Free Advice Friday: The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette

By Posted in - Free Advice & Social Media + Influencer Engagement on January 20th, 2012

Our intern Ashely Hurteau shares her thoughts (and sense of humor) on social media etiquette. 

If you are a member of the social media world (and my guess is that if you’re reading this, you are), then you’ve seen it, too. You’ve also cringed with second-hand embarrassment. This atrocity that I speak of is the lack of etiquette that is all too present in social media.

From overly dramatic status updates to inappropriate photos, it seems as though manners and grace are not taken into consideration when posting on the Internet. Real Simple magazine and their readers agree.

After polling 945 readers, Real Simple homed in on the top ‘social DISgraces’ as voted on by their readers. Allow me to share some of these, along with some helpful tips to avoid making the same mistakes.

  • Save the vague, disconcerting status updates (i.e. “Jennifer wonders whether it has all been worth it.”) and personal problems for your real friends, not your 856 social media friends. You will not receive the advice you seek, and according to Real Simple readers, it is the most annoying type of post there is – even more annoying than chronic complaining!
  • When you’re friend requesting, make sure you keep it to just that – your friends. Randomly asking someone to be your friend is one of the top-ranking annoyances on Facebook. A good tip: if you are trying to reconnect with an old friend or acquaintance, send a message along with the request to serve as a refresher and avoid being labeled a creep.
  • When tagging photos of others or yourself, have some respect. No one wants to see anyone three sheets to the wind or too much PDA. Think before you tag, and if there is any question, ask those individuals in the picture whether they would like it tagged or not.
  • The number one sin that is committed on Facebook and Twitter? In my opinion, it’s foul language. My friends on Facebook include teachers, family and co-workers. The idea that one of my friends could drop the F-bomb on a comment or my wall for my boss to see is mortifying.

Social media is designed to put you, your company or product out there for the masses to see. Do it with dignity, and remember, if you would not want your grandmother to see it, you probably should not post it!

What do you think? Please feel free to share some of your ideas – the more advice, the better!



(2) awesome comment(s)...

  • Margot Horgan - Reply

    January 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I like to follow the simple rule, “Its your status, not your diary.”

  • Dana Hughens - Reply

    January 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Great tips! I would add a simple tip for businesses using social networks: mind your manners. We find that when we use please and thank you for our clients’ posts and status updates, that they get better responses and more interactions.

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