Social Media Etiquette

 

Over the last few years, social networking has massively changed the interaction patterns between customers and businesses. Nowadays, the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection on your business and brand. Below you can find some rules of social media etiquette that you should never break.

  

Profile

 

· Never use the same account for your business and personal connections. Always create separate profile for your business purposes and only add there business related people.

 

· Fill out your online profile completely with information about you and your business. Use your real name and add a profile picture. Having a picture on file does make you look more reputable and professional. No any party pictures - unless this is your brand. Use the same photo on all social media sites for professionalism and continuity of your brand.

 
 

· Edit down your gallery to a more manageable number. Remember that in this case, quality is better than quantity. And also don't forget to put the best shots first, just in case the person who is watching doesn’t have so much time to make it through the whole album.

 

Content

 

· Always offer your audience information of value. Don't talk just about yourself and your company. Remember the 80/20 rule - Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second.

 

· Share interesting material several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours.

 

· Do not over-post or over tweet. Your audience will become very tired of you and your information may not be taken seriously and perhaps will even be skipped over.

 

· Review your content. Don't put anything on the Internet that you don't want your boss, client or potential clients to read.


 

 

· Always check grammar and spelling before posting anything.

 

· Never post when you're overly tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.

 

· Do not post too many hash tags and use them only when they are relevant.

 

· Be sceptical - Forward and post only information that has been verified. If the information you post is misleading or wrong, it can easily undermine your reputation and credibility. In worse scenario, it might lead you in court. Therefore, always check the facts out of a post before forwarding it any further.

 

· Never disclose privileged or confidential information. Do not post any information that can disclose the identities of current or former clients or any other information that could conceivably violate confidentiality obligations. This includes the use of geo-tagging in social media posts or uploading photos that may inadvertently reveal your geographic location when travelling on confidential client business.

 

· Do not overuse capital letters. If you post all letters in caps, it's hard to follow and people tend not paying attention to you. Plus, you could easily become the target of a trolling campaign.

 

· Do not overuse abbreviated messages and smiles. How many lol can you put in a post, before it looks bad? Overuse can easily create the opposite effect to the one you intend, and just as with 'shouting' it can lose you followers. So think hard about posting your lol and other txt talk, such as lmfao.

 

 

Communication

 

· Do not send out requests for birthdays, games invitations or other timewasters for those using the site. It is not professional and you will quickly lose credibility.

 

· Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend. It is important, as others will judge you by the company you keep.

 

· If someone does not want to be your friend, accept their decision gracefully. They have the right to make that choice and you have to accept it.

 

  

· Use direct messaging for private conversation, but never go too private. Always bear in mind that social media tools are a PUBLIC medium.

 

· Engage with your audience. Start building conversations by including other people in your posts. Just broadcasting what you think and what you’re doing (unless you are a celebrity) won’t win you many followers. Instead, interact with the people you’re following and who are following you through retweets (posting what someone else has shared), replies (answering a question or giving an opinion on someone’s update), and mentions (tagging other users in your tweet, which makes it more likely that they’ll see it). As with anything, use restraint, you don’t want to end up spamming your connections.

 

· Use comment in moderation. Commenting on other people’s posts is a fantastic way of getting noticed and building up online friendships, along with a good following. But do not focus on individual accounts all the time, as this could look more sinister to the other users. For example, if you keep immediately posting on a model’s page saying: "You look stunning" every time they post up a picture, this could make you look like an over obsessed fan or a stalker.

 

· Use promotional posts wisely. Do not continuously post something that focuses on a specific individual, product or app. Your audience might get quickly tired of these posts, as well as there is a risk for your account to be flagged as a SPAM.

 

· When marketing use a first name. If you want someone to actually respond back to you, you need to make your connection more personable. Using their first name is a great way to start! Plus, use first person plural when talking about your company brand (We, Us).

 

· Respond to all questions and comments as quickly as you can (unless they are hurtful comments)

 

 

· Dealing with hurtful comments online. The first, and easiest, option is to simply not respond and ignore the message. If you do feel the need to respond, take some time to think about what you’re going to say. Then read your comment out loud to see how it sounds: Sometimes what makes sense in your head doesn’t come across the way you intend. You can also easily unfriend the person who wrote hurtful comment or even block him from posting on most social platforms. If it continues to be an issue and you feel the service provider should be alerted to it, report. In some countries this can be regarded as a criminal offence, so with the very worst cases, you might even have to report it to the Police, but don't get worried about it, as it is very rare that this type of things get that far.
 

General

 

· Never tweet under the table in meetings and give the people who you are with your full attention. Do not tweet in sacred situations like weddings and funerals (even if the event does have a hash tag).

 

 

· Tag with care. We recommend you to adopt the policy that the first time you post a photo of someone, don’t tag him, but send an e-mail or message with a link to it. Ask if it is okay for you to post the picture and whether he is comfortable with being tagged in the future.

 

 

· Following and unfollowing. You are not obliged to follow someone back just because this person followed you, but bear in mind that you’ll have a better experience if you are connected to more people.

 

 

· Be nice and polite. Just because you are “hiding” behind a computer doesn’t give you free reign to act as you please. You still need to treat people properly. Be positive and encouraging, as no one wants to be associated with a negative individual. “Please” and “Thank You’s” do go a long way. If you want to be respected you first have to give respect.

 

· Don’t be too quick to judge – You know the old saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? It still holds true today. When meeting individuals online, you should strike up a conversation, get to know them a bit before you judge who or what they are. In social media and in marketing, relationships matter. Start building yours today!

 

· Don’t be annoying – Don’t continue to send emails out every hour on the hour. It’s annoying and clutters up one’s inbox. If you don’t hear back from an individual right away, give them some time. Some people aren’t surgically attached to their computers like some of us!

 

  

· Don’t be too quick to react. People are trying to figure out the most proper ways to communicate and millions are entering as rookies on a monthly basis, so show patience, kindness and assume those trying to interact are naive before you assume they are malicious.

These are just a few etiquette tips that are meant to be reminders. There are obviously many more. Just be thoughtful, kind and use common sense; the rest will come naturally.

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