Basic Rules of Social Media Etiquette for Online Marketers

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Since the inception of the genius known as social media, people have immersed themselves into this daily past time while business owners and online marketers alike exploited its marketing potential. However, as social media has begun to insinuate itself deeper into people’s lives, the way customers and business owners interact with each other has evolved.

Additionally, social media etiquette is fairly new and because this is so, not all online marketers are equipped with this. All the same, it should be noted that what you are online is a direct reflection of your business. Whether you may be an Internet marketing agency or any kind of business and if you want to present yourself appropriately to your clients, and with tactfulness at that, then you will need to orient yourself with the basic rules in social media etiquette. Moreover, if you are a self-respecting savvy online marketer, you want to make sure you do not commit any of the most common social media etiquette faux pas.

So if this is your objective, read on as this article aims to cruise and walk you through the basic social media etiquette digital marketers like you should be aware of.


For those online companies who value the impact of what they say in short but meaningful and valuable words and sentences.

Do not message people automatically if they do not follow you

This should go without saying, after all; would you not find it annoying if anyone besides your followers or your friends directly messaged you? If this does occur, it would seem like a feeble, pathetic and desperate marketing ploy in an attempt to boost relevance and popularity. Your company does not want that.

Additionally, do not automatically direct message people that DO follow you. Your followers were already fans of you to begin with and were smart enough to get updates from your Twitter feed in following you. That’s why, when they see that auto direct message on their inbox, they are going to assume you could not care less about them. It will make you seem detached and your message disengaged. And because of this, your marketing ploy will be severely punished. Your followers will regard such message as spam.

PRO TIP: If you do want to connect with followers, try sending them a relevant and interesting tweet that would start off a real conversation exchange. It might seem impractical to do, but it is very rewarding.

Do not stuff your tweet with keywords

Always put in mind that you are writing — tweeting — for people and not robots. Although, it is imperative that your top keywords be more socially reachable in order to have an impact over your SEO efforts, do take note of what sounds interesting and relevant to your followers. You do not want to run the risk of sounding like an SEO-robot that only does non-relevant tirades online. Surely, you would also lose followers this way. If this is the case, it is high time to find a better keyword and non-keyword balance.

PRO TIP: Use keywords but do so sparingly. Use those that are only relevant and always find the balance between using the right amount of keywords and sounding human.

Use the hashtag sparingly

Be wise about where you strategically place your hashtags. Absolutely, they do not always have to be at the end of a post. And be selective in choosing the best ones that are relevant to your tweet. If you stuff your tweet with too many hashtags, it would look clunky, less professional and visibly noisy.

PRO TIP: Select the most relevant and trending hashtags and exploit it with relevant topics of your own. Use hashtags in order to herd more followers by having your existing followers join a larger discussion instigated by you.


An online company’s social media platform of choice for unhindered posts where they can freely exploit the status button without being encumbered with character counts. Facebook is much more versatile than Twitter with various social media options that make engaging with your customers more interactive and interesting.

Ask permission first before tagging photos whether they may be employees, customers or fans.

Not all people appreciate tags on photos and before you go on a tagging frenzy on all the people present on your photo, consider these questions:


  • Do you even know the person you are tagging?
  • Is the person on your photo an employee?
  • Is there any particular significance why he/she should be tagged?
  • Will tagging him/her contribute to your post?


Should the answer be no then best leave the photo untagged.

PRO TIP: If you do want to tag the person present in your photo, it is better to ask permission first and, of course, explain why you want to.

Never solicit likes

Not only does this seem like a desperate and pathetic marketing tactic, it rarely has any effect on your post’s relevance and popularity and it would make your company seem like an attention seeker. Not a good way to garner potential followers and customers.

PRO TIP: Instead of soliciting a like or share, post content that you are sure your followers and your fans will like instead. Let the likes come freely. Identify which topics they are most excited about and post relevantly. This will engage them better and boost your Facebook presence.

Never ignore legitimate questions and comments

You started a Facebook Page for a reason and perhaps, one of those reasons is to engage with your customers and fans better. If you are just going to ignore their questions and comments, your page will be nothing more than a front. It would virtually be an excess to your existing marketing campaigns. Additionally, should you choose to ignore those comments and questions, don’t be surprised to see a decreasing fan base.

PRO TIP: Though there are questions that are hard to address, a simple recognition that the question has reached you can go a long way. Respond to your fans and take note of the comments. Consider these as insights on what they approve of and what they do not, what is interesting to them and what is most relevant.


For companies that want to drive more referrals than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

Pin wisely and do not spam your followers

Perhaps, you have a lot of content and visuals for your feed – relevant and aesthetic visuals that you want your followers to see. This is great, however, frequent posting is often seen as annoying and no one appreciates a person or business clogging their own feeds and boards.

PRO TIP: Time your pins and do not post them all at once. Besides, if you spread out your pins, this would make you more visible than bunching them and posting them altogether in one go.

Give your pins good descriptions

This makes your pins easier to understand especially if the photos you post are ambiguous. Give your photo a brief description – a blurb if you may say. This will help your followers understand and comprehend the message you are trying to convey.

PRO TIP: Caption the pin, give it a succinct but inclusive description of what your followers are looking at. Take advantage of the caption box lest your followers will be confused and ignore your pins.

There are more social media platforms out there and with their own corresponding rules in etiquette. However, this article has provided the most basic of rules from the most prominent and most used social media platforms. Though you may have applied all these rules religiously, know that your content may not be for everyone. Do not get disappointed as this usually happens, after all you cannot please everyone. But do track the unfollows, this may signal you to change your social media content strategy should the number of unfollows or unsubscribes increase drastically.

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