An Etiquette Refresher for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs & Their Online Behavior

September 15, 2015

An Etiquette Refresher for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs & Their Online Behavior

As of January 2014, 87% of American adults use the internet and 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. Yet, probably more than a third of them act like a child online – business owners and entrepreneurs included.

When you are a business owner or entrepreneur, what you do and say online can have positive and negative ramifications on your business. Yes, you can post freely, however when you are attached to a business or you are your business, the spotlight is on you more.

I haven’t written about etiquette in a while (and it’s a soapbox topics for me as well) I thought now was a great time for all of us to have a simple refresher course (or post) on that topic, but this time geared more towards business owners and entrepreneurs.

So, what do you (we) need to do?

Do not ignore people.

Much like how you wouldn’t want to be ignored in real life, don’t ignore someone online. If someone takes the time to respond to something you have out there – a tweet, a Facebook post, acknowledge it. People want to feel like they matter and ignoring them tells them they don’t. Same goes for blog comments. Even if it’s a simple thank you, you’ve acknowledged it. Something else to consider – I know we all cannot stand the generic LinkedIn messages, but if someone requests a connection with you and you do not want to accept it, it’s okay to respond and tell them why.

True story: A few years ago, there was a local restaurant here where I live that my husband and I wanted to eat at. I looked them up on Facebook to see their hours (they didn’t have a website – I know!) and saw they were open so we went. When we pulled up, they were closed and there was a different set of hours on their door. Needless to say we weren’t happy. Being the social media person I am, I went online and left a post on their Facebook page’s wall letting them know what happened and asked them to correct the hours on their page. 24 hours later – no response. 3 days later – no response. 4 days later I went back to their page and the post had been deleted. No apology or acknowledgement, it was deleted. Talk about being mad. Up until the day it closed (which was last year), we never set foot in that restaurant. We were potential customers that they lost out on.

Moral of the story: Respond! Had they responded with something, we would have gone back to try them out and become customers.

Do not steal other people’s work.

Seriously. Plagiarism happens every day on the web. I’ve had it happen to 3 of my blog posts. Friends have had theirs stolen multiple times too. Google doesn’t like it and we don’t either. There are proper ways to go about reusing published content. Contact the author and ask about their republication policy (we all have them and they aren’t all the same). It adds value to the relationship when you ask first and it shows appreciation on both sides.

This just does not only apply to blog posts, it goes for social media posts as well. My friend Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends had this happen to her earlier this year. Her specialty is Instagram marketing and some guy totally lifted her posts as his own. See below –


The photo caption said,

>>>>>Calling on all of you for HELP!

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