What ever happened with Social Media Etiquette?

Claudia Sheridan Facebook, Small Business, Social Media

I recently made a Facebook post about Social Media Etiquette. Why? Because as with many things in life, I find that etiquette has somehow gone by the wayside and social media is no exception.

If you’re just starting out with a business, remember that although family and friends want to support you in your efforts, sometimes you need to go that extra mile and get to know a person before asking them to “Like” your Business Page, Share your post, or adding them to your Facebook Group. Why? Well because otherwise, you’re being a tad selfish, don’t you think?

After receiving 25 friend requests in a single week, only to have 80% of them ask me to do something before getting to know me, I decided to make the following post:


Social Media Etiquette: As many of you know, I am a Social Media Marketing Consultant. This means that I work with Small Business Owners to establish their social media presence and create their Facebook Ads Campaigns. Lately, I’ve received a large amount of Friend requests from Friends-of-Friends. I admit that I’ll accept most requests, mostly because I do enjoy learning about others and other times it’s out of curiosity. HOWEVER, what I’ve noticed happening is that once a friend request is accepted, I’ll receive an invitation to like this person’s business page. Some are so bold as to immediately add me to their “secret” group where they market their direct-sales businesses and items. Here’s the thing that I don’t understand. Social Media is about being social, right? I’m confused as to why these individuals skip the “getting to know you” part and dive straight into the “me-me-me” portion of the relationship. Years ago, an amazing mentor of mine taught me, may he rest in peace (miss you D. Troy Spoon), about K-WIIFM, everyone’s favorite radio station. Whenever we’d discuss a business concept, he’d say, “sounds great, but What’s In It For Me?” It wasn’t because he was being selfish, it was because he wanted me to really think about what the other person in the business relationship stood to gain from the agreement. So I ask you before you spontaneously add new friends and strangers into your group without permission, do you ask yourself what the other person stands to gain from the relationship, or is it really just about you? Because if it’s all about you, then you’re missing out on a major component of being social. Not to mention, you’re not practicing good Social Media Etiquette. Something to think about…

I get the feeling that someone out there attended a seminar and was told that it’s ok to just create a Facebook Group and simply add all of your friends into it. And, it seems that most of these people are involved with some type of direct-sales program. Here’s the thing. If you want your friends to support you, all you have to do is ask. Notice that “friends” and “ask” appear in the same sentence. Friends support friends. But strangers need to get to know you before they support your cause. Before subscribing them to a group, how about getting to know them a little bit as well. Maybe “Like” their business page? Or, offer to help with a Cause that they’re assisting with? Comment on a post, or even share it.

The rules of proper etiquette don’t change because you’re behind a keyboard. Remember, people do business with people that they know, like and trust. Don’t jeopardize that by being selfish.