Social Media Etiquette: 8.5 Bad Mistakes Good People Make

8.5 Lessons In Social Media Etiquette For Business

8.5 Lessons In Social Media Etiquette For Business

Are you often worried about making mistakes on social media platforms and unsure of the appropriate social etiquette?

Do you know that each social media platform has it’s own set of unspoken and often spoke rules of what is appropriate etiquette?

If you want to play with other kids in the social media sandbox, you need to learn a couple pointers on friendly interaction unless you want to play alone. Learning proper social media etiquette for business is as crucial as playing nicely in the sandbox is to getting invited to birthday parties.

Remember how it felt to get excluded from those parties?

Don’t become “that guy” and think everyone is going to play by your rules. Your business needs to establish some basic social media guidelines if it can expect to generate any results.

In this article I’m going to share 8.5 examples and tactics you will want to avoid if you want to ensure you are following appropriate social media etiquette.

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social media etiquette lessons with screenshots on infographic

8.5 Examples of BAD Social Media Etiquette For Business

1. Tell People To Follow You/Like Your Page

This is so tacky, never works and reveals your lack of a real social media strategy in your very first message. It screams unprofessionalism, especially for LinkedIn etiquette as pictured in the example above.

You should never start off a new relationship by asking for something. Would you do it in real life? Then don’t do it online.#1

2. Promoting Your Blog Posts or Events In Irrelevant Groups

Now obviously this is just spam but it’s kicking the ignorance up a notch with total disregard for context. In this case, I happened to see a guy posting about his “fantastic MLM training course” to help “blow up your MLM business” in a group dedicated to combatting childhood obesity. Huh?

Not only will these practices get you banned from groups and potentially social media platforms, you will leave a negative impression with every single person on the way out. May I please ask you…what is the point?#2b

3. Adding People To LinkedIn Without A Custom/Personalized Message

LinkedIn etiquette can be rather fragile in certain areas and one practice that consistently turns people off is connecting without a custom message. If you don’t know somebody and you’re trying to connect with them, you need to tell them why.

If you are trying to connect with a stranger without telling them why, trust me when I say they will be wondering why you want to connect. And in most cases, they’ll click “Ignore” or worse “Report Spam”, and you definitely don’t want that to happen!

HINT: Try to focus on why they would want to connect with you and encapsulate that in as few characters as possible. Give them the WHY they need to accept your connection request.#3

4. Sending Out Obvious Mass Messages

Both LinkedIn etiquette and Facebook etiquette are similar in this philosophy: nobody feels special when they receive a message sent to a bunch of other people. If you don’t have the time or consideration to send individual messages then you should do your best to at least make it seem that way.

Write your message copy so it speaks to a person, not an email list. People don’t appreciate you using their connection on social platforms as an invitation to keep them in the loop with your business. Tailor your message for the specific audience and individuals you are trying to reach every time.#4


Don’t do it. People think you are yelling at them. I pray that I won’t have to remind anyone of this by 2014.#5

6. Auto Direct Messages (DMs) On Twitter

This is truly the bottom of the barrel when it comes to poor Twitter etiquette and is the reason why the feature itself has become useless. Direct messages might be useful someday once Twitter finds a way to reclaim this feature from the spammers that polluted it.

By the way, if you are trying to send me a Direct Message on Twitter don’t bother, I never read them as it’s filled with spam. Please @Mention me instead! #6

7. Posting Too Often

If you are unsure of how much you should be posting on the various social media platforms, check out our article on The Ten Commandments of Social Media Marketing for some general guidelines.#7

8. Tweeting The Exact Same Thing To Multiple People

It really devalues your message if people go back to your profile and see that you are tweeting the same thing over and over again with no personalization. This is poor social media etiquette on any site but it’s much more obvious on Twitter.#8

8.5. Not Personalizing Thank You Messages on Twitter

I think it’s great Twitter etiquette to thank people for sharing your content but aim to personalize your messages when you do so. It just takes including their first name in the message or some other sign that a robot didn’t generate your thank you.

It’s also pretty tacky if you try to drum up pointless small talk by saying something like, “Thanks for the retweet. How’s your day going?” It feels very hollow and just wastes people’s time. It might sound harsh but can you imagine if everyone asked you that question on Twitter constantly? It would require an equally robotic response with all that copy and pasting you’ll have to do to respond in a timely manner.8 1:2

Good Social Media Etiquette Is Common Sense

I say that good social etiquette is common sense but common sense it self seems so…uncommon. What are some of the worst examples of social media etiquette you see and how would you fix them? Let us know in the comments below.


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