Do You Have Good Social Media Manners?

Practicing good social media manners, or social media etiquette as some like to call it, is the key to getting the most from your social media marketing efforts. If you ignore the advice in this post, people will ignore your Tweets, stop reading your blog, and think you and your company “just don’t get it.”

mannersThe good news is it’s actually pretty easy to avoid being a social media jerk. Just use some common sense and follow these rules, and you’ll be all set.

  • Avoid constant self-promotion – Although social media can be a powerful marketing tool, it shouldn’t be treated like traditional advertising. In other words, you shouldn’t constantly be Tweeting about how great your company is and how your followers need to buy your products RIGHT NOW!!! That’s not what social media marketing is about. It’s about connecting with your target audience and building relationships with them. It’s about earning their trust and humanizing your company.
  • Help others first – Too many companies have a short-sighted view of social media marketing. They expect to start a blog, instantly get thousands of hits, go viral on Twitter, and hit the front page of Digg within days. And when it doesn’t happen, they completely write off social media marketing as a waste of time. What they don’t realize is that you have to give before you can receive, and that social media marketing requires a long-term commitment. It’s not all about you; help out others first.
  • Take part in the conversation – Whether you’re creating a Twitter account, signing up on Digg, or joining an online group, one rule applies: You have to take part in the conversation if you ever want to see any results. You can’t instantly come in blatantly promoting your company, your blog, or whatever else and expect anyone in the community to give a rat’s behind. You need to focus on getting to know how the community works, who everyone is, and how you can best leverage the community to your advantage. There are no shortcuts.
  • Don’t ask for too many favors – Don’t be “that guy”…the guy who is constantly asking for a ReTweet, a Digg, a Stumble, or whatever else. If you ask for too many favors, you become a pest. And when that happens, all future requests for favors get ignored, making it difficult for you to gain any traction with your marketing efforts. So, by all means, ask for favors, but don’t overdo it.
  • Don’t mass follow just to boost your numbers – Social media marketing isn’t all about numbers. Just because you have a lot of followers on Twitter doesn’t mean you’re effectively building brand awareness or reaching your other goals. It’s about engagement. Engagement is the true measure of social media success. I’d much rather have 1,000 followers who are truly interested in what I’m saying and who RT my content than 100,000 followers that ignore me.

How’s your social media etiquette? Are there any rules you’d add to this list?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here:

8 Responses

  1. I think it’s also important to not vent your frustrations or leave your personal life all over twitter or facebook when you are trying to create professional relationships and connections. While it is true that a company or person wants to personally connect with their followers and/or customers through social media, it can be over done and blur the lines of professional and personal. It may turn off your followers as well because you are no longer focusing on providing or connecting with them, rather you’re wasting their time by posting your own baggage that isn’t their problem. I’ve seen it done, and I feel those who have done so, I have lost a great deal of credibility and legitimate connections.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by social_median: Do You Have Good Social Media Manners?: Practicing good social media manners, or social media etiquette as some li…

  3. These are all excellent tips! The favors and the mass follows are two of my biggest SM pet peeves. I liked the way you summed them up and included them in what not to do to improve manners! (Or just keep good ones.)

  4. Great tips. Common sense to those who understand Social Media. Completely new stuff to those who only know Social Media. I always come across people who assume they fully understand Social Media but they completely ignore the advice I give them (that same that you are giving in this article) because they want the hits now, and don’t want to work at it. Or the personal life becomes an issue, like Harrison said, people do not regulate themselves properly. However, I think it’s good from time to time to remind people you are a real person, and stray off topic a little.

  5. Solid points … unfortunately, many seek the same ‘instant gratification’ they get in their normal day-to-day lives in SM … great perspective on getting to know the community and nurturing relationships … SM is a participatory sport and every sport has its rules – so understand those rules before you suit up and get in the game!

  6. What you post on your facebook page or tweet on Twitter can have drastic effects on your reputation–good and bad.

    Especially since more and more employers are using social media to make decisions about who they hire ( you’ve got to make sure that you’re social media profile looks as good as your website.

  7. You should not post business and employment opportunities with limited details, but requiring an investment of time. Postings like “Millionaire wants to invest in 2 businesses, log on and register for webex for more information”.

    What millionaire? What type of businesses are they looking at investing in? Social Media is not about giving “less” information, its about giving more”!

  8. Neo says:

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it.

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