Social Media Etiquette

This week I received an update from a LinkedIn group in which I participate. There had been a comment on a discussion I hard started. I went to go see the comment thinking someone had a question about my event and what do I see: a copy and paste of some dude’s resume. Seriously. This discussion was not the place for self promotion – who randomly posts their whole resume all over LinkedIn anyway? That’s what your profile is for.

Dunce Cap
Surely such an act in COMM663 would land you in this seat

So instead of publicly calling this guy out, I sent him a very polite private comment suggesting that my discussion was not the proper place to post this and that he might try the another section of the group. His reply:

yes I did post on facebook,myspace,craigslist,NYIT Job section just thought I drop a note your way if you know anyone that needs any consulting or work …thanks have a good meeting ..

There are just so many things wrong this reply:

  1. Doesn’t understand capitalization in sentences – this isn’t an IM service
  2. He must have a broken keyboard because he doesn’t use spaces between topics
  3. While you can network through Facebook – it is primarily a medium for non-business communication not the most ideal place to post information. And if you do, you can suggest people look at your Info section that has your Education and Work section filled out
  4. Have a good meeting? How is that a closer?

One thing done right:

  1. Cragslist has a Jobs Forum and a Resume section where people can either discuss looking for jobs or post their resumes in the hopes that someone will be looking for a person with their experience

I just couldn’t bring myself to respond to such blatant denial of oops-my-bad-I’ll-post-somewhere-else-next-time. It’s safe to say that his denial will not help this man in his job search – but I do wish him luck in his endeavor.

Now this isn’t to say that I’ve never made a social media faux pas – I most certainly have. The difference is that when someone politely confronts me with “Hey you may not want to do this because….” I immediately thank the person, learn from my mistake and never repeat the same offence. And that is the difference.

The problem is that  social media changes constantly so the unspoken rules of etiquette change as well. The best way to stay up-to-date: look and see what others are doing on these platforms, ask your friends and colleagues, or perform a search for the norms of that particular medium; bloggers are always more than happy to tell you exactly how they think you should participate online =D

Success or Failure
So which road will you take? Hmmmm??

My basic advice:

  1. You wouldn’t appreciate someone standing next to you with a megaphone shouting about everything they do and how wonderful they are – so why do it online to others?
  2. Don’t post passive-aggressive statuses or posts – if you do happen to (and to be honest who hasn’t) at least be prepared to handle the backlash and to be called a 13 year-old girl
  3. Don’t post or write about anything that’s illegal or implicating yourself or others in anything that is
  4. Everyone hates spam so don’t “spam” others with updates and invites – no one likes it
  5. Honestly if you wouldn’t be comfortable showing your most uptight, conservative family member something – why even put it online?

That’s what I have to say on the subject. Below are some links to others who I think have some good things to say about social media etiquette:


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ed Speno says:

    GREAT post. Probably my favorite yet. That story is funny!, and you served as a resource to inform us on the subject, using your own experiences.

    I guess people just think quantity is always better than quality in networking and social media, especially online. People feel they have nothing to lose, because they never really have to face anyone, and can only benefit by posting and sending resumes everywhere. But like you said, you can lose out, because eventually people pick up on these things. And it seems using poor judgement can really put you at a loss, especially in online communities built around industries, because we all know how small of a world it can be when your communicating within a career field.

    It’s pretty clear why this guy is having such a hard time finding a job…

    1. Thanks Ed! I’m glad you really enjoyed it.

      Unfortunately you’re right – many still believe that quantity is better than quality. And boy how wrong they are =(

  2. Zuania Capo says:

    Wow, this is awesome! It is crazy how now we also have to follow rules and an etiquette in order to for our message to be received correctly through social media. Great stuff, Steph!

    1. Thanks Zuania! It’s funny how each medium has its own rules but the scary part is that it changes constantly!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s