Social media is exceedingly popular, and more and more people are connecting on these sites than ever before. On these sites, as in physical places where people connect, there is a certain etiquette that people should abide by in order to make others comfortable and for them to have the best experience possible. The following 15 tips are dos and don’ts that can help you to hone your social media etiquette.
1. Do fill out your profile
When your fill out your profile, you are helping your contacts see that they really are connecting with the real you, not an imposter or a bot. This can help to facilitate connections and give others confidence.
2. Don’t use any image but your own as your profile photo
An image of your smiling face can again help others be confident that they are indeed talking to the real you. Images of your children or pets may be cute, but they don’t let others know that they are connecting with a normal, real adult. If you are using social media professionally, this is even more important.
3. Do separate business and pleasure
Keep separate Facebook, Twitter and other social profiles for your professional life or business. It is good to have a presence on these sites, but it shouldn’t be the same one you use to share pictures of your vacation and talk about crazy nights on the town.
4. Don’t get mad if someone doesn’t want to be your fan or friend
If someone denies a request or doesn’t accept it in a timely manner, leave it be. Some people only connect with very close family or friends on these sites, and others only use them for shopping or for work. Don’t ask why you weren’t added or get angry.
5. Do pick screen names that put your best foot forward
DrunkenPartyGary99 may not be the best name if you want to connect with colleagues, clients, or relatives. Your name should paint a positive perception.
6. Don’t post anything that offends
This goes double if you are using the social network professionally. If it is crude, rude, lewd, or controversial, these public forums probably aren’t the place for them.
7. Do share things that are useful, entertaining, informative, or otherwise valuable
Social sites are about sharing. Your friends and fans will appreciate it if you pass along valuable content that benefits them in one way or another.
8. Don’t repeat yourself
It is one thing to be on message, but it is another to sound like a broken record. If you constantly are reiterating your political views, talking about the kind of ladies you like, or trying to sell some cool new herbal supplements, your fans, friends, or followers will get bored and jump ship fast.
9. Do comment on what others say
Social media is about being social. These sites are supposed to be a dialogue, and if you aren’t commenting, you aren’t part of the community.
10. Don’t spam
Like not repeating yourself, this is worse. If you start spamming your fans or followers, they will stop trusting you and you will lose influence.
11. Do show respect
Like anywhere else, on these sites you should talk to others like you would want to be talked to.
12. Don’t post when you are impaired
When you are drunk, tired, or in an otherwise altered state, you should stay away from social media sites. Not only may you say something you could regret, but you will probably say it with poor grammar and spelling.
13. Do proofread
Just because others spell poorly doesn’t mean you should. Correct, edited posts will make you look smart and polished, and your friends will appreciate how readable your content is.
14. Don’t friend or follow people only to get them to buy something
Social media can be a great tool; it isn’t a secret. You shouldn’t use the people on the site as tools however.
15. Do be real
Being genuine isn’t only appreciated on these sites, it is what will lead you to ultimate success on them. People will appreciate your approach, and you will get greater results because of it.