How’s Your Social Netiquette?

You may or may not have heard the term by now “social netiquette.” The concept essentially focuses on appropriate behavior and social practices online, especially now in social networking software. I’ve read a number of sources on the subject. I’ve seen nothing terribly ground-breaking or unexpected out there, but I’ll surmise some major, recurring (and somewhat obvious) highlights below:

1. Have a major objective – and stick to it.
Identify your major, driving purposes for online social networking and continue to build to them.

2. Social networking online is like social networking in the real world.
Don’t say or do things you on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, that you wouldn’t do in comparable, real-world networking situations (or, according to some sources, in kindergarten). Don’t shout, badger, spam, overspeak, etc. Know your boundries.

3. Separate personal social sites and contexts from those of business.
Basically, don’t disclose on LinkedIn what you would say to only close friends in private on Facebook or mySpace. A general rule is that if you’re not absolutely certain of confidentiality, always act online as if everyone will be able to access what you say. If they might not want to know something that personal about you, don’t openly announce it.

4. There is no single perfect channel.
LinkedIn is not the best, exclusive solution for your social networking objectives. Take an “integrated campaign” approach. Real-world, in-person networking and phone calls are vital to reinforce your online efforts. So too are multiple, other social networking sites and channels.

5. Maintain your network.
Think of it as a treasure, stock investments, precious antiques. Your network is invaluable – maintain it and keep building it even when if your short-term goals are achieved. Truth is you never know when you’ll need to lean on someone. Stay active socially online (but don’t turn people off with too many communications or updates).

6. Gotta give to get.
To acheive your objectives, or even just in maintaining your network, give others what can help them – and they’ll reciprocate. Give others reccomendations, blog thumbs-up and link-sharing, etc. Likewise, give people relevent content (such as article- or video-sharing) that can benefit them personally. Then they’ll remember and reward you.

7.Value quality over quantity.
How well, how personally can hundreds of followers really know you? How trustworthy can recommendations from such a pool be?

8. Sincerity and transparency.
Give thanks and credit where they’re due. Assume that your online history and communications are ever visible, so don’t lie.

Here are my immdediate sources for further reading:

– Jake Aull,