Social networking provides companies with a user-friendly, fast and far-reaching way to connect with employees and clients. But as with face-to-face meetings, there are certain rules of netiquette that must be followed to achieve the desired outcome.
“For some reason, many people seem to think that using social media gives them a pass to leave manners and etiquette behind,” says Barry Libert, author of the new book, Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business. “They don’t realize that social media can actually be a critical vehicle by which to engage customers and inspire employees.”
This week, Promotional Consultant Today is looking at eight “Netiquette” lessons — as online etiquette has been dubbed — rules that will help you successfully develop a community of supporters who will help your business relationships prosper. Yesterday we looked at the first three; today we’ll look at three more.
Don’t Hide Behind Social Media.
Unless you’re living in a computer-less time warp, you’ve probably been guilty of using e-mail to send a message you didn’t want to deliver in person. However, words still matter as much online as they do in real time — and they stick around longer. When possible, avoid using social media as an easy out when you’re facing a tough conversation or want to spout off an annoyance.
TOP SHELF TIP NO. 212
“No matter how well you know the rules of etiquette, you will
eventually offend someone who doesn’t.”
Don Rittner, American author, journalist, historian, archeologist, environmental activist and educator
“There is no such thing as ‘behind someone’s back’ in the world of social media,” Libert stresses. “It’s all out there, virtually forever, so don’t fool yourself. If you have something to say, and criticism is allowed and may even be warranted at times, say it with respect; and before you send it, be sure it’s something you are willing to stand behind in a week or a month. On the flip side, don’t worry that one nasty online comment from a disgruntled customer will ruin your business. How you handle it may make all the difference.”
Leave The Sensational To Someone Else.
ATTENTION: This never-before-shared piece of advice will change the way you do business and catapult your company into a Fortune 500 slot. Sounds good, right? Of course it does, but it’s not a claim that can be guaranteed. When it comes to social media, it’s best to be honest and stick to the truth.
Rumors and sensational posts may send readers flocking to you initially, but dishonesty and irresponsible behavior will ultimately come back to haunt you. Yes, in the heat of the moment, that sensational comment might seem like a good idea, but you might regret clicking “send” before all is said and done. It’s better to wait an hour, or maybe even a day, before launching your message into the public domain.
Take Control Of Yourself.
Ultimately, you — not your boss, your spouse or your mother — are responsible for your choices and behavior. When it comes to social media, that means actively choosing to infuse your communications with positivity, tell the truth, give credit where credit is due and be polite.
“Managing yourself is important to your career as well as to your personal life,” says Libert. “Everyone is tempted to cut corners or to gratuitously vent from time to time, but when you choose not to do those things online, you’re setting a good example for others from within your organization — and you’re doing good things for your own career growth. Remember, if you do choose to post an ill-advised update, for example, you’ll be the one taking the rap for it.”
Source: Barry Libert is a speaker, author, and chairman and CEO of Mzinga®. Libert has published five books on the value of social and information networks and he has been published in Newsweek, Smart Money, Barron’s, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He also has appeared on CNN, CNBC and NPR.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA go to the PPAI website and click on Professional Development. PPAI has webinars and education sessions designed to take your Social Media marketing to the next level. Click here for more information.
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