Increasingly, we have a culture that’s going online. As we interact online, whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter or Google+, it’s vital that we understand the etiquette associated with those interactions. I haven’t always been the best at social media etiquette, and I’m sure that I still make faux pas, but I try to behave appropriately online.
Some things, like showing common courtesy and politeness, never go out of style. And, of course, it makes sense to think before you type. What you say in the “real world” can’t be unsaid, and what you type in cyberspace will be there forever. Before you hit “enter” or “send” or “post” or “tweet,” make sure it’s something you really want to say. This is common sense stuff that works in the real world. However, there are a few tips that may not be so obvious. Chris Brogan offers some great advice in his An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette:
- When you “unfriend” anyone, or stop following, just leave. No explanation necessary.
- You are never obligated to follow or friend anyone. (Although many people feel pressure when bosses or coworkers are involved.)
- It’s nice to promote other people’s stuff.
- Thank people who praise you on Twitter, but don’t retweet what he or she actually wrote.
- Always give credit to someone who found something first when you retweet something.
- If you talk about someone in a blog post, link to that person.
- Disclose when you write/tweet/post about a client, affiliate link, or when you are receiving some sort of benefit. It’s important to be up front.
- Don’t badger others into promoting your cause. It may not be theirs.
- “Hat tip” someone when they’ve inspired you.
Brogan has plenty of other tips that an help you improve your social media etiquette, and improve your results. And, as someone big in the world of social media, Brogan is someone you can rely on for solid advice.
Being the Kind of Person Others Want to Help
One of the big things I’ve noticed in social media etiquette is that people are more interested in helping you if you are willing to help them. Are you the kind of person that others want to help? Are you actively involved in promoting other people and helping them? Or are you the one who’s always pestering other people for social media votes, RTs and targeted links without reciprocating? Take an honest look at yourself and your social media practices, and re-evaluate how you are behaving online. Chances are, there is room for improvement.
As part of your efforts to improve your social media presence, it’s important to develop an online rapport with others. Basically, it boils down to giving others credit, thinking before you actually post something, and promoting others as you would like to be promoted. Does it mean that everyone else is going to be as nice as you are? Probably not. But at least you can work on your own efforts to improve the way you interact on social media.
Do you have any tips for social media etiquette?