Social Media Etiquettes

 Social Media Etiquettes - 

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Social Media Etiquette for Business

It has been quite a while since we last discussed social media etiquette for business. However, there is a lot to be said on the subject. In this article, we will give you new insight into an extremely important aspect of professional behavior.

The rules to follow

At this point, social media is certainly not new or mysterious although it evolves at an extremely rapid pace. New aspects of the various social media channels are being introduced frequently. Of course, there are the basics of proper etiquette and then there is another layer that is certainly worth consideration. 

Just to think about the history of social media etiquette for a moment, it all started in the 1990s and just evolved from there to what it is today. In the beginning, nobody really had a clear sense of how to behave exactly. 

There was a bit of a trial and error situation initially but, at this point, the proper etiquette is pretty well established.

Undoubtedly, there are certain behaviors that are obviously wrong to everyone who experiences them. In those cases, it is easy to understand right from wrong. 

Then there are those behaviors that are more subtle and those are less obvious and more difficult to determine whether they are right or wrong or just a personal preference. One thing that makes it easier at times is that some of the social media channels will provide you with their rules of etiquette. 

That leaves no wiggle room on your part. Whether you agree with those rules or not, you have an obligation to follow them if you wish to be a part of that particular social media channel. It is the rules that have a subjective element to them that need to be determined. 

The sad fact is that if you can't figure those out, you may get into uncomfortable situations that you are not entirely sure how to get out of. In addition to following the etiquette rules of other people's choosing, you should also come up with your own rules as well. That will help to guide you and it will make things a lot easier on a day-to-day basis.

One thing that makes it easier at times is that some of the social media channels will provide you with their rules of etiquette. 

That leaves no wiggle room on your part. Whether you agree with those rules or not, you have an obligation to follow them if you wish to be a part of that particular social media channel. 

It is the rules that have a subjective element to them that need to be determined. The sad fact is that if you can't figure those out, you may get into uncomfortable situations that you are not entirely sure how to get out of. 

In addition to following the etiquette rules of other people's choosing, you should also come up with your own rules as well. That will help to guide you and it will make things a lot easier on a day-to-day basis.

Contribute something of value to others

When it comes to the content that you are sharing, you want it to be educational, valuable, compelling, and you want it to make your readers want to share it with other people whom they know and trust. In fact, your ultimate goal is to get your content to go viral through the actions of the people who are reading it.

 If you are going to achieve that, your content must not only be well-written but also exciting to read. You may think that having to meet all of those criteria is quite a burden. 

However, once you start to write and to share valuable content that other people have written, it will start to go much smoother. You will see! It is a really good idea to sit down and think about what you want to write before you actually do any writing at all.

 You want to write content that resonates with a large number of people, that the person reading your content can use to improve his or her business, is in the friendliest format, that fulfills the needs and wants of the people who read it, and that is available to your readers at a time when they will be inclined to read it. If you accomplish all of that with your content, you will succeed.

Write personal messages

Automating certain things is really valuable and convenient. However, when it comes to responding to other people online after they have made an effort to reach out to you, that must be done personally. After all, you are trying to build a human relationship with the other person. There is no way that offering a canned message will suffice. 

If you do that, the human/emotional element will definitely be missing. Without it, you will not get anywhere. People don't appreciate being treated like they don't matter and that is exactly how an automated message will make them feel. How would you feel about it?

Be timely

Not only should you respond to other people personally but you should also respond to them quickly. You probably would not want to wait a long time for the other person's response so why would you think that the other person would feel any differently about that? Again, it all goes back to building a relationship together. 

In order to do that, you need to interact as humans. If you are overwhelmed with work, you should ask someone else (who is connected to your business) to respond on your behalf. No matter what, the response needs to be the human kind. The fact is that the comments that you receive online will not all be positive. 

The negative comments are the ones that are even more urgent and critical to answer. That is all part of your relationship-building. If you address concerns quickly and manage to rectify them, you will be earning trust and credibility, which are two of the building blogs of a solid relationship.

Show some class

As a parallel, think about the divorced couple with children. The shared custody and each one speaks bitterly about the other to the children. 

We all know that to behave in that manner is inappropriate, destructive, and just plain wrong. Okay, now you can apply that concept to whether you choose to be respectful when you are speaking about your competitors. 

The fact is that your competitors are not doing anything wrong by giving you a run for your money. They are in exactly the same position as you. They have a brand and products and/or services that they believe in. 

Their wish is to improve someone else's experience based on that brand and those products and/or services. Don't you feel exactly the same way? 

Chances are that you do. Don't say negative, disrespectful things about them. It makes you seem insecure and petty. If you have confidence in what you are doing and what you are offering to other people, there is no need for that. It all starts from within you.

Make your content as shareable as possible

The format of your content is very important when it comes to making it easy for other people to share it. If you follow the rules of the particular social media channel to which you are posting, it will be a lot easier to share your content. 

As you are probably aware, some of the social media channels have length restrictions. As difficult as that is, you need to do your best to respect those. Otherwise, your content will be truncated. That certainly will do you (or your content) any good.

Always put your professional foot forward

You are probably well aware of the fact that you have social media for personal reasons as well as for business. 

Of course, what we are discussing here is a business. You need to ensure that you keep any personal element out of your interactions on social media for business. 

It is just not appropriate. You should make sure to have separate accounts for personal and for business. Trust me when I say that if you don't do that, your professional connections will not take you seriously. If that happens, you will not succeed in business.


Social media etiquette for business is critical to your success. The chances are great that you are already doing most of what would be considered proper etiquette. You may have to adjust some minor things that didn't occur to you before but it really is no big deal. 

