#GirlTalk: Social Media Etiquette – Because It’s NICE!

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Social media is one of those new phenomenons that has totally swept the world, and its wide open format has provided us with innovative ways to keep in touch with others, promote one’s business, share content, and connect with people. I first started on Facebook whenever I graduated high school to have a way to connect with my future roommate in college, back when you had to have a .edu email in order to even join the site. Then when the other main social media network twitter was created, I quickly jumped on board with that, too. And though an early adopter, I never quite imagined back then the explosion that has taken place as social media inserts itself into all facets of our lives.

Once I launched Project Motherhood in January of 2012, I started to see social media from a business perspective and clearly as a business opportunity. When you are a blogger, there becomes a social commitment to social media that you never had before. It was then that I started to join and build my social following with Pinterest and Instagram, too. Each and every time a new social network is created, we as business people must learn it, use it, and build a new following on that platform as well. Lots of work, learning, and time is involved!

Well, the same way that Emily Post wrote the rules for etiquette in days of pen and paper (“stationary”…remember that?), we need a set of modern day ground rules that apply to this new part of society, social networking. As someone who thinks about manners as an asset in our lives, I can see that there are certain ways to properly and politely use social media to engage with people, stay connected, and show off your personality and what’s going on in your life or your business, without being rude and inconsiderate of others.

Social Media Etiquette For Business Use

  • Be responsive. The whole point of social media is to directly connect with our readers and/or customers. Respond to comments, emails, likes, EVERYTHING, and in a TIMELY MANNER. Furthermore, don’t just pick and choose who you respond to (i.e. only responding to brands that you might potentially work with). Make sure that you are fully engaged with your audience because at the end of the day, you can’t have a successful business without your audience.
  • When working with brands…Whenever you are working with a brand and putting together sponsored content for social media, make sure that you are:
  1. Following guidelines and using the hanshtag #spon or #ad
  2. Creating content that is useful and informative for your followers
  • Be accountable. Make sure that you follow through with everything that you say. Did you tell a follower in a comment that you would get back to them later that day with a link or specific info? DO IT! Don’t fall off the face of the Earth.
  • Don’t show off. It can be difficult for bloggers sometimes who have the opportunity to work with cool brands or go to exciting events not to show off. But, try hard not to. No one wants to hear you brag about that event they weren’t invited to where the BIG celebrity showed up. Try a different approach by showing your audience why you are there and why it’s important that they know about it. (That’s why we call it SHARING!  It’s nice to share, right?)
  • Give and receive. Much like any other aspect of your life, you gotta give in order to get things in return. Want your BFF’s business page to promote your recent giveaway or sale? Offer to promote something for them as well.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Sharing a post? Credit the source!

Social Media Etiquette for Personal Use

Do: Experience life and share the content that you think your friends and family would most like to see.

Don’t: Overshare. This is annoying and inconsiderate. No one wants a constant update of every aspect of your life. Share only what is important or what you see as highlights.

Do: Be professional. You NEVER know who is watching!

Do: Be considerate when tagging friends in pictures they may not want to be tagged in. When in doubt, ask them first.

Don’t: Constantly complain. NO ONE likes it in real life, and NO ONE likes it on the web!

Do: Respect people’s privacy.

Do: Give credit where credit is due when sharing content & images from any source. Everyone works hard to create that content, so always let the author know you appreciate it.

Don’t: Over hashtag unless you know what they are being used for. Do some research on hashtags if you still think it’s just something funny from the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake video because businesses can use these for an actual purpose.

Do: Keep in mind that EVERYTHING you do in your social accounts will follow you, wherever you go. So be mindful of the image you are projecting.

What do you think? I put together these bullet points after speaking with friends, bloggers, and through personal experience.

Since social media is clearly a work in progress, let’s try to set some standards NOW. Let’s make a commitment together, my lovelies, to bring our etiquette from real life to the digital world, and most importantly, keep it classy!  Send us your thoughts and ideas, and tell us how you like to present yourself. Please 🙂

Fashionably Yours,

Allison

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