Social media etiquette 101

With as much as we use social media for both personal and professional reasons, it’s smart to revisit some etiquette rules to ensure we aren’t hurting our image or business relationships:

Separate your business and personal life. Your personal life should remain just that; so for any accounts customers will see, stay focused on the business and industry. Save personal photos, activities—and opinions—for your personal accounts.

Don’t tag people unless you ask them first. Some people don’t want unflattering pictures of themselves in their news feed. Confirm that it’s OK to tag them, or include the caption “Tag yourself.”

Think about how others might interpret your message. Not everyone has your same sense of humor, so be careful how you use it. Plus, look at every message closely. Could it come across as rude, demeaning, racist or sexist? Ensure that you aren’t sending the wrong message.

Don’t get caught up in a battle. Everywhere you look some celebrity or government official is embroiled in a social media war. Don’t do it. It never turns out well. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it online. And if you would say it to someone’s face, do just that.

Don’t make it all about you. For every piece of content you share that’s all about you or written by you, you should share four pieces written by someone else.

— Adapted from “10 Social Media Etiquette Tips for Personal & Business Accounts,” Brian Martucci, www.moneycrashers.com.