As social media networks keep evolving into one of the primary ways people communicate in the modern world daily, traditional social etiquettes are making their way into digital environments.
Just the way social etiquette governs how people behave in public, social media etiquette focuses on guidelines to follow in the digital world. The requirements of social media etiquette differ from platform to platform.
Reposting someone’s content on Instagram, for example, necessitates far more care than retweeting someone on Twitter. However, some general social media etiquette rules apply to all social media platforms.
In this article, I shall be outlining 14 social media etiquette you should know. I will break these social media etiquettes into three: Social media etiquettes you should know as a professional; social media etiquettes you should know for businesses; and lastly, general social media etiquettes every individual should know.
Social Media Etiquette Guidelines for Professionals
As a professional in your given field, social media is an excellent platform for connecting with not only your co-workers but mentees, family and friends. However, as simple as this communication appears to be, it is not without risk.
There’s always the possibility that you’ll post or tweet anything that may anger your followers. A misguided tweet on Twitter or a careless Facebook post, for example, might put a dent in your professional career
However, by keeping to this social media etiquette, this can be readily avoided. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of four social media etiquette you should know
Keep your readers in mind
This is one of the most crucial aspects of social media etiquette you should know. When posting on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter as a professional, you should consider whether the content is useful to the readers and answers their problems.
Be careful not to post personal information
When using a social media platform, your image as a friend or family member is likely to constant conflict with your image as a professional. You have to try and balance the various roles you play. It would help if you restrained from posting or tweeting truly personal information.
Avoid sharing the same content
Each social media platform has its own set of rules and lingo. And each social media channel is developed around a common interest or activity.
As a result, one social media etiquette you should know is to avoid sharing the same information across many networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others.
As a professional, you should consider adapting material for each platform, even if you plan to publish the same content across all platforms.
Post content that holds value
This is a must-know social media etiquette. You shouldn’t be caught posting content that does not hold value as a professional.
Sure, from time to time, you can post content that is not too “serious,” but the majority of your content should be impactful. Use social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to post/tweet brief updates about relevant issues.
When you regularly upload trivial or unrelated content, the entire purpose of having a professional account is undermined. If necessary, create a separate account to post personal content.
Social Media Etiquette Guidelines for Business
For businesses that have used social media platforms before, some of the social media etiquette I have listed below might go without saying. However, as an experienced business person, you must study your content and techniques repeatedly to decide what works and what doesn’t.
There is some nuanced social media etiquette that businesses worldwide ignore, even with practice. I have listed below six social media etiquette you should know.
Finish setting up your profile
Don’t forget to fill out all required information after signing up for a new account on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This is an important social media etiquette you should know.
After uploading your company logo, enter your contact information and write about your company. Ensure that you provide all pertinent information that people may require about you.
Think about what you want to post
Considering the type of content you want to post is important to know social media etiquette. As a business person, you should always post engaging and insightful content
Use this thought process to generate content for posting and tweeting. Ensure that these posts/tweets are consistent with your company’s morals and beliefs and represent what you stand for.
Be timely with your posts
As a business person, you have to ensure you are timely with what you post. It’s an important social media etiquette you should know.
Your posts also have to be up to date. Don’t post every fortnight. Don’t overshare, but also don’t disappear from the crowd.
You may be asking yourself: So, how many posts are too many? It varies from one business to the next and from one industry to another. However, make it a point to post at least once or twice a week.
Don’t plagiarize digital content
Although digital content is not physical, it is still owned by someone. This is an important social media etiquette to know.
Not only is it unethical to use someone else’s content without providing credit, but it can also lead to legal issues with the owner. This applies not only to posts and tweets but also to content that has been recycled from other sources.
Choose your platforms
With the prevalence of social media platforms, it may appear tempting to try them all. However, this could be a risky move. You might spread yourself too thin and might not deliver quality content by doing so.
So instead, based on marketing goals, choose and focus on particular(s) social media platforms where you know your target people are. This is an important social media etiquette to know
Treat your competitors with respect
A social media etiquette brands tend to flout these days is engaging competitive accounts with respect. In the guise of banter, this appears to be a popular practice these days, but it can negatively impact. Many people believe that trashing others is not a sign of honourable behaviour.
Instead, demonstrate your respect for other companies in your industry. Taking the high road will earn you more fans, likes, and sales.
Be wary of using too many hashtags
One social media etiquette people tend to flout is the use of many hashtags. Using hashtags can help you attract new customers to your page. However, if there are more hashtags than actual text, they add no value and make you appear desperate.
Also, you should refrain from using popular hashtags such as #love, #sad, and #cat. Instead, use hashtags that are of relevance to your audience. This is an important social media etiquette to know as a business person.
Social Media Guidelines for Personal Use
People’s interactions with one another have changed dramatically as a result of social media. It has not only allowed us to contact and share with people all over the world, but it also has its own etiquette that not everyone is aware of.
As weird as it may seem to some, there are some basic standards to follow while interacting with people online and on social media. If you don’t, you risk being viewed as unpleasant, insensitive, or even anti-social.
Below are five social media etiquettes you should know and apply as you make use of the increasingly fascinating concept.
Don’t share overly important information
One important social media etiquette to know in your usage of social media in your daily life is not to overshare. Most of the time, social media is not the place to air your dirty laundry.
Instead, on social media, you should share and receive news, ideas, items of interest, and opinions worldwide. Some people may pay attention when others share excessively personal information, especially about something they are upset about. Others, on the other hand, do not.
Recognize that your sense of humour is not universal
Unless you send a private message, your social media posts will be seen by people other than your friends and family. So you should approach issues with a sense of diplomacy. This is an important social media etiquette to know
What is acceptable in your private group with your real-life friends may not be acceptable in a setting where people from various backgrounds congregate. This isn’t to say you can’t use appropriate humour in your posts; just make sure it’s well-placed.
Being polite in cyberspace is important, just as it is in the physical world. However, one of the major complaints people have when engaging in social media is people are often rude or offensive.
This effect is magnified when engaging in social media where your face and name are not attached to your account.
Don’t overuse hashtags
Not using too many hashtags is an important social media etiquette you should know. While hashtags are useful for finding content related to the topic we’re researching, overuse of hashtags is annoying and may make you seem childish if used too much.
There is no hard and fast rule about how many hashtags one should use, and certain situations will undoubtedly necessitate far more than others, but in general, don’t use more than necessary.
Don’t tag someone without prior information
It’s not cool to tag a person without letting them know prior. This is an important social media etiquette you should know. If you don’t like it when your friends tag you in unflattering or candid photos, why put them in the same situation?
Ask permission before tagging your friends in a group photo, or post the photo with the caption “Tag yourself” to encourage others to do the same.
Social media provides the ideal venue for enhancing your brand, professional and personal image. And following correct social media etiquette will assist you in achieving that aim.
It may appear difficult to follow all of these social media etiquette, but it all comes down to how much you care about your audience and what they have to say. If you prioritize their requirements, you’ll be able to keep this social media etiquette with little effort.
I am Kehinde Akinnibosun, a content writer with over 3 years of experience. I am passionate about creating and developing strategic content to meet different needs in areas relating to the following niches – lifestyle, sports, technology, health, and entertainment. When I am not punching my keyboard or looking up an article, I am watching football or having a light banter on Twitter.