Social Media Etiquette: 12 Quick Tips for Professionals

Social Media Etiquette: 12 Quick Tips for Professionals

Girl sitting on laptop - tips for social media etiquetteOne of the greatest things about social media is that you can connect with business associates quickly and creatively!

But this communication mode is not without risk. A thoughtless post can potentially offend customers and/or damage relationships rather than build them.

By following a few ground rules (and communicating them to staff), you can be confident your comments and posts will be appropriate ones.

Carefully consider Social Media posts

If you are unsure if it is acceptable to post a certain type of information on social media, it’s probably wise not to do so. For example, it would be better to use a personal mode of communication such as a phone call rather than social media to offer condolences after a death or concerns about the illness of a coworker.

Avoid Over-Sharing on Social Media

Social Media Etiquette - Laptop and Post-It

While it is important to have a consistent presence on your chosen social networks, it’s also important to avoid “over-sharing”!

Adhere to Offline rules of Etiquette

Just because you’re communicating via Facebook or Instagram platforms, doesn’t mean you’re free to ignore certain protocols. Regardless of the mode of communication, readers will expect you to adhere to accepted rules of etiquette. So follow social norms, and you’ll avoid the negative outcomes of doing otherwise.

Unplug when others are present

Important relationships deserve your undivided attention, so ‘unplug’ from technology during scheduled appointments with clients and colleagues. Doing so demonstrates your respect for these individuals and your willingness to make them your number one priority at a point in time.

Limit your Social Media Posts to items of real importance

Social Media Wall - Tips for Social Media EtiquetteA social network can provide quick updates on a project’s status and other topics of interest. That purpose is defeated if you post about trivial matters throughout the day. Make sure a post is something of value that will benefit your network, such as a tip, a helpful link, or something genuinely entertaining.

Carefully select your Social Media Audience

Be as discerning about the volume and type of information you disclose using social media as you would be in face-to-face communications. To do so, take time to become familiar with a platform’s basic functions, such as how to limit your audience for a particular message. Being oblivious to the number of people who can read a message doesn’t negate the possible damage that can result from indiscriminate posts.

Consider who might be interested

Having thousands of followers is impressive, but only if the people really are interested in your business or services. When you limit your message recipients, you also limit possible responses to those you can somewhat anticipate.

Carefully choose your Social Media Network Instagram App for iPhone - Social Media Etiquette

Each social platform has a unique syntax and norms and each group is formed based on a particular shared interest. So don’t automatically send the same information – self-promotional or not – using Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms. If you choose to share the same information with all networks, tailor the message for each network.

When it’s time, pull the plug

Whether your audience will consider a post or comment an appropriate or inappropriate one will depend on its context.  For example, in the midst of a project, team members are likely to be available and responsive to your messages. But once the project wraps up, a 24-7 news cycle is no longer required or appreciated as people will have new priorities and responsibilities.

Abstain from posting personal information

With the creation of a social media account comes the possibility that your image as a professional will conflict with your image as a friend or family member.  As a result, you might post a photo or comment that can harm your professional image. So balance your various roles and abstain from posting truly personal information.

Facebook Like Button - Social Media Etiquette TipsConsider a reader’s response to a message

Although some companies encourage an employee’s use of social media, it’s likely a business discourages disclosure of insider information that might negatively affect a brand. Before any post about your company, consider if the post will be helpful or harmful to your company or your standing within a company. Consider investing in a “Social Media Guidelines” document for employees to be aware of your expectations when it comes to social media and online marketing.

Issue timely responses to enquiries

The more targeted the message, the shorter the acceptable response time. Consequently, companies may expect you to answer an email within 24 hours and a phone call much sooner.  Because social media operates in an open forum, messages have a somewhat longer shelf life. Be aware however, that social media platforms such as Facebook may display the time it takes for you to respond to messages (e.g. Typically responds in 1-2 hours). 

Get in touch with The CloudSitters

If you need help mapping out a social media content strategy that addresses each of the above points, send us a message! Our social media marketing services are completely customisable and can be tailored to target the social media platforms that should work most effectively for your business.

Whether you need assistance managing social media profiles, developing a set of guidelines or mapping out your overall content strategy, we would love to tailor a solution for you!

Get in touch with the friendly team here, or submit a form below.

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