November 2, 2011
Are You Minding Your Social Media Manners? Expert Offers 12 Tips for Social Media Business EtiquetteIn the spotlight: Lydia Ramsey, President and Founder, Manners That Sell
Business people use social media networking to build their careers, promote their business and grow their reputations. But they might be doing more harm than good if they violate the etiquette of social networking.
"As with email, cell phones, and other technological devices, we got the technology first and we have backed into the rules for using it with courtesy and consideration," says Lydia Ramsey, a Savannah, Ga.-based social media-etiquette expert and president of Manners That Sell.
"The world of online networking is new to most of us, but there is little difference in connecting with people online and offline. The same basic tenets hold true. Trust and authenticity remain high on the list," says Ramsey, who conducts seminars on business etiquette to corporations throughout the Southeastern U.S. as well as around the world.
Here are Lydia's 12 tips on the etiquette of social networking for becoming a polished professional:
- Fill out your online profiles completely with information about you and your business. Use your real name and your own photo. Your cat may be adorable, but unless you are a veterinarian specializing in the care of felines, don't get cute.
- Use a different profile or account for your personal connections. Business and pleasure do not mix in this medium.
- Create a section on your main profile detailing who you are seeking to befriend. Everyone need not apply.
- Offer information of value. Don't talk just about yourself and your company.
- Don't approach strangers and ask them to be friends just so you can try to sell them on your products or services. You will quickly lose credibility and friends.
- Pick a screen name that represents you and your company well. Don't call yourself "Loser1" unless you want to be known by that.
- Don't send out invitations to play games or other timewasters for those using the site.
- Don't put anything on the Internet that you don't want your future boss, current or potential clients to read.
- Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend. Your mother was right when she said that people will judge you by the company you keep.
- If someone does not want to be your friend, accept their decision gracefully.
- Never post when you're overly tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.
- Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and spelling before you send.
"People are connecting with, listening to, following and collaborating with each other online at a rapidly increasing rate," says Ramsey. "By following my 12 rules for social media etiquette, business people will position themselves for much better results in the marketplace."
Lydia Ramsey is an international business etiquette expert. She is the president and founder of Manners That Sell, a firm based in Savannah, Ga., offering seminars, keynote speeches and executive coaching to corporations, associations and universities.