10 Dos and don’ts of social media etiquette

by | Aug 21, 2018

How to tackle social media etiquette

Social media etiquette is something that can be hard to get right, particularly if you're trying to make a good impact professionally. Here are ten tips to make it a bit easier to navigate.

Social media has been around for a while now. But despite that many users still get things horribly wrong. So here is a list of do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette. Maybe it's time for a refresh for experienced users  - it's very common to see old hands back slide, but also a brief tutorial for newbies.

 5 Dos of social media etiquette

  1. Do engage: Many people have social media profiles but don’t engage. It’s the real life equivalent of sitting in a corner and observing, or at a creepy level stalking. Eewww. Not cool. So engage. You don’t have to do this frequently but if you want to benefit from networking platforms, engagement is necessary. Note the word social in social media.
  2. Do be succinct: Long posts, particularly rants, tend to put people off. Be brief and make sure whatever you have to say stays on topic.
  3. Do use images: A picture paints a thousand words. Where you can, back up your content with an image. Please no more cats.
  4. Do connect in real life: If it’s appropriate then propose developing your connection to person to person. Making that transition can be very rewarding.  
  5. Do be gracious: Make sure engagement is appropriate and if something pushes your hot button, wait before you comment. Check your language carefully and make sure your communication is constructive. Never attack the person.

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5 Don’ts of social media etiquette

 

social media etiquette

 

  1. Don’t spam: Refrain from flooding your connections with pitches or requests for a job. They don’t know you or your product. This is a major turn-off. Aim to build up a relationship and wait to present yourself or your services at a suitable time.
  2. Don’t oversell: Social media provides an opportunity to present yourself in the best possible light. That doesn’t include exaggeration and over-selling your accomplishments. Keep it factual and accurate. That way it can never go wrong. Be strategic in what you highlight and make sure you keep your sales pitch in line with your goals. Who cares if you were on the High School gymnastics team if you are in your 40s unless you can still do a front walkover, in which case kudos!
  3. Don’t make white noise: Cyber space is filled with repetitious white noise. Make sure your content and comments are pertinent not inane. Keep your content original and thought provoking without being inflammatory for the sake of it.
  4. Don’t feed the trolls: Despite having the best intentions, many people posting on social media get trolled by bot accounts or individuals with nothing better to do than cause trouble and upset. The worst thing you can do is engage. If you have real difficulties then block, and always report.
  5. Don’t behave inappropriately: Whether this content is written or visual, remember that anything on social media has a habit to come back to bite you. The number of people who have fallen foul with unsuitable or ill-thought images, tweets or posts is high. This can impact you professionally and individually. Social media can be very unforgiving. Remember the screen capture button exists even if you try to delete an offending item later.

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Staff Writer: Career Contributor
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