7 Rules of Social Media Netiquette


Back before it was common to send shortened text messages, people knew what etiquette was. When you wrote a letter, it was written according to a specific template, whether for personal or business use. These days, however, things are quite different and you’ll see that there is a serious lack of courtesy online. Does that mean there is no such thing as politeness on the Internet? Not necessarily. In fact, there is a whole world of polite rules out there . . . just many people prefer to ignore them.

If you really want social media to work for you, you need to make sure that you are treating others with respect. What does that mean? Well, here are some of the rules of social media etiquette (or netiquette as they call it) that you should be following.

1. Give and you shall receive. If you want something from someone, be it a backlink or a review or even just a retweet, then you should be thinking about what you can do for them. It’s common sense, really, but most people have lost it in their quest for online greatness. Help someone out and they will remember when you come to them at a later date asking for a favor.

2. Be polite. As simplistic as that sounds, it really is one of the most effective methods of communicating with others on social media. Remember to say please and thank you and people will remember you. Best yet, avoid the anger induced rants that are so easy to get into when someone has done you wrong. Keep your mouth shut and avoid name calling.

3. Contribute something. We’ve all seen those forum posters who just agree mindlessly with everyone to get their signature line with its flashing links out there. Don’t be that person. Instead, take the time to really offer some value and make yourself useful to others. They will come back for more.

4. Listen more than you speak. You’ve probably heard the saying, “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak.” Well, the same goes for social media. It’s not an excuse to babble away about anything and everything, it’s a place to listen to others and network with them.

5. Be kind. A kind word goes a long way in social media, as well as in real life. Being nice to everyone you meet, online and offline, is a great way to gain friends and make valuable contacts. Don’t be rude and make sure you listen to people and they will keep coming back.

6. Time your requests. We all know someone in real life who asks for favors entirely too often. Online, that problem is times ten. Don’t keep asking people to join your other social media networks or read your blog. In fact, you should try to keep self promotional links and tweets to a bare minimum. Asking for help too often will simply drive people away.

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  • zenaire

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  • Bowlingirl

    I'm not just saying this because your post said to be nice. But this is a helpful post. Thanks for the reminder that etiquette is important no matter the vehicle for communication.

  • articlescreen

    I do really love the points or in your words rules about your social media netiquette and The #4 point "Listen more than you speak"..I follow most; I mean I read more and try to write less...funny isn't it..

  • Thank you for all your comments...yes netiquette is essential and we always have to remind ourselves that the same offline rules apply online!

  • I love your article. SImple and to the point. I would love to repost this on our social media page inside our free web chamber site, with the proper links and credit back to you. Would that be OK?

    Also, am I missing #7? Or are there only six? Or is there a page two? Or a number missing?...

    Just wondering. If there is a "seven" missing, please forward.

    -Damon

  • Glad you liked it Damon! Yes, I think there was type but could not change it because it will change the whole link to the post. Please do not re-post the entire blog. It is always wise to post a comment and a synopsis then linking back to the original post. Thank you for wanting to share 🙂

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