While growing up, most of us were taught to “mind our manners.” Our parents and grandparents were teaching us social etiquette. They did it so we would know how to behave in public and not embarrass them. Today with everyone being on social media we now need to learn and practice social media etiquette.
Social media etiquette may sound like something you need to practice before going to a five-star restaurant. However, it’s all about having good social manners online. Have you ever thought about how you conduct yourself on your social networks? Are you feeling good about your online reputation?
To help you, we have put together a list of social media etiquette tips.
10 Tips for Proper Social Media Etiquette
1. Don’t be a “Cyber Bully”– Of course, the very first rule of social media etiquette emphasizes the importance of being polite. The worst thing about being online has to be”internet trolls”. They sit at their computers talking trash. They say things online that they would never have the nerve to say to a real person’s face. Don’t try to ruin everyone else’s online experience because of your real-life social issues.
2. People Should Know Who You Are-Your social media profiles should be complete. Photos are a good start. Your picture shouldn’t be a logo. We don’t meet logos at parties, do we? The logo can be a part of the picture. However, your face should be included as well. Also, take time out to complete all the “about you” information. First impressions are important and lasting.
3. Don’t Be Too Quick To Judge-When meeting individuals online, try striking up a conversation. Get to know them a bit before you jump to judgments about who or what they are. Relationships matter…. Start building good ones today!
4. Don’t Abuse your Networks-Use your networks the right way. Don’t post how your day is going all day long on LinkedIn. If you must share, Facebook would be more appropriate for those types of updates. To be honest, no one really cares! If you must, post things like tips, advice or quotes you find important.
5. Keep Personal and Business Separated-This is important for any professional on social media. This way you can avoid posting everything about your life to your professional network. You shouldn’t mix business and pleasure.
6. Be Accountable- People online say and do whatever they please without facing consequences. That doesn’t give YOU the right to behave any kind of way. If you are accountable for your actions, people will respect you. Whether they agree with you or not.
7. Match the Right Content to the Right Network
- LinkedIn is considered the social media platform for professionals. This isn’t exactly the place for you to post pictures from weekend parties or from family picnics. LinkedIn is a place where professionals want to read in-depth articles packed with information about the issues they are interested in.
- Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform. You may see the 140 character limit as a roadblock, but it can actually help you post direct, clear messages. Catchy tweets packed with stats, fun facts or questions can help catch the eye of your followers. Photos can also help break up the tweets and help you stand out.
- Facebook has more room for content, but this doesn’t mean that your posts should be paragraphs long. Aim to keep your posts punchy and to the point, but also leave the readers wanting more.
8. Be Mindful of the Online Reputation You’re Creating –Be sure that your posts, comments, and interactions are professional and that you aren’t creating digital dirt. The comments and images you post your responsibility. Also, make sure you regularly monitor the images other people share of you and the comments in which you are tagged or mentioned.
So what should you do if you have objections with a photo or comment you’ve been tagged in? First, remove the tag (you can do this). Second, contact the person who posted the image and ask them to remove it, too (only they can do that).
9. Build Consistency-You want the images that appear on your social pages to be consistent with the image others have of you. Your co-workers, clients, and followers, will have confidence that the person being presented is really you. But when your images are different, you will lose the trust of those who are counting on the professional image you have presented to them.
Think about a recruiter or your boss who is considering you for a promotion. Or a company that is considering your application for a job. Will they be able to go to your Facebook and Twitter profiles and see the same professional you present yourself to be? Your pictures don’t have to be formal, but they should not be considered offensive or questionable either.
10. Use the “Bulletin Board” Rule-Before you hit Post or Send, ask yourself if you would be comfortable posting it on the bulletin board at the office. If you wouldn’t be comfortable, then don’t hit “Post” or “Send”.
Your personal brand is an important part of your professional reputation, so be intentional with it. Using proper social media etiquette will help to ensure that the digital footprint that you are creating is positive. One thing you ALWAYS have to remember is once you put it out there, it is never going away. If someone wants to find out something about you, Google, Yahoo, and Bing are a couple of clicks away.
These social media etiquette tips are meant to guide people on how to use social media as a communication tool. Like most technology, social media was pretty much thrown into our laps without an instruction manual.
We are figuring it out as we go. Knowing a few social media etiquette tips can go a long way. Be sure to always put your best foot forward. Using common sense is a great place to start.
What rules of social media etiquette would you add to the list? Share yours in the comment section below!