How to: Social Media Etiquette

Social media is a huge part of many of our lives as college students. Whether it’s for professional reasons, academic reasons, or just for the social aspect, we are all putting some part of our lives on the internet. It is easy to get sucked into the social media culture, but how often are we questioning what is appropriate to post and what is not? Continue reading to find out the five best social media etiquette rules to follow starting the new year.

1. Distinguish personal and professional accounts 

There are certain social media platforms that allow us to separate our social lives from our professional/business lives, be aware of them for your own good. Facebook recently created business pages that are separate from your personal Facebook account. Instagram has given us the choice of changing our personal accounts to business accounts but not allowing them to be separated. Be cautious of what you are posting including alcohol, personal or work dilemmas, or political opinions because you never know how it will affect your personal and professional lives in the future. 

2. Note how many hashtags you are using 

Hashtags are great, especially when there is some humor included, however, too many hashtags can overwhelm people and draw them away from your posts. A comfortable hashtag rule is two to three per post, only highlighting the main points of what you need to say. Any more after that would likely overwhelm the average person and it would be hard to take you seriously. 

3. Remember your LinkedIn 

Not only is LinkedIn the most trusted social media network, it is the network that will be most helpful in building professionalism and is great for your future. Staying active on LinkedIn is great if you are actively looking for jobs or just looking to build your network. As always, keep your personal life off of LinkedIn and only highlight your successes.   

4. Don’t tag your friends without asking first 

This is something that we often don’t always think about, however it can backfire in many different ways. A photo that you may not see as inappropriate may be inappropriate to them or their network. Always make sure you are receiving approval before posting a photo or video of others. Alcohol and tagged bars in posts can negatively affect one of your friends when it comes to job opportunities. 

5. Be aware of how much you are posting 

Posting too much can result in people unfollowing you; posting too little often leads to people forgetting about you or losing interest in what you have to say. It is important to keep in mind how often we should be posting on each of our social media platforms. It is easy to fear being forgotten, but worse to have people being irritated of your social media presence. Limit your posts to once a day to keep your network engaged and updated, but not annoyed.  

If you’re interested in learning more about social media etiquette there are more references about it here, here, and here

Savannah Mroczka

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