Last year I announced at Book Expo America that I was writing my second book, The Rules of Netiquette. The book is a social media book. Think “Miss Manners Meets Web 2.0.”
Since that time many of you have shared your stories and have commented on those who aren’t so social-media friendly or just don’t know the Rules of Netiquette. I’ve been collecting stories about those who have broken the rules. If you have a story to share, we’d like to hear your comments.
For now, let’s talk about some of the Top 10 Rules of Netiquette if you’d like to play in the game, build a following, and enjoy the benefits of social networking.
1. The Authenticity Rule. Have a personality that shines online. Remember that you are human and limit your automation. Engage about subjects that would be of interest to your followers. Follow trends and comment on them. It isn’t all about “you.” Imitation isn’t a form of flattery. Compliment others and credit them where credit is deserved.
2. The Google Rule. Sure we’re curious, but should we kiss and tell? Whether it’s for business or romance, if you’ve researched them in detail online, don’t let them know. You won’t want to be accused of being a stalker. What you see isn’t always what you get.
3. The S.P.A.M. Rule. Remember, SPAM is a four-letter word. Facebook is a terrific place to expand your social and business network with people you have just met, while reconnecting with those from your past. If you have a product or service you would like to promote, send a private and personal email message to someone and ask permission. Don’t get in the habit of self-promoting your next event on someone else’s profile. If yo do so, expect to be de-friended in a New York minute.
4. Spreading the Love Rule. When you are building up your list of followers on Twitter and business contacts on Facebook and Linkedin, make sure to comment and re-tweet more often than self-promoting your own brand. Comment and share interesting posts from your friends on your favorite social networking sites and blogs. Become viral with your friends and family. Be social media friendly and click both the share and like buttons on Facebook, if you see a post or story that you think your friends and followers would enjoy.
5. The Personalize It Rule. When requesting to be a social friend on Facebook or a business connection on Linkedin or other social networking sites, make sure you send a personal message along with the request. It’s about human interaction, not numbers. When in doubt, send a private email message or direct message on Twitter if they are following you. Remember, posts, tweets, and status updates are often indexed by Google and the search engines.
6. The Off-limits Rule. Opinions on politics, religion, personal attacks, and controversial subjects that could cause embarrassment to others should not be put on the public Internet. When in doubt, don’t. You will lose friends and followers quickly.
7. The Tag – You’re It Rule. You have just connected with an old friend from grade school or college. Avoid posting and “tagging” photos of them that aren’t complimentary. Everyone needs a fresh start and it’s only fair to be on an even social media playing field.
8. The When in Doubt, Don’t Rule. Make the conversation worthwhile. One less tweet, update, or photo won’t matter. Avoid being the one whose messages are about taking a nap. Conversations are “in.” Clutter is not. Engage in a meaningful way.
9. The Send Button Rule. Make sure to use spell-check and proof read messages before pushing the send button. Remember, you can’t take it back. Never send an email when you’re angry. Chances are you’ll feel different in the morning.
10. The Acronyms Rule. Don’t overuse acronyms in online communication. We all know what RSVP and FAQ stands for, but not everyone knows the meaning of ROTFL and BTD. Use acronyms sparingly, and avoid them in business correspondence.
Excerpts from the upcoming book, The Rules of Netiquette by Julie Spira. ©2009 – 2010 Julie Spira – Social Media And More
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If you have a social media story to share and know those who have broken the rules of netiquette, we welcome your comments or you can contact us privately at http://SocialMediaMore.com/contact
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Thank you again for doing such a terrific job speaking at my Writer's Program seminar at UCLA Extension on how writers can build their brand and establish their presence on the Internet. The students thought you were terrific and greatly appreciated you sharing your time and considerable expertise.
~Linda Marsa, journalist and instructor, UCLA Extension