Thus far, we’ve been discussing the main characteristics of social media and it’s channels, but before we travel any further, we’re going to take a brief detour and discuss a subject of crucial importance: online etiquette. While many choose to ignore them, you must know the proper ethical and morale customs when visiting and engaging on social media. If you don’t, you may just run into disaster or humiliate yourself, and your guide most certainly does not want that.
Whether by choice or ignorance (or perhaps both), many of those surfing through cyber-space opt to blatantly disregard the importance of treating others with genuine respect. Sometimes they get away with their poor behavior, but not always. Nonetheless, their examples are not to be followed. Consistently apply these codes of conduct and you’ll be able to navigate through even some of the roughest social media scenarios:
- Be honest and transparent: If you’re not, your friends and followers will become distrusting and resentful.
- Engage authentically – People can read through plastic attitudes, so you’re best off not faking it.
- Truly listen – One of peoples’ greatest needs is the need to be truly heard.
- Understand your audience – Knowing who they are enables you to better both them and yourself.
- Avoid profanity – This universal rule goes without saying. Keep the conversation classy.
- Don’t be a troll – Only people with retched self-esteem use social media to abuse others.
- Do not delete comments – This applies to companies because of the first rule of transparency.
- Know all legal perimeters – This is the best way to avoid the nasty surprise called “lawsuit.”
- Respond quickly – Social media’s speed is quicksilver. Do your best to keep up.
- Do your homework – As much as you can, research social media and its trends. Become an expert.
Of course, this core 10 ethical principles don’t cover every detail, but they provide strong guidance. Stay consistent with these rules and you’ll protect yourself from doors of disaster you don’t want opened, as well as opening up doors of opportunity you don’t want closed. Try to memorize these core ethics before we move onto part four. Until next time, safe travels!