Say This, Not That: Essentials of Social Media Manners

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Or… how to make a good electronic first impression

small_3256859352Technology has given us the capability to navigate on a global scale, download and upload information instantly from almost anywhere, text, send emails along with a full menu of digital options including thousands of “apps” to manage our lives with. Though we each have nearly unlimited capabilities as powerful transmitting stations, when it comes to processing and accurately discerning the intent of personal communications, we are often feeble receiving sets. In our haste to increase our technological fitness, we have allowed other aspects of meaningful communication to atrophy.

Psychologists say that non-verbal communication represents two-thirds of all communication.  Experts even assign “channels” to non-verbal communication such as gestures and touch, posture, facial expression and eye contact.  Others important aspects of communication include voice quality, rate, pitch and intonation.  Think about this: every single one of those cues are absent in Social Media. The keyboard delivers the message, so we no longer even have the benefit of seeing someone’s handwriting.

That’s why social media etiquette should be a required course, not an elective, for everyone. From  young people creating an immutable digital footprint to businesses communicating the essence of their brand,  there are things you MUST know. The future of your online reputation depends on it.

The Hot Spots

A challenge in learning Social Media Manners is that the channels are proliferating like rabbits, and each channel has its own protocol.

To simplify, let’s consider a brief description of the largest channels. I compare the atmosphere of these channels to social situations you are familiar with.

Twitter is like an outdoor concert. It’s “come as you are”, noisy and busy.

FaceBook is like a big backyard barbecue. Dress is casual but you’re likely to encounter anyone from your grandmother to your boss.

Linked In is a virtual business convention. It’s rather formal; business attire & behavior expected.

Google Plus is like a trip to Starbucks. It’s popular with many, but not everyone hangs out there.

Pinterest is an art show. Some are there for pure art, some are there to make money and lots of people are just lookers. “Eclectic” describes this channel.

Instagram is like a photo shop where everyone is showing their favorite pictures.

Each of these varied environments come with expectations and protocol.  The rules aren’t hard to learn. I’ll leave you with a few that apply across the board.  Build the foundation well and then you can go as far and as high as you choose.

Start with the ABCs

As you arrive, take time to observe.   Get a feel for the “room” rather than barging in boisterously.

Be yourself. Your best self.  Take time to check grammar and spelling. And I may sound like your mother, but leave your cuss words at the door.

Caution is necessary regarding automation.  It’s tempting  to take shortcuts like services that post automated updates and allow you to buy followers.  Not a good idea.

Learn the practical guidelines for Social Media Manners  from A to Z by joining us for the next Social Buzz Club Webinar…….March 28

 

Beverly_LEWISBeverly Lewis of BeverlySpeaks.com is a thriving entrepreneur, internet marketing strategist, speaker and business coach. As a creative and resourceful business growth expert, her goal is to help others develop and express their best gifts. She specializes in relationship marketing and has provided workshops and seminars on success & leadership for over 25 years. As CEO of BeverlySpeaks (Chief Encouragement Officer), she wears several hats, including “Joyologist”, Treasure Hunter and Mountain Mover. She lives in Florida with her husband of 34 years and loves to spend time with her family, including romping with her 3 young grandchildren.

 

illustration credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc
Beverly Lewis (1 Posts)


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  • Becky

    Love that analogy that Facebook is a Backyard BBQ. VERY TRUE. Would also add, don’t post when your mad at “Fill in the blanks” if you are a professional. It’s not a good place to vent. Great article and thanks for the tips!