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Social Media Etiquette: If There’s an Option, It Doesn’t Mean It’s a Good Idea

Social Media EtiquetteThe social media has been around for a while but it doesn’t mean we all agree what is acceptable and what’s not.

I’ve seen many people claiming that if there’s an option to do something, it must be acceptable. For example, “Blame Linkedin: They allow you to mass-email a connection invite to all your email contacts…”

Now, as the one who once did that (i.e. mass-email all my Gmail contacts), I realize mistakes happen but it doesn’t mean you can do it just because you are allowed to or blame a social media platform for allowing you to.

Now, you may disagree but here are the things I’d suggest you stay away from despite the fact that there’s an easy functionality to do that:

Don’t do it even if you seem to be allowed to:

  1. Mass-invite your email address book contacts to be your Linkedin connections
  2. Add your Facebook friends to a group (unless you agreed on that prior)
  3. Start a group Twitter DM thread (unless you agreed on that with each of your friends prior to that)
  4. Start a group Facebook private message thread (unless you agreed on that with each of your friends prior to that). There could be exceptions of course: For example, I wouldn’t mind seeing a group private message which is about a good cause, helping a common friend in need, etc.
  5. Tag hundreds of your friends on your motivational photo quote on Facebook (Or, even worse, tag your friends on a “chain” update aka “Re-share this if you want to be happy” grrrr)
  6. Auto-post your link to several of your Linkedin groups (I know, the official Linkedin button makes it SO easy that it becomes very tempting)
  7. Private message on Facebook / Linkedin (especially) / Twitter and expect a prompt reply… People, we have too many inboxes these days: There’s a good chance your contact isn’t monitoring that one…

What I personally think is OK (when not overdone):

  1. Invite many / all of your friends to like your page (Unless you do it again and again: Usually once is enough)
  2. Befriend people you don’t necessarily know personally / well (Provided there’s a good reason you are seeking that connection).
  3. Find more social media accounts of the same person to connect to (I don’t mind people adding me on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin: At least I wouldn’t be freaked out)
  4. Send a personal non-promotional private message to any of your current friends (Provided there’s a good reason you are doing that: Don’t spam of course)
  5. Use hashtags anywhere you want (Unless that’s a hashtag spam). I never understand people being annoyed by hashtags.
  6. Use emojis anywhere you want. I never understand people being annoyed by emojis…
  7. Auto-post your updates from Instagram to Facebook
  8. Post an occasional self-promotional update (e.g. share your article, ask to vote for you in a contest, etc) unless that’s all you do

Anything else? Please share your social media etiquette pet peeves in the comments!


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