Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Netiquette Core Rules For The Best Social Etiquette - Via Netiquette IQ

Netiquette IQ Blog of The Day - 25 Hints For Better Social Media Etiquette!

The content of this blog is generally email centric. However, the true definition of Netiquette is that it applies to all communication via the Internet. The post below is for social media and a good one. It has valuable advice for Netiquette in different areas of social media.
Social Media Etiquette for Business: 25 Do’s & Don’ts
By Travis Balinas, Published July 30, 2014 -
Learning the best social media etiquette for business owners, especially small businesses, is almost as hard as getting started with social media in the first place. Over time, social networks have evolved almost as much as the ways people and businesses are using them. With constant evolution and daily growth, it can be tough staying on top of the best practices that come from experience. What’s even harder to do is to fully understand all of the little nuances that act as unwritten etiquette rules that run these networks.
However, the more comfortable you become with social media, the more you drift away from remembering that it’s still about business too. A favorite quote of mine comes from my friend Jason Falls:
The more sales oriented you are, the less human you become. In today’s world, that often equates to fewer sales or at least a poor long-term sales strategy. The more human you are, the less businesslike you become. If you forget about business in that existence, you will suffer as well. It takes one to fuel the other.
When it comes to etiquette, behavior, and what to do/not to do, this is something that takes a bit more practice to fully understand. that’s why I’ve put together 25 of the best do’s and don’ts for small business social media. Over the years, these too will change as well, but for right now, this is the best starting point for social media business etiquette.
1) Have Your Social Media Profiles Completed in Full
No one likes to get to a Twitter page only to find out that they haven’t taken the time to upload a photo to their account. Photos are a good start, having a name that is easily identified as being you and your business is a must, and take that extra 5 minutes to fill out all the “about you” information. First impressions are important and lasting. What do your social media profiles say about you?
2) Don’t Have Multiple Profiles
Just as hard as it is to try and live two separate lives, so it is to manage multiple profiles of yourself. This doesn’t mean that everything is all or nothing and you have to live your life as an open book. But it does mean that if you’re going to be on a particular network that you familiarize yourself with the security settings so you can know what you’re posting publicly and privately.
3) You Are What You Tweet…and Share
Just use good common sense. The internet is now the track record of your life. Don’t share something that you don’t want to be left as a representation of you. But don’t let this stop you from making yourself known on issues and things that matter. Having no voice pertaining to certain things that your business stands behind could be worse than a few people disagreeing with your own beliefs. Be proud of who you are and represent as a business, but make sure that you know what image you’re crafting as a result.
4) Use Automation Sparingly…Social is Still about Relationships
Automating certain aspects of your social media updating can be good for both continued social media engagement and for your own time of day. For example, OutboundEngine customers enjoy automated social media updates to their business pages about a dozen times a month. This keeps fresh content in front of their clients and frees up their time throughout the day. But with this, they’re still able to post on their own, tweet, share, and communicate with their audience, and encouraged to do so.
5) Don’t Try to be Everywhere All the Time
If you have a few free hours everyday, then by all means, try every social network out there. But let’s be realistic, that’s not the case. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick one or two social networks for starters and go from there. Personally, I’d recommend building a personal profile on LinkedIn and a Facebook Business Page.
6) Be a Friend to Get a Friend
See someone ask a question on Twitter that you know the answer to? Send them a reply! Is one of your Facebook friends asking for a recommendation for a realtor? Recommend your friends Business Page. Did you write a helpful post on your blog? Ask for feedback from your LinkedIn network. Build connections online just how you would in person.
7) Don’t Be Needy
No one likes someone who is needy. Don’t ask your Twitter followers to “retweet this tweet please.” Don’t beg your Facebook friends to come “Like” your page. Get creative with things. You can still accomplish those tasks, but learn how to disguise them.
8) Be Wary of Spam (and Don’t Be Spammy)
Just because you get a follower on Twitter doesn’t mean they’re a real person. Do your homework. If they’re following 20,000 people and have zero followers, chances are they’re garbage. And please don’t click on any links they might send to you. On the other side of that coin, don’t join 20 groups on LinkedIn and go post the same self-promotional message in all of them, and then leave. That’s just rude!
9) Transparency is the Ultimate Form of Trustworthiness
