Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Social Media Etiquette: 5 Tips to Behave Online

Proper etiquette does not end with real-world interactions alone. With the rapid growth of the internet and popularity of social networking sites, good manners stretch out to virtual world interactions as well.

While most of us understand and comply to the commandments of social media etiquette, some others still prove that they have yet to learn what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

The following tips are common sense, social media practices every netizen should abide.

Think before you click.
Before hitting the post, tweet, share, or send button, ask yourself these questions: Does it have spelling or grammar errors? Is it appropriate? Will it offend anyone? Will I feel alright with anyone seeing this? Will anyone else care? Once you hit that button, make sure you’ve thought it over more than once. Editing published posts or retrieving sent mails lessen your credibility.

Reply accordingly.
When someone comments on your post, reply accordingly - especially if it’s a question. Don’t leave your friends and other readers hanging with a question. If someone comments positively, show appreciation by replying or liking. If you don’t respond or provide feedback, most likely they won’t bother reading your posts anymore and completely ignore you.

Don’t make social media sites a complaint forum.
Venting out is a perfectly normal thing to do. But bombarding negativity by complaining about your work and your personal life now and then is not. Constant complaining will make your friends and followers stay away from you. Furthermore, ranting about your work might put you into big trouble. If you need to vent something, play safe and do it somewhere private.

Keep private matters private.
Yes, social networking sites are communication tools that can spread news fast like fire. But if you need to inform a close relative or friend about bad news, don’t announce it in public. If you need to deliver sensitive issues such as death in the family, loss of job, never post it on his or her wall. Instead, send a personal message or call.

Don’t spam.
I mean to say don’t overshare, post chain status updates, comment on every post, retweet every tweet. Do you think your friends enjoy seeing your name pop out in their newsfeed every five minutes? Constant bombardment is really annoying because it prevents your friends from seeing or responding to other people’s statuses.

For me, the tips mentioned earlier are five of the most important social media practices every netizen should follow. But these are only a few, do you have anything to add?

Share them here.

About the author: Melissa Page is a passionate writer and social media contributor who works with My Life, a site that helps you manage all your social network updates and emails in one dashboard. When she’s not busy writing, she plays bowling with her friends.