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SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE

— Konkana Bakshi

In an exclusive collaboration with Explosive Fashion, Savoir Faire Academie's founder Konkana Bakshi — an authority on corporate and social etiquette — answers our readers' queries. This fortnight, it's social media. After all, you are what you tweet [or post!] and you certainly cannot afford to forget your manners in the digital world!

 

What is the etiquette of adding business associates and colleagues on social media? Does this act foster healthy relationships or is it better to leave our personal space out of the work arena? 

 

Social Media, like Facebook or Instagram, is used for posts and updates about your personal life. I would stay connected with business colleagues on LinkedIn and Twitter as the posts on these platforms are professional and industry-update oriented. Here, all posts should be carefully updated. If you follow business leaders or corporate executives, they may or may not have a profile on Facebook but they certainly will on LinkedIn. So, that is your online networking arena! PS If a colleague wishes to add you on Facebook or Instagram, it's your personal choice to accept or keep the request pending without declining it. You're not obliged to accept the friend request of a professional colleague on personal social media.

 

Since waters can become murky in the social media arena, how does one maintain boundaries? After all isn't social media about being "social" to begin with?

 

Yes indeed, but your views on religion, politics or relationships should not be penned down on a social media platform. That can be judged as immature and unprofessional. The Internet has a way of making a person feel bolder hiding behind a screen. Remember your manners and at all costs and keep all your posts clean. This also applies to photographs! Snapping a photo with your smartphone and uploading it on Instagram or another app is fun. But, before you share that photo with the world, ask yourself if it builds or breaks your credibility. Here is one thing I have often observed — if you have a legitimate customer complaint to share with a company, be sure to tweet your complaint to them in a respectful manner.Too much to digest? Just follow one rule before going virtual — remember your posts are public so keep your manners in check, think twice before posting photographs and deliberate before you hit the 'Like' button on racy jokes, negative rants and politically-charged pages!

 

How important is to follow grammar and punctuation rules on social media posts and comments? In any virtual communication — perceived as informal — do we need to use complete sentences and skip emoticons?

 

It's mandatory to pay attention when you are typing a post but sometimes we type in haste and mistakes can happen in spelling or grammar, it's human to make mistakes and if anyone is pointing out the mistakes in the comments below or making sarcastic fun of it, that person's not being very polite. If you come across a situation where someone you know has made a spelling or grammatical mistake in a post, please comment via private message. Public criticism is just not classy no matter how much prowess you have in the language!

 

Do we need to take care choosing our user name on social media? Is our best choice our formal name? What if we wish to use a cute nick instead? Does it have potential to hamper our image? 

 

Your social media username speaks volume about you!! How do I explain this… a cute nickname is equivalent to a cute frilly miniskirt! It's fun if you're sixteen; change it if you're older to come across as mature and professional.

 

Wouldn't it be curbing our personality if we are always being careful with humour and sarcasm?

 

If you're one of those lucky few who're blessed with a great sense of humour, use it to your hearts content. It's fun and attractive, but again, occasionally and not in each post! If you see people are not laughing at your jokes, please refrain.

 

How can one personalize an email signature without being in-your-face?

 

An email signature should have your name, designation, company Logo, address and phone number — and perhaps your mobile number if you wish to share it. Too much information like your service details and attached promotional mailers are not required!!  Your personal social media link too is not required on your email signature!

 

Is it important is to maintain the same username across social media? Should all elements of digital presence be uniform? Will a tweak in account names impact how quickly people can find and connect with us? 

 

It would be great to have the same user name for all your accounts but if you're unable to add the same name then you should keep it your full name. Also, if you feel there could be a problem for people to find you on a particular social media app, please mention those details on your other social media platforms for a hassle-free connection.
 

konkana bakshi
Savoir Faire Academie founder Konkana Bakshi
 
25-OCTOBER-2016
 
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