Is Your Social Media Etiquette Up To Par?

By Maren Hogan

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When it comes to social media, there are a lot of different approaches you can take to really push your professional brand to the next level. However, while we might think we are all great “Tweeters” or pro “Facebook Sharers”, there’s a few rules and regulations that need to go into your thought process before you start posting. We like to call this Social Media Etiquette.

You have manners at the dinner table, don’t you? So, why not for social media? While your manners may not be the best at the dinner table, your social media manners will not go unnoticed and they are little more permanent. Have you ever heard of your “digital footprint”? It paints a picture of who you are, the company you represent and anybody else you are promoting. Your social channels can be the first impression you make with someone — make sure it’s a good one using these social media etiquette tips:


Have separate accounts if you’re working in the business world. Keeping your personal and professional lives separate is a must if you want to keep your following up and continue to gain new followers. Chances are your clients don’t want to hear about what happened on The Bachelor last night, and your friends don’t want to read about the latest in marketing or HR. Clients and colleagues are there to find career advice, relevant articles and business insight. Your friends are there to see pics of your new pup or your last family vacation. Curious about how many followers (friends) you could lose if you don’t keep business and pleasure separate? According to Facebook users, 39% will unfollow if you’re trying to sell them something…with that in mind, just keep your business and pleasure separate for everyone’s sake.


When you create a social account, it’s crucial that you fill out all the key points of your business or your role, so when people go to search for you, it’s easy to find you with those keywords. 50% of Millennials use the internet to research products before purchasing, that being said…they should have a good understanding of who you are and what your company does:

  • Name (yours or the business that you’re representing)
  • Phone number (NOT YOUR CELL PHONE #…unless you love getting a thousand texts and phone calls at all hours)
  • Location
  • Bio of what you do or what the company does
  • A photo, preferably an up-to-date one, please. It’s really awkward when you go to meet someone and can’t find them because they look NOTHING like their profile pic. You kinda feel catfished at that point. So, moral of the story, UPDATE that picture.


A surefire way to lose followers (and not gain any) is to share the same stuff over and over. Big NO GO on this, while it may seem great to you, your followers want new and intriguing information that will bring them value. 46% of social media followers will unfollow a brand or influencer for posting too many promotional messages. Try including more photos, videos, tips and curated content to avoid posting too many promo pieces. While your followers do look to you for your product, they also look for advice and thoughts. You should be mixing in actual facts and hard evidence to give more value to your posts.


Never post when you are overly tired, intoxicated, angry or just want to rant. This will never end well and will leave a bad taste in your followers’ mouths. Nobody wants to read a negative nelly post over and over again. Be sure what you’re posting is a reflection of your overall self, not that temper tantrum you had last Thursday.

I’m not telling you to keep it all bottled up (that’s not healthy), but don’t post it on your social media. Instead, try talking it out with a colleague, friend or family member. There is a lot to consider before hitting that “Tweet” or “Post” button. According to Facebook users, 23% will unfollow you for posting depressing comments and 11% will unfollow you for posting about your breakup or divorce. Try following these guidelines next time you craft your next post:

  • When using your professional profile, make it clear that you speak for yourself and not on behalf of the company.
  • Be mindful of your grammar and spelling.
  • Remember that you are representing whatever company you work for, their brand and any organization that you belong to.
  • Show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for sensitivities that may exist concerning politics, religion and money. Basically use the first date rule: just don’t talk about it. I mean unless you’re a politician, but even then…be sensitive!
  • Don’t get into arguments, unless you are fully prepared to back it with facts and keep a level head the entire “conversation” (*note, I didn’t say argument*). While I’m all for voicing your values and freedom of speech, you can’t go full Hulk mode on them. Be respectful and tread lightly.


Who doesn’t love to connect with people all around the world? Technology is an incredible tool and if used correctly, can do wonders for you, your company and your overall brand. With that being said, don’t be afraid to tweet back at someone or start a conversation. No one likes to get ignored so show some love and attention. It’s called “social” media for a reason and 53% of customers who ask a business a question on Twitter expect a response within one hour. So, it’s time to get to tweeting and engaging with your fellow followers. However, there are a few rules when it comes to interacting and posting. #LetsGetSocial using these do’s and don’ts:

Do: Tweet back to somebody if they directly reach out to you. Even if it’s just saying “thanks,” it shows you noticed them and are a real human behind that account, not just a bot. 89% of social media messages to brands and influencers get ignored. Whoa, that’s a huge percentage, CHANGE that and don’t become a statistic.

Don’t: Swear a ton on your professional channel, or a personal one for that matter. As much as you might like it and feel like it gets your point across, it actually makes you look ignorant. Nobody likes a swearing sailor 24/7. Keep it professional and show them that you did get an education.

Do: Link all your sources, we know you love to share stuff, but be sure to give credit where credit is due. Plus, it’s crazy how much your audience can grow from linking or tagging sources.

Don’t: Post-party pics…YIKES is all I can say. Being a social media SME (Subject Matter Expert), I come across quite a few inappropriate pics that are linked to a professional account. Even on your personal account, be cautious of what you post…you never know whose screen it could come across.

This article originally written by Molly Spelts and published on the Red Branch Media Blog

About Maren Hogan:

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and The Red Branch Media Blog.

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