ONLINE ETIQUETTE

People often treat others differently on the Internet than they would in person, but etiquette and reputation is just as important online. When a social media plan has been set, content will come from two places. Personal content is original and produced by the user. Third-party content is produced by respected media outlets. Businesspeople must remember to always acknowledge and link to an article to make sure copyright is not infringed upon.IMG_6439

On LinkedIn, it is important not just to make connections, but to interact with those connections. Businesspeople should always send personalized messages for networking requests or connection acceptances. They should send valuable content to their groups. On LinkedIn, it is essential to personalize everything.

On Facebook, people should be authentic, transparent, and honest. They should handle relationships with care and treat people with the same respect as they would in person.

In general, businesspeople should remember that everything posted online is seen by others and leaves an electronic record. Some companies make hiring decisions based on a person’s online reputation. Business professionals should use wisdom in choosing what websites they visit, who they associate with, and what content they post.

Professionals should not underestimate the power of their online names. A name evokes feelings and thoughts upon being heard. Choosing a name like “Busta Big Belly” will generate doubt and eye-rolling among professional peers, even if it is funny. Ideally, businesspeople should choose their real names for all social media platforms and secure those names on sites they are not yet active on.

It is important that businesspeople not accidentally alienate people through social media. The following rules should be followed:

*Do not assume others are “up to speed” on social media.

*Make others aware of useful websites and other resources that can help them become more familiar with social media etiquette and jargon.

*Ensure phone numbers are clearly visible on social media profiles.

*Continue to use traditional communication methods such as texting or phone calls.

Lastly, businesspeople should do everything they can to minimize reputational risks by being proactive with staff, building trust, and understanding that accidents can happen to anyone.

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