Minding Your Manners: 5 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Etiquette

With more than 1.23 billion people connecting with family, friends, and colleagues just on Facebook, it’s easy to see that social media channels are becoming the most public and digital forums of this generation. Along with social media comes a personal responsibility to ensure all postings on your personal account or your company’s page are crafted with professionalism, tact, and digital etiquette.

Much like using the salad fork for your dinner entree, disregarding the rules of conduct when connecting with others on social media to promote business opportunities and develop potential leads is considered a faux pas. Following these simple steps will ensure you have a permanent invitation to the digital dinner table.

Professionalism is Paramount

Professionalism is critical to the success of social media, which means this is not the place to communicate informally. Social networks are some of the most public forums in the world, so it is important to treat all of your connections, fans, and followers with equal respect. If your post isn’t something you are comfortable having repeated, then social media definitely is not the forum in which to share it.

Use Grammar and Spell Check

Potential clients or customers judge companies for using poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word choices, so don’t forget to use spell and grammar check prior to posting. Depending on your brand, reserve the use of slang or abbreviations only in the most informal social media conversations. It’s also important to combat negativity and post complaints by maintaining a positive attitude and voice on your social channel.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The photos you post should represent your personal or company brand well. Avoid sharing photos that are revealing, unprofessional, embarrassing or negative. Many potential employers are now checking out the social media footprint of possible job candidates before extending an offer of employment, so keep in mind that photos you thought were cute during your college days may not be quite as appealing to your future boss or company CEO.

Keep Your Personal Business Private

Regardless of your audience, the best choice is to keep relationship issues and personal drama private. If you don’t want an opinion or judgment from your social media followers, you should avoid posting content that is too personal or controversial. If you absolutely cannot resist the urge to post about these issues, keep it very vague and never share personal information about your connections during these exchanges.

Avoid Pitching or Soliciting

Pitching, soliciting, or attempting to sell anything to your social media connections is inappropriate and the perfect way to find your page unfollowed or yourself defriended. A more appropriate strategy to share your company’s story with your connections is to support a project or effort they are leading. Instead, cultivate your relationship with potential customers by incentivizing them for their interaction. Good examples include offering to spotlight them in a blog post on your company’s website and social media channels or sending them free promotional items that educate them about your business.

 

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Follow Macrae Brennan-Fuller:
Macrae is a Content Editor at KWSM, and has previously worked as a journalist for newspapers, magazines and online publications. She also has experience in internal communications, media relations and public affairs. Macrae's favorite social media channel is LinkedIn.