Etiquette across social networks, like social networking itself, is not much different online than it is off. Good common sense can take you far. But social media etiquette is a bit subjective. Each of us has our own way of doing things and what feels like second nature to one person may feel incredibly awkward to someone else on the same social network. The beauty of this is that it is alright. We’re human and we aren’t always going to agree on every nuance when it comes to etiquette across our social networks.
However, there are some social media etiquette basics everyone should know (LIKE KEEP THE CAPS LOCK OFF).
Regardless of whether you’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or your Blog, always use your common sense. If it isn’t something you would say to someone face to face, it is safe to say you should not be saying it from behind the computer screen. Be respectful of others and conduct yourself appropriately.
5 Must-Know Social Media Etiquette Tips
1 – Bring value. Make sure you’re taking the time to share the things you find interesting. You don’t need to play to an audience, that isn’t natural. Share the tidbits you come across with your friends and followers, like that new social sharing site, adorable photo, clever video and that article you loved and you’ll probably attract like-minded individuals. (Using the appropriate hashtags help, too!)
2 – Create conversations, ask questions and dive in. It shouldn’t be all about self-promotion all the time. Use your status updates to invite conversation. Get to know the people in your stream or news feed. Find out what projects they’re working on and if you’re interested, how you might be able to participate. Take the time to promote others more than you promote yourself. That’s always good etiquette!
3 – Keep automation to a minimum. As a general rule, Auto DMs are frowned upon. Can you get away with them? You might be able to, but there’s a fine line. A good rule here is if you’re going to use them, they’d better be about the person following you and not about promoting your stuff. Also, if you plan to use Auto DMs you should follow people back before you DM them and use a platform to help you control it all. Psst… It’s a dead giveaway when someone tries to respond to your Auto DM and they can’t because you’re not following them back.
When is it OK to use automation? It’s OK to schedule posts some of the time but don’t make that the rule, keep it as the exception. For example, if you’re in the Atlantic time zone and you’ve already said good morning, it’s acceptable to schedule a few good morning tweets to catch people coming on and starting their day in other time zones. The key is to be ready to engage and follow-up once those automated posts go out and people begin to reply. No point in scheduling a discussion point to post at 3 AM if you aren’t going to be around to discuss it.
4 – Review before you retweet. Heck, review before you tweet. This doesn’t just apply to Twitter, this goes for all sharing. Make sure what you’re sharing is actually something you want to share. Take the time to click through and visit the link or read the article, etc. to determine if it is something you really want to share with your community.
Also, double-check your status update before you hit send or share. Can it be taken out of context? If you aren’t sure, have someone else review it and give you their opinion. When in doubt, don’t send it out.
5 – Keep a cool head. I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been guilty of breaking this etiquette tip when it comes to customer service. If you have an issue with a company, rather than attack them, reach out to them for resolution. Remember, there’s a person behind that logo. Nothing is going to get resolved if all you’re doing is venting. If you’re truly looking for resolution, take the time to reach out and explain the issue you are having. Then, be ready to take it to private messages or offline altogether if necessary. The same can and should be applied for discrepancies with individuals!
What do you think? Do you agree with these social media etiquette tips or do you take a different approach? What would you add to this article?