Etiquette in the 21st century seems to be lost in the general public. After all how many people hold the door for you as you follow them into a building? Yeah, think about that for a minute. Or how many people stop to let you in a line of traffic? And what is etiquette anyways?
Etiquette according to Merriam Webster is:
the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
This definition points to etiquette as how we act in a social setting. Showing manners and good breeding. With the advent of the Internet we not only have a social life face to face but we also have an online social life. The problem is there are certain folks who seem to think that because we are not in the presence of people we do not have to observe any sort of etiquette and I beg to differ.
Here are 5 basic, common sense social media etiquette tips:
1. Show respect. Speak or write with respect for the person you are conversing with. Think, “How do I want to be treated?”
2. Reciprocate. If someone comments on your blog, leave a comment on his or her blog. If someone retweets one of your tweets, find one of theirs to retweet. If someone likes one of your Facebook comments, like one of theirs, the same goes if they comment on a FB post. It is not only good social media etiquette, but it also gets your name, blog or business in front of new people. Therefore, it is mutually beneficial to reciprocate.
3. Leave real comments. When reciprocating, don’t just leave one-word comments. Leave a qualifying comment related to the post.
4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Everyone is busy, but if you say you will get back to someone by a certain time do your best to keep your word. This goes for contests, giveaways, advertising, guest posts etc. If you fail, apologize. It is common courtesy.
5. Don’t spam. This is one of my pet peeves not only in blog comments, but also on Twitter. I don’t know how many times I see a mention and question, “Should I or shouldn’t I click on the link.” Usually I don’t, but I do check the person’s profile and 9 times out of 10 the profile is newly set up and I will report them especially if I did click the link and it comes back as an unsafe site some other goofy, unrelated subject.
As a Virtual Assistant and blogger, I am thankful to say that for the most part I have only experienced good etiquette. However, I have observed many comments and actions by others that are just plain rude. If you are growing your business or blog you want to be courteous and respectful of others and reciprocate in the social media world as you would in the real world. So practice your etiquette and see your virtual social life grow or at least get better.