Social Media Etiquette

Social media has been around for a while (or so it seems), I thought others would know the proper etiquette of this platform. Not so. Here’s my “What not to do” list when using social media. I don’t mean to offend anyone, it’s just my opinion.

Don’t use bad grammar
It’s a communication tool, so please use proper grammar and spelling (Here’s a recent related post).  Chances are, you are posting from a personal account, so you think it’s OK. Do people know where you work? Are you friends, followers or connected to “work” people or others in your industry? Would you send an email with misspelled words or errors? Would you submit a report with such errors? Send out a press release? Please take the time to review before you share.

Don’t be a Re-Twit (specific to Twitter only)
Retweeting only those that mention you in a Twitter update. For example. if you are active on Twitter, you are familiar with the hashtag #FF or #FollowFriday. The purpose is to tweet a user you follow and encourage others to follow them as well. One of my pet peeves is people who retweet someone who has included their twitter handle in a #FF post. Guess what? The only person who cares that someone #FF you is you.

Post dump
Please, please don’t send a string of posts one right after another. No one wants to get 10 updates from you in 30 seconds. Can you not space them out a little? Maybe use a third party application like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your posts?

Avatars
Use an image of yourself. But not a scantily clad photo of yourself. And not an animal, not a cartoon character, or even a picture of your kid. I have connected with YOU…not a cat, not Daffy Duck and not your baby. If you have changed your avatar for a short time to honor your mom, or a cause you believe in, that’s great. But please change it back.

Connecting (specific to Facebook and LinkedIn)
If we have not met, never talked on the phone, or I wouldn’t know your name from “around town,” I may not approve your friend or connection request. If in doubt, please send a little message with your request explaining how I might know you. I tend to forget things…easily.

Don’t “call someone out” using social media
Is there an error or mistake on a company website?  How about contacting them privately to alert them of the error? No need to announce it to the world. Everyone makes mistakes. If you have a problem with a company or organization and contacting them privately does not work, then it MIGHT be OK to use social media, but that option still makes me queasy.

Don’t automate
There’s something cheesy about receiving a twitter direct message that says “Thanks for following us! Check out ABC Company’s website: http://www.abc.com.” Chances are, I have already checked out your website, or know who you are. And automating all your social  media accounts (i.e. posting to Facebook and Twitter when you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube)? I’m not sold on that either.

Thanks for listening. Now, what are your pet peeves?

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