Business, Etiquette, and Social Media

Mom and Dad did not decide to teach you proper etiquette on the off chance that you might someday have the opportunity to sit down to tea and crumpets with the queen of England. Rather, they were thinking toward your future, the bigger picture. Proper etiquette is an integral part of all business transactions and interactions with clients, coworkers, and bosses. It has a direct and vital impact on how people perceive you and your business, and hence, a direct impact on your bottom line.

Now, I trust that you are familiar with the standard firm, but not too firm, handshake and the whole dress-to-impress, but don’t over-do it as to make others feel uncomfortable thing; so we are going to focus on a little social media etiquette here. Proper social media etiquette, now more than ever, is just as important as anything else. Below are four tips in include into your business routine in order to enforce proper social media etiquette.

1. Think Before You Post:

An elephant never forgets, and neither does the internet. One bad tweet, posted in the heat of the moment, can go viral in minutes and devastate your business. It is important to consider the message you want to get across and give the phrasing some thought before you post it to the world stage. The same principle should be used when responding to comments on the virtual social media stage. You don’t have to respond instantly! If you need time to consider a thoughtful response, then take a moment to contemplate one. Most importantly, do NOT vent frustration on the virtual, social media world stage; this goes without saying, and if you so much as dreamt that it is okay to do so, consider switching professions.

2. Picture Perfect:

Say cheese! Oh gosh, that reminds me, I forgot to take my lunch break; no time for pictures! Well hold on there, champ, how about you slow down and act like you care just a little. I know it sounds ridiculous, but posting a profile picture on your business’ social media page is extremely important. Moreover, leaving the default picture, for example the Twitter egg, can even be detrimental to your business. It shows a lack of care and sends the message that you cannot be bothered with details. You should feature either your company’s logo or a professional headshot of yourself on all of your social media webpages.

3. People Trump Phones:

We will make this one easy; when is the last time you saw Donald Trump in the board room on The Apprentice checking messages on his phone? You didn’t. The business he has to attend to in the board room is more important than anything else that could possibly be going on in the universe. The same is true of your business. Whether it is a one-on-one meeting, group meeting, conference, or dinner party put that phone away! Clients, coworkers, and other business affiliates do not care what kind of phone you have, how much you have to do, or how important it is that you answer that e-mail right this second. The bottom line is that having your phone out during a business event or transaction is not only sloppy and rude, but it makes others feel as though they are not worth your time. Talk about a way to lose the big business deal that was about to put your company on the map!

4. Confidence Yields Results:

I’ll say this: there is no difference between the assertion of confidence when trying to get that pretty girl/handsome fellow to go out with you and the assertion of confidence in a business situation. Self-deprecating humor and the like do not make you sound modest or gracious; it makes you look like a fool. More than that, it makes you appear unqualified. As with effectively landing that date, consider how you approach potential customers. For example, do NOT use phrases such as “sorry to bother you…” because a.) you’re not sorry, b.) it does not make it sound like stopping to check out your product is an effective use of the persons time, c.) you have done just that, bothered someone. A more effective, confident way to approach the same situation would be to use phrases more akin to “excuse me, do you have a moment?” This is a more polite and confident way to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

And there you have it; four key tips to proper social media business etiquette. Learn them, love them, and live by them and your business is sure to live long and prosper!

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