10 things you can do right now to avoid unfollows, unlikes, and remove yourself from the trash bin throne
We all learned early on as kids, the underlying principles of the old saying ‘treat others how you want to be treated.’ While our parents taught us well to use sorry, please, and thank you correctly, they weren’t quite exposed to the idea of online conversations. As times have changed, professionals have adapted to using the internet to conduct their daily business. While email etiquette is a term we’ve all been hearing for years now, how many of us actually consider this when hitting that send button? Furthermore, what about when we respond to customers through social media?
- DO NOT RIGHT IN CAPS – obvious, right? WRONG. See what I did there? This means you’re shouting, it comes off aggressive, and you look like you never got the email etiquette 101 memo.
- Do not make typos – *write (see what I did above?) We get it, there’s auto-correct and you’re a busy person, but typos can make you look lazy, sloppy, or not very detail oriented.
- You’re not a unicorn in rainbow land – writing in too many different font colours and effects will not only give the reader a seizure, but can make you come off as spam.
- Greetings Earthling – We’re human so let’s talk like it. We understand you want to keep it to the point, but a quick ‘hello’ at the start of any online conversation is the standard thing to do. Yes, you would be truly surprised by how many emails people send out without a greeting. Even better – use a first name if you want to be more personable and have the individual actually respond back.
- Consider the mobile – So you have a very catchy subject line for your email, but did you consider the 80% of users who read emails on their mobile device? Avoid a long subject heading to ensure it is fully visible on any device and takes a second or two to read.
- Credit where credit is due – If you use someone’s tweet, be sure to write RT or via and include their Twitter handle. The same applies to posts on Facebook or Google Plus – include the author’s name or social media account in the post whenever possible.
- Timing is key – Check your social media inbox and notifications at least once per day to respond to customer inquiries. If someone tweeted a positive comment, be sure to tweet back and thank them.
- Be patient – if you’ve sent an email and haven’t heard back within an hour, don’t spam them for an answer. The same rule applies to friend requests on social media.
- Don’t social spam – while it is important to promote your business to your network, don’t over kill with multiple promotional messages a day. Similarly, everyone loves watching a funny clip or reading a status update, but keep these posts limited to show them you’re personal and professional at the same time.
- Most of all – be nice! – Remember, what you do or say online is a reflection of you and often your business too. Keeping this in mind, be encouraging and kind when engaging with people online. Also apply this same concept when responding to customers on social media.
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