Social Media Etiquette

How's your Social Media Etiquette Checklist? Blank Like This One? Read below!

In light of the recent firing of a sportsnet personality, now would be a good time to discuss social media etiquette. Growing up in the technology age you’re no stranger to the internet and probably visit various social media sites. Social media (web 2.0) provides its users with a constant stream of information about your friends, family, and coworkers you’ve friended or follow.

Web 2.0 just like the internet, taken this vast planet and turned it into a global village. No longer do you have to wonder what happened to your friend who moved across the world! There was a time when you had to rely on letter writing and phone calls to keep in contact with those far away. With the internet came email and simplified the art of writing to others. Texting and social messaging services like Icq, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, and Yahoo Messenger brought forth instant text communications. Use of webcams and the desire for face-time despite long distances lead to popularity for services like Skype and Window Messenger Video chat.  With all these increases in technology and social communication it’s no wonder world has been set aflame with all things Social Media.  While Myspace and hi5 are early form of social media, I became enthralled when I discovered facebook and twitter.

Facebook allowed me to get back in touch with friends I knew from grade school and to keep in touch easier with friends from high school.  My first year of university, the word escaping everyone’s lips was facebook.  Everywhere I went I would hear “Have you heard about facebook? Are you on it??  Add me!!”

in 2006, Twitter emerged as a new microblogging service. Twitter didn’t catch on as quickly as facebook as it left people wondering if 140 characters were enough to communicate their message. Now twitter has surpassed 200 million accounts! Facebook too has large amounts of accounts roughly over 500 million http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics  Social media is pretty much everywhere!

How does etiquette factor into social media?

The growth in popularity of social media leads to lots of information sharing.  We can learn about what’s going on with our friends, family, coworkers, favourite celebrities, and preferred news providers.  Information is power and of interest however, if you like to overshare you’re likely to constantly share mundane details or sometimes share inappropriate details like “I eat grapes at the gas station” or “Stacey has a botched boob job.”

A comedic movie Easy A pokes at teens who overshare their lives.  The Teacher Mr. Griffith ( played by Thomas Haden Church) says “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. ‘Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.’ Who gives a rat’s ass?” Quote referenced  Mr. Griffith remark starts off  my etiquette list.

  1. Don’t spam or pester by overloading.  If you tweet  like no tomorrow that’s fine just don’t link your account with Facebook.  There is almost nothing more annoying than going to read your facebook newsfeed and it is all filled with one person’s tweets!   Also if you are trying to sell or promote don’t spam in hopes more people will read it because you’ll just annoy connections and be unfriended/unfollowed.
  2. Feel free to share relevant information people want to know just think of the acronym  wwtkt  (Who wants to know this?) If you can’t think of people who want to know that information then I would advise against posting it.
  3. Are your updates/ tweets emotional?  That’s fine.  It’s okay to share how you feel but beware of overly emotional or catty remarks.  It may feel good to vent your frustrations via social media but you don’t look good to others.  You reconsider before sending an angry or frustrated email, shouldn’t you do the same with social media sharing?  My best advice? Think twice!  Always think twice before you want to post an emotionally charged  update or tweet.
  4. Is this your information offensive or discriminatory?  Free speech is wonderful , it truly is, but if you want to post something that is bound to offend others then  leave the opinion to yourself.

    If you are a public figure or are associated with a company and use social media for part of your work, keep your information work related.  Don’t blur the line and cross into personal opinions.

  • Good example courtesy Yahoonews from the article Rogers Sportsnet fires on-air host over tweets regarding same-sex marriage  discussing Damian’s controversial tweet in opposition to Sean Avery (New York Rangers forward)  support of same-sex marriage.“I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard tweeted Tuesday. The TV network then issued its own tweet, saying: “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.”  On Wednesday, it(Rogers) severed ties with Goddard.”

Bottom line:  Be polite and always think twice before you write, post, or tweet.