Should you run into an issue that causes a flurry of activity on social media, the worst thing you can do is try and hide from the issue. Never delete comments, try and respond the best you can, and don’t become defensive. Work to resolve the issue and let those that cared about it online know when it is solved.
10) Have a Direction for Your Sharing, Don’t Be All Over the Place, and Build Consistency
Find a direction and stick to it. People don’t like having the rug pulled out from underneath them when it comes to what they are expecting. If you like sharing cool DIY things around the house and one day decide to share something unrelated, you’ll have some confused and upset followers.
11) Don’t Over Share
At that same token of consistently, don’t over-share. With Twitter, you can tweet a half dozen times per day and be fine. With Facebook Business Page, once a day should be enough. The same goes for LinkedIn too.
12) Avoid Poor Grammar and Spelling
Nothing makes you look sillier than bad grammar and spelling. Word of advice: prep your social media updates in a Word doc before going public just to make sure.
ARE YOU MAD AT ME? DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? Please for the love of all things holy stop with the all caps. All they say is that you’re not creative and probably upset about something.
14) #Don’t #Abuse #Hashtags
Hashtags are a good way to help get your tweets and Facebook posts categorized with similar content so when someone searches for that keyword, they find you. This does not mean that you turn every word into a post a hashtag.
15) Stop Sharing The Same Message Again And Again
It’s definitely lazy and in poor taste to take the same status update, tweet, or LinkedIn post and continue to share it over and over again. First of all, all social networks are smart enough to see the repetition and they’ll start showing your post to less and less people. Secondly, it’s just a bad way to label yourself as lazy and spammy.
16) Stay Away From Auto-DM’s
As you learn more about social networks, you’ll learn about things other people do and tools that they use. When the time comes and you think you should send new Twitter followers an automated direct message (DM)….please don’t. It’s tacky.
17) Engage in Constructive Introspection
Always ask yourself “does anyone care about this except me?” and you’ll really find out whether or not your social media posts are hitting the mark. Again, this goes back to listening first, posting second. Make sure you’re sharing things that your audience cares about.
18) Share Without Any Intention of Getting Something in Return
Remember this especially if you’re just starting out. Just because you’re doing something on social media, doesn’t mean it matters yet. Just like starting out with your business, things were slow at first until you made connections, built up a reputation, and got a handle on things. Same goes for your social media accounts.
19) Be Generous and Give Credit When Credit is Due
This is especially true on Twitter. Nobody likes it when you steal a good update. Take the time to find their Twitter handle and mention them in a tweet. Send out thank you tweets to people whose work you enjoy. You’ll make some great connections.
20) Match the Right Content to the Right Network (and be Mindful of the Tone of Each Network)
Just because you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and you find a really cool article to share, doesn’t mean that it belongs on each network. You’ll learn in a short time what sort of things get shared on each network. You’ve also got to realize that the same message you used on Facebook might need to be dressed up a little bit more when shared to LinkedIn. Keep the tone of each network in mind as well.
21) Don’t Automate Across Platforms
Twitter has a feature that allows you to share your tweets to Facebook, simultaneously. You can also tweet out your LinkedIn status updates as well. Stay away from this multi-channel messaging feature and you’ll be fine. Take the extra 30 seconds it takes and write an original message for each channel.
22) Act How You’d Like to be Treated
If you find it annoying when a Facebook Business Page continually posts updates about their store hours or if you follow a Twitter account that continually send out the same tweet in all caps, remember not to do the same. It’s just good to keep in mind.
23) Think Before Tagging
Tagging people in photos is a great way to expose you and your business to their friends. When they’re tagged in a photo posted by you, you’ll be shown to their network of friends. But please, always check with someone before you tag them in a photo or check them in with you on a social channel.
24) Don’t Get Caught Up in the Numbers Game
It’s so painfully easy to get caught up in the numbers game but remember this: while having lots of Facebook Fans and Twitter followers is good, they’re only as good as they’re makeup. Meaning, if you have 1,000 Twitter followers that are all spam accounts, then there’s no point to tweeting because the message is to an audience that truly doesn’t exist.
25) Have Fun
Remember how social media started as a way to keep in touch with friends and family? Just because you’re using it for your small business doesn’t mean that you should stop having fun with it. Try new things, post different stuff, and always keep things conversational. Have fun with it and you’ll learn that you can enjoy this part of your job.
And with that, I wish you all the best of luck and feel confident that you are all well equipped to start your journey to becoming a socially thriving small business.
Originally posted on the OutboundEngine blog.
 In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.


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