Is There Any Social Media Etiquette?

As David Armano points out in a recent article from the Harvard Business

Review, in 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media. According to Nielsen
Online, Twitter alone grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million
unique visitors in the US for the month. Meanwhile, Facebook continued to outpace MySpace
There is no question that we will continue to adapt and mold with the world of
social media and eat-up new technologies and more efficient applications that
are introduced to our daily lives.

While I’m a true fan of social media and you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,
commenting on videos on YouTube, uploading pictures to Ohio States O-H-I-O page (can
I get a “go Bucks”?), sometimes I’m taken back by how many conversations I can
juggle at one time. But is that a good thing? It’s not just tasks we’re
juggling anymore, folks, it’s conversations . . . all those balls in the air,
they have now officially multiplied. Did you respond to the most recent RT on
Twitter? What about that person who commented on your status on Facebook a few
days ago?

Those of you who know me well know
how much I value communication. I am a talker and I love to be in conversation
with others whether that’s via phone, social media outlets or in person. But
now, as I’m hashing all of these things out in my head maybe the real question
is -- what is the “PC” way to handle communication via social media?

It’s a known fact that if someone
calls you and leaves a voicemail message, the courteous thing to do is to
return the call. If someone sends you an urgent email, you respond. But what is
the appropriate response to a RT or a status comment? Do they require a


response? If so, in what time frame am I required to respond before it’s
considered “too late”? And what topics are taboo? Some people are posting
topics they would never bring up at a cocktail party such as religion,
politics, personal hygiene and health issues.  Is this OK? Or can I
politely “unfollow” someone whose views disturb me in any way? Miss Manners
hasn’t written the book on online conversation etiquette. I write this to start
the discussion. I’m curious, what are your thoughts? Are there any set
standards for social media etiquette?


By Carrie Crabill


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