We are learning higher and deeper concepts and their implications on social media but I also think it’s worth it to consider the more basic rules before we begin to build a marketing or brand campaign. Much like email etiquette, there are rules for social media. It is the new grammar, but some things are still pretty universal.

Have you ever had the FB blogger who likes to post in all CAPs, or who posts 19-25 selfies within a one or two-day period? Or, every post or picture is a selfie-photo op or someone uses a lot of profanity to get their point across.  At times I have had to unfollow someone in order to avoid content I became annoyed with, although initially, I appreciated their material. Instead of simply providing a link I have pasted these mindful tips below for quick reference.


On the opposite side, there are times and circumstances where frequent posting is a good idea. According to research by Dennis Yu, who is a recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing and featured in WSJ, NYT, LA Times, Fox News and CBS Evening news, says that it’s okay to post frequently if you have worthy content but that you should always use metrics and tools to check the results of your reach. For instance, if your likes dwindle down from 100 to 2 out of a 4,000 friend pool over the course of 2 days, then it’s safe to say, you’re getting on people’s nerves.

I hope you find this information useful. It certainly keeps me honest.


In no particular order, here are general rules of etiquette that can be applied across all social platforms…
1. Complete all online profiles succinctly and use your real name/business name and a photograph of either yourself or your company logo. Create content on the main profile that details clearly who you are and who your target audience is.
2. Choose a screen name that is representative of you and your business and the “face” you want to present to the world. Decide who you are and be consistent.
3. Keep business and personal connections separate; have a unique account for your business page and a separate, unique personal account if you wish to use social media for personal purposes. Don’t share personal information on your business profile.
4. Be, at all times, professional, respectful, personable and congenial. Be positive and encouraging of others as these values will be reflected back onto your brand
5. When talking about or on behalf of your business and brand, use the first person plural (or the royal “we”) – even if your business consists of only you.
6. Offer content that is valuable and in some way pertinent to your business and brand, and that is informative and entertaining. Content should not simply be sales-pitching or self-promotion; offer other content that your followers will appreciate. This is the content that will most likely be shared.
7. Never approach and spam strangers via social media – let followers organically come to you.
8. Don’t feel obliged to follow back everyone who follows you. Who you follow is another reflection of who you are and what your brand represents.
9. Never post content when you are:
o Tired
o Upset
o Angry
o Jet lagged
o Intoxicated
10. Never post content that could be misconstrued or deemed offensive to any individual or group.
11. Never post anything that you’d not be thrilled for a future employer, current employer, or potential clients, your mother-in-law, or your old grandmother to see.
12. Be aware that you are judged by the company they keep – this applies online almost as much as it does in life. Keep track of who your followers are and the content they post to your page in the form of comments.
13. Compose all content you post and share mindfully, paying strict attention to grammar and spelling. Use punctuation! Don’t use text-speak; unless this resonates with your target audience because they are teens.
14. If you are presenting facts, confirm the veracity of these before posting. If you post content gleaned from another, give credit where it is due and reference it.
15. Never share your personal political or religious views or agenda on a business social page.
16. Never use profanity of any kind on a business social page.
17. Don’t be “that” annoying poster. What is construed as tediously annoying on social media includes:
o Delivering a tsunami of posts – keep it to no more than one or two a day.
o Over-posting self-promotion or sales pitching – this should constitute no more than 20-30 per cent of your total content.
o Sending spam invites.
o Posting late into the evening or too early in the morning.
o Live tweeting conferences to a wide audience.
o Vague updates – these have no place on a business profile.
o Inappropriate hashtagging – too many hashtags, hashtags off Twitter, or ridiculous hashtags (a la, #so #glad #it’s #Friday, #whoisreadyfortheweekend or #OMG). Limit hashtags to Twitter in general, and include no more than two per post.
o Redundant cross-network updating.
o Checking in at insignificant places – this is over-sharing at its worst.
o Humble bragging.
o Tweeting via a long-winded multi-tweet.
o Liking your own status.
o Sharing chain letter photos, posts and memes.
o Updating in all CAPS.
o Posting too much information (TMI).
18. Don’t send LinkedIn requests to strangers or people who you have never interacted with, spoken to or met. That’s, of course, unless you want to start a business relationship with them and want to introduce yourself.
19. Don’t request likes or retweets – allow them to happen organically.
20. Inspirational and motivational quotes have a definite place on business social media accounts – but again, limit these to one or two a week at most.
21. Share humour by all means; this is a valuable part of content that garners the most shares and retweets. Make certain, though, that the humour will appeal to a wide audience as it is easy to misinterpret online.
22. Misinterpretation is a common problem with online interaction, as tone and other conversational subtleties are lost in translation. Say clearly and concisely what you mean, and mean what you say.
23. Respond to all comments, whatever their tone. Reciprocal engagement is crucial. Respond as promptly as you can and use the person’s name.
24. Do not be aggressive in response to negative commentary. Take time to gather your thoughts and do not overreact (see point #21).
25. Keep private dialogue private. Even if a consumer or follower posts to your comments wall, continue the conversation via private message or other means.
26. Be classy. Even if your business relates to the latest sewer products or adults-only entertainment, have pride in your business and your brand and reflect that by being professional and “taking the high road” in your content and your tone.
– See more at:

This entry was posted in Facebook, Social Media, Social Media & Psychology, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Netiquette

  1. sydhavely says:

    I’m glad you posted this, Cindy. I know I get FB “like” fatigue about friends who post just about everyhing that’s going on in their lives so that you can “validate” them or whatever they’re doing. After the second or third “I’m still alive and I want you to know I went to a party last weekend,” I just stop hitting “like.” I try to put myself in their shoes when I have the urge to post something that is really only important to me. Lot of good guidelines there. Thanks.

  2. armour52 says:

    Yes Syd,
    Some people are actually their own movie and are the stars of their own personal reality show. Just like TV, the show is for all of us regulars.

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