20 New Keys To Social Media Etiquette

Social media is constantly evolving. Here are the latest etiquette rules from Twitter's No. 1 Etiquette professional, Patricia Rossi.
Getting Small Businesses Unstuck, Shafran Moltz Group
September 15, 2011

Forget the advice from Emily Post. She never dreamed of having to interact with people through real time social media. Enter Patricia Rossi, NBC’s national manners coach and Twitter’s No. 1 etiquette professional. Her new book, Everyday Etiquette has helpful tips for this level of social interaction.

Here are 20 of her keys to social media etiquette:

1. Always make an appointment to video chat someone

Don’t call them without warning. Having you pop up on their computer screen is well, not polite.

2. Make sure your surroundings are presentable when video chatting

Think about what you are wearing and the background. Make sure that there are no pets, cell phones or children distractions. Velvet Elvis posters probably need to be put away as well.

3. Resist the temptation to multitask

If you are going to video chat face to face, just do that.

4. Do not post a YouTube video of someone else without asking them

They may not approve of the content or how it portrays them.

5. Provide captions for deaf viewers

This will also be appreciated by viewers that need to watch without the sound.

6. Don’t stalk anyone to subscribe to your YouTube channel

Send the request only once and then forget about it.

7. Don’t view part of a video and then leave a comment

Be patient and view the entire thing before commenting on it.

8. Be respectful of everyone’s blog

It’s like their house. Would you want someone coming into you your house stomping and telling you how ugly it looks?

9. Don’t engage commenter’s that misbehave on your blog

Simply delete what was said and don’t waste any more time on it. It is not your job to teach them good etiquette and manners. (It’s Patricia’s!)

10. Pick your profile picture carefully

No bar pictures or political rallies—unless this is your brand. Use the same photo on all social media sites for professionalism and continuity of your brand.

11. Don’t tag other people in Facebook in unflattering photos

Tags are searchable and you never know who will find them. If someone wants to be untagged, do it. On Facebook, respond to wall posts within 24 hours.

12. Don’t alter your Facebook relationship status without letting the other person know

Check twice to make sure you share the same "understanding."

13. No tweeting under the table in meetings

Give the people who you are with your full attention. Never tweet in sacred situations like weddings and funerals—even if the event does have a hash tag.

14. Never tweet while drunk or incredibly upset 

15. Be neat when you tweet

Use proper grammar since it tells a story about you. Be careful with abbreviations that can make the tweet misunderstood.

16. Only use Twitter hash tags when they are relevant

Making up your own that are randomly posted is just online noise.

17. Use direct messaging for private conversation, but not too private

You may mistakenly send a private message public. Remember U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner? Remember, social media tools are a public medium.

18. Connect business people to your LinkedIn page

This will separate out your personal and business social media life.

19. Keep status updates on LinkedIn professional

Put more social updates on Facebook and Twitter.

20. Always send congratulations on LinkedIn when a person gets a new job or there is a significant event in their business life

What are your best etiquette tips for social media?

Getting Small Businesses Unstuck, Shafran Moltz Group