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The Sean’s Twitter Song! (Kingston and Paul)

As Sean Paul says “This song is dedicated to all my Tweethearts <3”

Active Consumers Seek Corporate Responsibility in the Age of Social Media!

Age of Web 2.0! Age of consumer empowerment!
Age of responsibility?

Consumers are active and participative today. Consumer empowerment for businesses/corporations means no more regarding consumers as passive. They consider actions of businesses/corporations before buying into products. Consumers are looking for responsibility in their product and service providers. What exactly is responsibility for a company?

Business dictionary defines corporate responsibility as:

“A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship (1) through their waste and pollution reduction processes, (2) by contributing educational and social programs, and (3) by earning adequate returns on the employed resources.”

If you want a lengthier explanation visit: Reference for business.

Smart companies/businesses target and interact with their consumers. The internet and social media has encouraged the new age consumer who wants to find out more about businesses. Consider coffee: Dark, rich, aromatic coffee that brightens your tired self in the morning. AND afternoon. Maybe evening too. You buy coffee based on taste and advertising, right? The passive consumer does. They go with what they know from what little information they have. What does the engaged consumer do? They research brands online, find out the company’s reputation and what they stand for. Corporate responsibility are two words that may not immediately jump to the average consumers’ mind. Two words stand out for the engaged, vocal consumer: Fair Trade. These two words hold a fair amount of power. It means that the farmers who grew the coffee beans received a fair (regulated) price for those beans.

Thus that farmer doesn’t have to live a poverty-stricken life selling beans well below value because they don’t have a choice.

Businesses who buy their beans through fair-trade can bear the fair trade logo. Since fair trade is regulated, you won’t find businesses claiming to be fair trade that aren’t. The only disadvantage to fair trade coffee is the price to consumers. Fair trade coffee costs more for the consumer to purchase. Without the fair trade logo one might assume it is overpriced coffee but not know why it is. A fair trade logo connected with a business says “we’re a responsible, morally considerate company that appreciates quality.” It also leaves the consumer feeling good about their purchase. Purchasing+ feeling good are a great match. Businesses want their consumers to feel good about making purchase because those consumers are more likely to continue purchasing their product.

My fair trade coffee example highlights how a passive consumer might not have known about fair trade quality or understand its importance. The passive consumer just listens to what the business says and doesn’t really ask questions. A one-way conversation. Ignorance is bliss to the passive consumer.

How is this applicable to social media?

Internet and social media removed the rose coloured glasses from our eyes. They give information that once wasn’t readily available now available to the masses! You can Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, and Reddit (to list a few!) a business to find out what it stands for; find out what other people think about it.

Coffee wise: Companies/businesses who have facebook pages, twitter accounts and webpages can mention their fair trade association and their corporate social responsibility.

Perfect example: Starbucks! They are very quick to brand themselves as a responsible business. “We’ve always believed that businesses can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities they serve.”

Starbucks proudly shares its corporate social responsibility with its consumers throughout social media. For example: You can like Starbucks and Starbucks frappuccino on facebook, roughly 20 different twitter accounts and follow them on LinkedIn. Engaged consumers who are already plugged into various social media they will visit webpages and social media links of various businesses. Consumers want to know the truth and want to feel good about their purchase. Starbucks must know this and use it to further their brand quality. Essentially you can find Starbucks everywhere on social media. You can find them sharing and connecting with their consumers online and off! Thanks to social media!

As a social media specialist and a consumer, I recognize the importance of ethical business practices, corporate responsibility and usage of social media. Social media connects businesses with their consumers. Consumers can share their thoughts with businesses and other consumers. Starting a conversation between businesses and consumers as well as consumers with consumers via social media benefits all. It keeps businesses in the spotlight,responsible to its consumers, and in return it gains loyalty. Thus consumers get to feel good about their purchases and businesses receive purchaser loyalty/longevity.

Thoughts? Share them with me!  😀