Friday, January 8, 2010

Social Media Etiquette

A while back I had an experience that prompted me to write a blog ‘How’s that working for you.’ I do a lot of networking both face to face and online and sometimes I am just amazed at the actions and tactics of some people. Recently I had an online experience that has prompted me to muse about Social Media Etiquette. If you are just getting started with using Social Media for your business, I encourage you to research and study the proper and effective ways to use it.

Social media is the online version of working the room, and basically, all the social graces and standards that you apply to your every day interactions in face-to-face situations apply online as well.

Social media is a great tool to use in marketing and good marketing can be done through social media sites when it is done correctly. This is a great marketplace full of ideas, random thoughts, fun links and a wealth of knowledge. You can make sure your business, brand name and website shows up in this marketplace but if you do it the wrong way, you could end up blacklisted. If you break certain rules of etiquette, it’s likely you will be labeled as a spammer or even blocked and rejected by users of the site.

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:

• Be polite and respectful
• Don't swear or be rude
• Resist the temptation to argue
• Don't be confrontational
• Help others with advice and answers to their questions
• Say please and thank you
• Extend the courtesy of responding when someone writes on your wall, @s or DMs you, or messages you
• Don't blatantly push/sell your product or service
• Avoid blatant spam of your links or products to people who you haven’t had a conversation with or don’t even know
• Don’t spam your links or products to new friends who you haven’t even talked to yet
• Don’t fill up their inbox unless they have not expressed interest in your product or service. That's called 'spaming'
• Know that you don’t have to follow or add everyone who asks you to
• Don’t expect people to add you just because you add them or send them a request
• When sending a friend request, unless it’s obvious, state who you are and why you are wanting to make a connection
• Don’t put your product advertisement in your friend request.
• Don’t put your product advertisement on their personal page unless you have asked permission first.
• Don’t use your numbers as a status symbol or verification of worth (and especially don’t brag about it)

The professional goal of social media is to build relationships that may one day turn into business opportunities. You would never walk into a restaurant, interrupt everyone's dinner, pass out your business cards, then leave. So why would you think this is acceptable online?

People do business with people they like, and the way to earn respect is to be authentic and genuine in your interactions with social media friends and acquaintances. Treat people the way that you like to be treated, and always remember that once online, it's there for good. Draft, review, and reconsider before posting. Protect your reputation.

If you hire someone to manage your social media sites, you need to be sure you are working with an experienced professional that knows proper etiquette as well and will represent you properly.

Portions of the above were taken from ‘Grow Your Company” and ‘SEO Driven

Happy Networking Online,
Painted Lady Enterprises
“Helping You and Your Business Look Good”

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Dennis Lynn said...

Awesome blog. I couldn't have said it better. The things you post - they can go viral very quickly - a massive amount of people can be exposed to what you say online within a few minutes. Annette is absolutely correct - that list is dead-on. If you are using social media for business - you really need to be careful - be professional.

paintedlady musings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paintedlady musings said...

Thank you Dennis. I appreciate your reinforcement since you are in the Social Media business and an excellent resource -


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