Go into any social media group and you’ll see, they all tend to have a clear set of rules. It’s the same with the different social media platforms. Each one will have rules. However, not all of these rules are easily found and some, well some aren’t even written down at all.
So, what are these unwritten rules – and how will you know if you’re breaking them?
"When it comes to good manners on social media, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. However, if you follow the five listed below, you’ll be on the right track."
Don’t leave people hanging!
Nobody likes asking questions and not getting any form of response, but it happens all too often on social media. The pages and profiles with the most interaction, are those that have someone human responding and interacting with the content being posted on them. If someone has taken the time to interact with your page, have the good manners to actually reply to those comments, questions, likes and private messages.
Never badmouth others
It not only makes you look unprofessional, it will come back to bite you further down the line. Whatever you post online is there for good – remember that. If you’re going to let rip about one of your competitors, people are going to make a judgement call about the type of person YOU are. By all means, complain about bad manners, poor customer service etc, if it’s part of an overriding lesson or story that emphasises something of value to your fans. However, if you’re only doing it to let off steam or in an attempt to discredit someone else – don’t do it!
Don’t be a nuisance
This covers a multitude of online sins. For example, you have the ever (un)popular one of someone posting nothing but spammy or salesy messages in groups, or worse, on your wall. Then there’s the person who constantly adds you to their group, without asking your permission. Finally, we have the needy friend who insists you either like or comment, otherwise, you’ll be removed from their list.
Not giving credit where credit is due
Contrary to what other people may say, copyright does exist online! You cannot just take any image you find and use it for your own purposes. If you’re going to share an article, ensure you’re using the original source link. Maybe you’ve been reading a great book and want to talk about it – share the Amazon link. If you’re looking to share a status, don’t just copy the text – share the entire status, so it preserves the original content and link.
Don’t just show up when you want something
Finally, it’s incredibly rude to show up in a group, in someone’s inbox or even on their notifications, if the only time you do is when you want something. This isn’t going to get you sales, likes or even a second glance. If you want to make a sale, you’re going to have to put the grunt work into it and build a relationship with your fans, before that happens.
Building a social media presence is about being visible and consistent. By following the above ‘rules’ you’ll be on the right track AND staying the right side of it!