Social Media: Poking, Pitching, Posting and Other Pesky Annoyances
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Are you a social media pest? Wait! Before you answer… If you have ever used Facebook features to poke the same person more than once (and really, what is the point?), send multiple friend requests when you have clearly been ignored, post pictures (to your growing 500+) and tag your friends - even if they are not actually in the photo – just because you wanted them to see it (and their friends), you just might be a pest.
While the features on Facebook offer so many options to stay connected and share in the lives of friends, they are also a source of annoyance and downright aggravation in the hands of someone without social etiquette.
Still not convinced you might be a pest? Consider yourself in these scenarios:
  • You “like” or comment on every post of someone you admire in hopes of getting noticed
  • You post unflattering or tell-all photos of friends without getting their permission first
  • You witness or hear of someone’s special moment and blast a “congrats” before they have a chance to make their own announcement (i.e. engagement, pregnancy, new job)
  • You seek to amass a large number of “friends”, connects or followers in your social networks so you make a request without making an introduction when one is likely warranted.
  • You use business social networks for other purposes – like scavenging for a date!
Here are some other quick No-No’s on social networking.
Linkedin leeches. LinkedIn is a great business tool for professionals seeking to connect with others in their field, potential employers or job candidates, clients and prospective clients. However, misuse of this networking vehicle can quickly undermine the reputation of an individual or otherwise reputable business.
Don’t “connect” with people and then flood them with sales-pitchy messages, unsolicited advertisements, promotional materials and other spam-worthy content. Don’t make people feel that you’ve latched on and they can’t shake you a loose. Get permission first before sending newsletters or other frequent information. Linkedin is not a dating site. Please respect this professionals’ networking platform. If your connections are mostly attractive blondes with various non-related professions or industries, this is cause for question.
Twitter Trash. It’s a good thing you only have 140 characters to express yourself, but oh how dangerous it can be. The brevity alone can be cause for problems if your words are not wisely chosen. This is not the place to bash others, report that you are “sitting in another boring meeting” or “headed to the in-laws, ugh.” There could be some backlash. Choose whom to follow wisely and don’t annoy anyone with your constant @person comments or retweets. Retweets are intended to be a compliment and a way to spread news – not as a means of simply getting attention.
Spoilers on Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Don’t steal the moment from others. For example, respect the bride and groom of the wedding you just attended. Please, by all means, get permission before posting someone else’s wedding photos (someone else’s photos, period!). They have paid good money for a professional photographer and while your candid shots are greatly appreciated, you must respect the couple’s right to publish their own photos. The best way to handle this is to share your photos with them privately, which can still be done online through photo share applications. Or at the very least, use the Facebook feature, for example, that allows them to approve the photos first. The same goes for video footage. And follow the rules for sharing media.
With ever increasing social media platforms springing up or adding new features, it is even more important to keep the conversation going about what is appropriate etiquette when using them. While all of these social outlets are vehicles for self-expression and connecting with the rest of the world in a high-tech way, good old-fashioned manners should still apply.
By Michelle Powell CEO of Professional Manner Sept. 2, 2013

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