Should you follow back somebody who follows you on Twitter? Should you comment on the Facebook updates of your connections? These questions form a social media etiquette that businesses deem suitable when building relationships online.

In today’s episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast , we discuss what the social media etiquette might include:

There Isn’t One Right Way

A lot of companies make a mistake thinking that there is one right way to communicate online, notes David Meerman Scott. That’s the way it used to be--us talking to our audience. While this is not necessarily going away, it’s important to recognize the existence of a two-way communication. Social networking allows for the formation of a dialogue, which can be vibrant and spontaneous.

The Value of Giving

Giving can empower businesses, drawing them closer to their target audience and creating evangelists. There is a lot you can give to your community--give them attention, free content, recognition... For instance, if someone leaves a comment on your blog, comment back. If they follow you on Twitter, follow them back. “A lot of this giving is a real challenge for many businesses because we are just not used to it. We are not used to that interaction,” says David. 

Make It a Cocktail Party

People make the analogy between social media and a cocktail party for a reason. You need to have a conversation with people--not just talk to them or try to sell something. Engage people in the way that you would like to be engaged if you were in a virtual cocktail party. 

What else would a social media etiquette include?

Originally published Jul 11, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 08 2013


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