Social Media Etiquette: A Guide For The Digital Age
Even though it may seem difficult to fathom a world without Facebook or other social media platforms, it wasn’t all that long ago when none existed. Indeed, the Facebook phenomena isn’t much older than ten years. So it’s natural that plenty of people have experienced growing pains when it comes to committing a faux pas on social media. After all, it can prove extremely difficult to separate what’s appropriate to share on social channels and what’s not. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts to help new or inexperienced users get the hang of using their Facebook, without stressing about putting their foot in their mouth.
Separate Work From Play
More and more businesses are using social media platforms to post organic content and advertise their products. And while it’s perfectly acceptable for companies to use their own accounts to post blogs about their products, be they culture vessels or custom flower arrangements, you should establish a clear division between your personal and professional life. Obviously, it’s a no go to share personal pictures, videos, or messages on your company’s page, but it’s also important to recognize when and where it’s appropriate to share work related material. (It can come off as self-promotional and off putting to talk too much about work projects on a personal account.) A good solution is to create two separate profiles: One for friends and families, and one for business associates. It’s fine to be friends with your boss on Facebook, just as long as you remember to stay professional online.
Neediness Is Unwelcome
It’s bad enough to implore your Facebook friends to follow your blog, however it’s even more obnoxious to inundate those around you on social media with constant requests to follow, like, share, or donate to different causes. It’s great to be passionate about many things, just recognize that not everyone shares that passion.
Don’t Incite Trouble
There are certain topics you shouldn’t discuss on social media. Consider it the “dinner date rule.” If you wouldn’t say it to someone on a dinner date, don’t bring it up for the whole world to see on social media. You know what we’re talking about.
Social media at its best is a method to keep friends in touch across long distances. So, any chance you get to spread a little good news to friends or family living abroad is one worth taking. In the same way, congratulating someone on a recent success or just liking a recent post can make their day. Strange as it may seem, many people draw huge parts of their self esteem from activity on social media.
Educate and Inspire
If we could be candid for a moment, so much content on the internet is garbage. Stupid, insipid, inane, boring, trite, banal videos and articles are standard fare across social media channels. Do your best to resist adding to this unfortunate epidemic. And if at all possible, contribute something valuable to the conversation. Whether it’s a piece you yourself have created, or if you’ve discovered an intelligent or vibrant website, don’t be afraid to share it on social media. Those who create educational, dynamic, and compelling content on the internet deserve your support, and you can do so with the click of a button.
In the end, striking a healthy balance on social media boils down (mostly) to common sense. Always take a deep breath and think about anything you post before you do so, and you’ll stay out of sticky situations online.