July 31, 2011

Rachel Strella

Don’t Tweet with Your Mouth Full!

While the various social media networks have their own unique characteristics, the principles for proper etiquette remain the same whether you are using Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. And while social media may seem like a far cry from a formal banquet hall, many of the same etiquette rules apply. A good example is exercising common courtesy such as being polite. By exercising social media courtesy, you gain respect from those with whom you are connected.

Social media is all about participation, so don’t be afraid to comment on posts that interest you, especially when you feel you something valuable to say. However, avoid being too negative. Also watch that you don’t reveal anything too personal. Remember the golden role: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to see on a NYC billboard! If you have a lot to say or if you want to address something potentially controversial, sometimes it’s best to send a direct message or email to the recipient rather than kick up dust on social media sites.

Remember, what you say online is permanent and very visible. Once posted, it’s out there for the world see, whether you attempt to delete it or not.

Here are some more tips that we crafted using Chris Brogan’s “An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette” as a guide:

  • Have a profile picture (of yourself, at a minimum) so that those you reach out to connect with a name and a face together before accepting.
  • When you decide to unfriend or stop following someone, you don’t have to say anything to the person, just leave gracefully.  However, don’t remove this person only to send a friend request again in a few months. Before taking action, make sure you want this person out of our network permanently.
  • Do not comment on a post solely to promote yourself or your business. It’s OK to identify with someone based on a similar experience, but try to avoid making yourself the focal point.
  • If you find yourself reading a post and nodding your head or smiling, feel free to comment or at least “Like” the post so that the writer is aware you read it.
  • Promote and re-tweet when someone posts something you enjoyed or found valuable. This is proper etiquette and the author may return the favor, with your posts, in the future.

What are some social media etiquette tips you can share?

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