What should drive your behavior at all times is respect and admiration for your other people. Of course, you need to make sure that your content is in no way offensive to anyone and that it helps other people in some way. That should be another (and very important) motivator for you.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company's Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. 

He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

What Is Social Media Etiquette and How Does It Apply to My Business?

Social media etiquette is just a digital version of traditional etiquette. The same considerations should be given through social media, as you would when networking and interacting with people offline.

The reasons etiquette can get scrambled or forgotten, is that we often forget there are real, living and breathing people, on the other side of the computer screen.

Even if you can't view their immediate reactions to your postings, through the form of facial expressions or an immediate verbal response, your fans and followers will remember what you post, and they will quickly form an impression of you and your business from your profiles.

Social media for business is a powerful tool, but for it to work well, you need to understand the platform, the people you are interacting with, and employ good etiquette.

Here are some tips, to get you started in the social space, while maintaining good etiquette standards:

Get to know your fans and followers

Treat your fans and followers as real people. Show them respect and respond to them in the same way you would if you were meeting them for the first time at a business breakfast or dinner party. You may not get along with all of them, like best friends, but each person in your social network can contribute to growing your business in a unique way.

It is your job to get to know them as real people. Ask questions. Interact. Find out where they work, what their new projects are, and what keeps them excited.

Once you get involved in this new marketing medium, you'll soon learn how powerful a few comments on a Facebook status can be. Use them to your advantage, to grow your relationships and your business.

Realise that direct marketing can be considered spam

Many sales people feel comfortable with the direct marketing approach. Depending on their own career and business background, this may be the area of sales that has shown them the most success.

Even business owners, who have no experience with marketing at all, may cling to the concept of a direct and pushy approach, because they believe it is the right thing to do. Also, they may feel like they are putting the most productive energy into their business, when employing this approach.

The problem is, that social media for business works differently. Social media etiquette, and the pathway to growing your business through online connections, relies on the ability to form genuine and authentic relationships with people - not shove your brand or product at them through forty posts a day.

Monitor your language

Language is a diverse topic. In social media for business, it includes your choice of words, your use of correct spelling, the frequency and purpose of your message, and also the relevancy. When you develop a brand, language should be part of this development process.

Many businesses and organisations are creating social media policies, and the choice of language used, in sync with their corporate image, is a key component of these policies.

The problem with social media, is that it is instant, and often one designated person is responsible for all the postings and interactions, on behalf of the entire company.

This person needs to deeply understand and have the ability to communicate the 'voice' of your brand, including appropriate humour, professional wording, and in-depth knowledge of your products and services.

Be responsive

Etiquette includes not leaving your profiles to linger, unattended for long periods of time. There is no benefit to starting a Twitter account, earning two followers, and then leaving it unattended without any tweets, interactions, or plan to make it grow.

The same applies to a LinkedIn account, with a half-completed profile, and an inbox full of invitations you never accept. Many business people get curious about the social world start a profile, and then leave disinterested because they didn't know what to do next.

Even if you aren't active on your profile, others might be. Potential customers and clients will be checking out your empty and dull page, and assume from your profile, that your business is also empty and dull.

Make a commitment to grow your account, and keep it active, or if you are no longer interested, delete or deactivate your profile, so others can't stumble over it and form a negative impression.

Be authentic

Customers and clients, trust real people they can have a laugh with, and share interests with. You have a big job to convey your true self across social media for business. Be comfortable with yourself, know your objectives and beliefs, and communicate a professional but genuine image. Have fun, make friends, but never forget social media etiquette.

Top Social Media Etiquette Tips

Social media continues to be the heart of today's society. Since many people have become hooked to online platforms, there is need to consider how you behave. 

Some people actually think that social media stages are licensed for bad behavior and mediocrity. 

Just like any other undertaking, you can determine success or failure by how you act. Social media etiquette therefore comes into perspective. The following are tips and top rules you should never break no matter what you want from your social media experience.

Work on your online relationships

Through the myriad of social sites, you will meet a sea of people and your duty is to build relationships. You need to invest time in participating in various stages and helping others see you in depth. 

This way, you will establish strong bonds with people who can help your marketing endeavors or whatever you have in mind. Remember, you need to be honest and seek to find out what people are about without pretense; you will be surprised how much you learn.

Respect the online community

Without respect for people participating in media, you will not go far. You just need to employ tactics that promote communication and those that uphold respect. 

You do not have to like everyone but you can keep rude comments to yourself and learn how to criticize with wisdom. When you respect people online, you can expect the same e and you need more respect than you imagine. This is an important tip for social media etiquette.

Learn to listen

Those people who listen and take notes when others express sentiments will always learn vital lessons. Therefore with etiquette it demands that you listen to people without getting tired. 

When you listen, you will not be wasting time but rather will be learning how others are going about their business. Those who never listen might be dammed to never learn and this is not what you want.

Do not be passive

To create something solid with social media, you have to be more active than others. You must be willing to impact people more. This might take up time but it is worth it.

 Do not wait to be fed but rather show the online community that you are proactive and present. With this, you can be sure to make your marketing efforts a resounding success as you establish yourself with utmost social media etiquette.

Be real

Although social media platforms can help you get away with a lot, you need to behave like you would if you were face to face with people. 

There are so many who have created a different personality which is much vulgar and unreal. You need to understand that you become what you make yourself to be. 

It is easy to be a mean character online but ultimately, people will be attracted to those who have something positive to offer; those who are real.

There are so many other rules and tips for social media etiquette but with the above, you will sail through it with success whether in business or not.

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