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I have a certain belief about social media. I believe that you should remain professional on your personal accounts and personal in your business accounts. What I mean is, on personal accounts, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your Grandmother to see. On business accounts, engage others by being a little personal and not too formal. That said, I think it’s always a good idea to take note of social media etiquette within each platform.

You can take my word for it:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. There are certain functions that can be accessed by each platforms, like email addresses on LinkedIn (not a great idea to use someone’s personal email even though it’s available), tagging people on facebook in pictures they might not want to be tagged in. Make certain your practices are within the upspoken rules of each social medium before you do it. If you don’t know the answer, ask someone who you think might know.

Don’t make it all about you. For business, 80% other people’s content, 20% your own content. Yes, what we post is our own broadcast station. However, it’s just good form to share other people’s stuff and not make it all about you.

Provide value. Is what you are posting really of interest to anyone? If you are inspired by the content, then chances are, someone else is, too. Is it negative or self-indulgent? I would rethink your posting habits.

Engage. Don’t automate and expect engagement. If you are using automation tools to schedule your stuff (you are not likely reading this blog post) and certainly don’t respond to replies on your posts. That reeks of impersonal, lack-luster social media interaction, especially if you coin yourself as a social media marketer, but do not respond to comments by your readers. Just sayin.

Or someone else’s words:

Online etiquette: The ultimate guide to social media manners – This is a great post via Mashable that touches on professional etiquette, do’s and don’ts, and a reminder that prospective employers and associates DO look at how you represent yourself online.

10 Social Media Etiquette Tips for Personal & Business Accounts – This post is from “Money Crashers” and confirms what I’ve eluded to above. It’s another great bit of education.

Simple Geek’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette – From Geek.com, less business, more personal, and a definate read if the social media lines are blurred for you. My favorite quote, “…don’t expect others to instantly respond to every message you send, even if they’ve confirmed already seeing it.” Point being, we can’t take online behavior personally, even if it relates to people we know. The dynamics of what is polite and what isn’t has changed and changes rapidly. Don’t let that fool you though. Good manners and appropriate etiquette is always in style.


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