The “How-to” Guide of Social Media Etiquette

September 28, 2015


Whilst some social media “experts” might suggest that there is no social media etiquette, I would have to disagree. I was contacted by LBC through a Twitter DM a couple of week ago, to go speak with them on their Saturday night radio show. The topic of conversation was surrounding the LinkedIn message a lawyer had received from a male colleague, commenting on her looks. You can read the full story on this here.

I shared the below tweet with my audience to let them know, and they engaged with me because of this.

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Just like I had previously said on LBC, LinkedIn is a professional social network and should be treated as such, not as a dating website. Whilst you may not agree with me (we are all entitled to our own opinions) there is a general social media etiquette that I believe should be followed for all of the important social networks.


You might know the basics of presenting yourself on Facebook because you have used it personally however, from a business perspective you might be missing a few pointers.

  • Respond to all comments – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Understand how hashtags work on Facebook. Maximum of 2-3 per post
  • Pareto’s 80/20 rule – 80% entertaining your audience, 20% selling
  • Do NOT post on other Facebook Pages asking for likes
  • Always write in first person when talking about your business on Facebook
  • Only ASK for likes when it’s for the purpose of a survey/poll

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There are over 100 million daily twitter users, of which 64% are women. 46% of Twitter users use their account at least once a day. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for Twitter.

  • Respond to questions as quickly as possible
  • Use hashtags, but know your limit! No more than two per tweet
  • Don’t feel the need to follow everyone who follows you
  • Stay positive – negativity loses followers
  • Avoid sharing too much personal information

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Google+ is still relatively new to the social media sphere and is slowly making waves. Not everyone is convinced about Google+ and that’s OK. If it isn’t the social network for you, at least set up your Google+ business page so that you can be found easier on Google. Here are a few tips for using Google+

  • Use the +mention feature when talking about other people/businesses
  • Always add your own message before sharing someone else’s Google+ post
  • Keep your circles clearly defined and make sure they right people are in the right circles
  • Use all of Google’s formatting options to make your posts easier to read e.g. bold, underline and italic

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Of all the social networks, Instagram is the network that should be approached differently. How should you use Instagram? Here are some etiquette tips;

  • Don’t ask people to follow you, and using hashtags like #TagsforLikes is unprofessional
  • Only post images/videos when you have something worth sharing. Don’t overpopulate your followers newsfeeds. They will only hold it against you.
  • As a business, avoid selfies, food (unless appropriate) and family photos
  • Give and take. If you want people to comment on your photos, you need to engage as well
  • NEVER repost someone else’s photo without their permission
  • Use as many hashtags as you like, as long as they are relevant

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The business social network; LinkedIn has 120 million daily users and has some obvious guidelines that a business should follow.

  • Keep it professional… always
  • Industry-related updates only (unless a business milestone)
  • Personalise your connection requests
  • Don’t clog up someone’s inbox with generic messages
  • Use a professional image as your profile picture
  • Don’t send mass requests for recommendations or endorsements

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Did you know that blogs are the most popular click-through location from Pinterest? Whilst Pinterest might be used as someone’s personal style inspiration moodboard, it can prove to be a successful network from a business perspective too.

  • Always link back to your original source if repinning an image
  • Upload your own pin to start a “repinning trend”
  • Don’t mass repin. Spread your time out evenly on the network
  • Share posts with your community by mentioning them in the comment box
  • Create multiple boards, some of which should be collaboration boards

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I hope my “how-to” guide of Social Media Etiquette will help you with your social media! What social network do you enjoy using the most?

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community


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