Social Media Etiquette Allows No Vaguebooking, Oversharing, Overposting or Duck Faces


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This is a guest post by Ken Woods


Today I found myself in a heated Facebook debate over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s call to action bringing the company’s work-from-home employees into to the Silicone Valley office. One of my always opinionated Facebook “friends” started my morning with a nasty post using uncalled-for language. After pouring my first cup of coffee, I sat down for my 20-minute morning social media check. It’s important to stay afoot of trending topics when you’re a writer. But today was different.

After seeing that post, I thought, “Who are you to defame someone you know nothing about. Who are you to give your unintelligible opinion each and every day?” I’ve always wanted to say something to this guy, and today was the day. Back and forth we went on that topic that seeped into other topics and all of a sudden I felt regret. Why did I fall to this person’s level? I start going through all my very public comments and deleting them. But the damage has been done. What about you?

There are rules to social media activity that we must, as an intelligent society, follow. Have some manners in business and in pleasure.

Keep it Real — Business Edition

When turning to social media from a business standpoint (which you should do), be professional. You can push the limits if you’re, say, GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons and are looking for the initial shock. But search Bob Parsons and you won’t see his dog as his profile picture. You’ll find his real name, and you’ll find legitimately helpful articles he’s written and charities he’s donated to. Start with these tips for a good online visibility.

  • Fill out your online profiles with your real information and photos (no pets please).
  • Don’t use the same account for your personal connections. Be sure your screen name represents your business. ‘Rainbowsandglitter1′ might best be suited for your personal account.
  • Be tactful with your posts. Future bosses and current clients will look at your social media history. Your online actions could make or break you.
  • Friend and follow only people you would want people to judge you by. Whether you like it or not, you’re the company you keep.
  • Again, check grammar and spelling over and over again.

Don’t Abuse Your Soapbox

There are scores of users that abuse social media platforms with their useless information, banter and advice. Maybe it’s because they’re lonely. Possibly they’re bored. But enough is enough, people. These are what bug us most on sites like Facebook, according to results from a Real Simple reader survey:

  • Chronic complaining: There’s nothing that will make me unfriend someone faster than constant negativity. “This rain is depressing.”
  • Cussing.
  • Intentional vague posts: vaguebooking is a means to generate concern and attention. Lisa says, “The time has come. A sad face.” What time has come, you wonder? And because you’re a good person, you express your concern just as she had anticipated.
  • Oversharing: “I’d like to thank my wonderful boyfriend for bringing me flowers and tissue for my runny nose.”
  • Over posting: photo after photo of dogs from the local animal rescue. Yes, we care about the dogs, but we can’t adopt one. Please, easy on the posts.
  • Bad grammar and misspellings: there’s just no excuse.

What is That Face You Have On?

Sometimes people don’t want to be tagged at the baseball game or at the nightclub holding a cocktail for one reason or another. It’s her right so if you are posting and tagging — ask first! Also, what is that face you are making in your profile pic?

Here’s what people don’t want to see on Instagram and Facebook

  • You’re making out with your boyfriend.
  • Duck face (the pouty, sexy expression with pooched lips).
  • A cartoon or your pet.
  • Continuous pictures of your baby or your cat — we get it … he’s cute.
  • Self-portraits in the bathroom mirror.
  • What you’re eating.

Ken Woods

Ken is a freelance writer and SEO specialist who lives in Florida.

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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a digital marketer, social media consultant, web developer & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad, geek and runs a monthly tech meet up called Cheadle Geeks and a regular coworkers event called Cheadle Jelly. Find out more


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