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What To Do Social Media Etiquette

Tips on not being a snob in the social media world.

I didn’t realize that not everyone instinctively knows how to interact in social media until recently. People are snubbing potential contacts and missing their target left and right because they don’t know the basics of social media etiquette. Despite the cavalier attitude in general towards having an online presence and sharing everything with the world, there are still basic rules that must be followed if you expect to make anything of your social media experience.

                “Friending” Facebook has a system that acts as a buffer between you and anyone else on the website. If someone wants to have full access to the profile pictures, videos and comments you make, they have to be accepted as a "friend" by you. “Friend” in the online world has come to combine acquaintance, buddy, family member, classmate and co-worker into one familiar term. Sure, you aren’t really "friends" with an old college professor, but they did like you as a student and might have some contacts that could help you in your job hunt. Whatever you decide - to "friend" or not - you can turn down any friend request without the person seeing your rejection; so rest easy.

                “Following” At first, I didn’t like Twitter because it’s a little bit of work to build a following. “Following” allows you to see all of the “tweets” expressed by a certain person. If you love a certain celebrity, you’d follow them. Twitter is different because you can have different numbers of followers than people you follow. This is because not everyone you’re interested in following will be as interested in you. Sometimes you have to follow others with similar interests first. However, it is considered very rude to not follow someone who follows you! At the very least, always send a private message thanking them for following you.

                Commenting.  If you , this is proof of your success. When people comment on something you write, it signifies that you made an impact. Updating a blog regularly (once or twice a week at least ) is the best way to attract attention—except for writing something intriguing to audiences and witty for good measure.  If you have a company blog and only update it once every few months, you’re not going to break any ground. It’s almost like not having one. It’s good etiquette to respond to reader comments, as well. Acknowledge their input.

These are just a few examples with the main social media titans, but the principles apply anywhere. Social media can be a ton of fun and a great marketing tool for businesses, but it can also make you look boring, snobby and nonprogressive if you don’t make an effort to interact. So you might want to get that nose out of the air.

Deena C. Spell May 06, 2011 at 04:44 PM
I think most people feel the way you do. There's really no harm in following someone for a few days and if they keep tweeting uninteresting material, just un-following them. What I'm talking about in this article is the initial contact--the building of a social media relationship.
Tj May 06, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Deena, loved this post and gllad your "commenters" created a little friendly tension... They solidify and validate the importance of your perspective... There is my two cents... Now who wants to follow me? :)
Deena C. Spell May 07, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Thank you!
Lisa Horn May 07, 2011 at 09:14 PM
I don't mind a DM, but make it personal. Auto DMs may be convenient, but I find them annoying. Another etiquette tip is to thank followers who RT or @ mention you in a #FF or other post. If someone takes the time to share your content or give you a shout out, it's only appropriate for you to take the time to thank them for the effort. Being polite is always smart--whether in face-to-face or virtual situations. Thanks for adding to the discussion with this post. Lisa Horn Content Matters http://whycontentmatters.com @thepublicitygal
Deena C. Spell May 10, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Thanks for your input!

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