10 social networking etiquette mistakes

Social networking is becoming more of a necessity for companies and individuals, as it’s being used in marketing, job recruiting, and countless other areas. But like any other communication platform, there are etiquette rules that must be followed.

Here are some of the top ways social network users fail to mind their manners, according to tech and etiquette experts:

1. Engaging badly behaved posters and commenters — Some people leave nasty comments on blog posts or online profiles just to get attention. The worst thing you can do is validate them with a response. Best bet: Delete the comment and move on.

2. Choosing an inappropriate picture — The photo should be professional, of course, and experts recommend using the same one across all social media sites.

3. Tagging other people in unflattering photos — This goes for personal friends and professional contacts. Also, make sure you un-tag photos as soon as someone asks.

4. Failing to read over a post — Especially in the case of marketing-oriented social networking activity, all posts should be proofread before they go up.

5. Sending a boss or superior a friend request — In some cases, that may be appropriate. But in others, it just puts the recipient of the request in the awkward position of having to decide whether or not to accept.

6. Using the wrong site for the wrong occasion — For example, LinkedIn is more of a business-oriented social network, so activity there should be more professional than what goes on other sites.

7. Using social networks exclusively for self-promotion — Even if the purpose of a profile is to market a product or service, if that’s all the activity is focused on, it won’t generate much interest. Instead, the majority of updates should be focused on things potential customers care about, such as news related to the industry.

8. Naming yourself after your company — Many businesses get their names out there by commenting on related blogs and websites. But entering the name of the company into the commenter’s “name” field on a site will only make the comment look like spam. Instead, the poster should use his or her name and include a link to the company’s website.

9. Forgetting to tidy up the workspace before a video chat — More and more business meetings are being conducted through online video conferences — and it’s important to keep in mind the person on the other end can see your room and its contents, so people must take time to clean up the area.

10. Using others’ content without attribution — One of the goals of social networking should be to network with other companies and individuals in the field. Stealing content without mentioning where it’s from will never help in that regard.

Can you think of any other social networking etiquette mistakes? Share them in the comments section below.

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