Social Media Etiquette: Are There Rules?

Social Media Shenanigans Denver, COLast week, I attended Social Media Shenanigans 2, an uproarious gathering in Denver, CO that included a bevy of beautiful people from Colorado and beyond. And when I say beautiful, I don’t mean physical beauty. Yes, there were some “lookers” there, but the beauty I’m referring to is deep within. All the peeps I knew there, as well as those I met for the first time, each have caring and giving hearts.

I think that’s one characteristic that makes for “good” social networkers. I put good in quotes because in the last week, I’ve had two colleagues reach out to me about a social media challenge they encountered. What they’ve been doing online was “good” in their minds. However, a couple of others saw it differently.

So are there rules for social media etiquette? There’s no hard and fast rule book. However, when asked about what it takes to be a “good marketer” (online and off), one thing I mentioned and I heard more than once during interviews being held at Social Media Shenanigans (it was being streamed live) was “be yourself,” “be genuine,” “be authentic.”

In the case of my first colleague, she was being herself and believed she was doing the right thing. She created a post based on a concept she saw a “friend” posting and she gave credit to that person for the concept.

It backlashed on her, she got irrate private messages from the “friend” and she was distraught about what she did wrong. She even asked that person to help her, teach her not only what he felt she did incorrectly, but what he thought would have been “right.” Apparently, he didn’t want any part of it and after several back and forth messages, unfriended her.

She was hurt, confused and frustrated. She admitted she had things to learn when it comes to social media marketing, but her post was not done maliciously. The good news? Now she’s on a mission to understand the intricacies and etiquette of social networking better.

My second colleague also received a private message from someone she thought was a friend (she’s actually known him for several years). He said some things that were hurtful and made her feel “less than.” There wasn’t anything constructive in his comments to her and therefore, probably would have been better left unsaid.

Why do people behave this way? Maybe that’s their nature and when we say “be yourself,” they’re just doing that. However, when your actions hurt other people it may be time to look within yourself and see who you truly are.

So are there rules for social media? In addition to “be yourself,” I’d say “be kind.” Have good intentions and treat others as you would want to be treated.
Social Media Etiquette Dr. Seuss Quotes

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” ~Dr. Seuss

What do you think? When you get online, are there “rules” you follow? Please share your thoughts below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks and here’s to your sweet success.