportunities.