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The Social Media Cocktail Party: The 5 Do's and Don'ts of Social Media

When someone is new to social media, their interactions can scream inexperience. When people get on social media for the first time they tend to think they can start blasting people with advertising and that those people will buy. However, social media is very different.

The person with the loudest bullhorn isn’t usually the winner.

People want to feel a connection. They want to engage with you and your business first. This interaction builds trust and trust is important because when the customer is in need for your product or service, they will remember you.

Modern interactions on social media are similar to a cocktail networking party. Everyone steers clear of the guy trying to be the center of attention and/or force you to buy his product. Style is important and genuine interests works best. Find out the 5 Do’s and Don’t’s of Social Media Etiquette below.

The 5 Do’s of Social Media Etiquette

Social Media Engagement

1. Do Listen

How would you feel if you were at a cocktail party and the person you were talking to kept on talking about themselves and never asked about you? You’d probably get bored and plan your escape. The same goes for social media. Listen to your fans. What do they like to talk about? What is engaging them and what are they interested in? Paying attention to them will foster much better interactions.

2. Do Share Value

When you connect with someone, they are going to remember you if you were able to add value to their life. Always share great content on your social media channels.

3. Do Engage with Others

Interact with those in the room at the social media cocktail party. Post comments on other people’s posts and become an active participant.

4. Do Tell Stories

Share stories about your happy customers or successes instead of trying to sell people your services. A positive recommendation or testimonial goes a long way to building up your reputation.

5. Do Talk Up Others

If you are at a cocktail party with friends or coworkers, you will likely introduce them to the people you meet. Do the same thing on social media. It is great to post your own content but use your social media channels as a chance to promote your partners in business too. The effort will be rewarded.

The 5 Don’t’s of Social Media Etiquette

Overbearing and Shouting over Social Media

1. Don’t Blast Your Message

There is often a person at a cocktail networking party who goes around trying to hand out and collect as many business cards as possible. Does this tactic really work? In the social media world, it’s bad etiquette to try just to gain followers or get sales. People want to have a valuable interaction.

2. Don’t Ignore People

If you ignored someone at a cocktail party that tried to come up to you, that would be a terrible interaction. The same goes for social media. If someone engages you, make sure to engage them back as best as you can. It’s good for business.

3. Don’t Be Fake

In the social media generation, it’s better to be honest about who you are and not try to pretend to be something else just to please somebody. If you hold back information that could be influential in somebody purchasing your product or try to solve everyone’s problem even though it’s not your specialty, you will end up hurting your own business and reputation. Be authentic and represent yourself honestly.

4. Don’t Dehumanize Interactions

When responding to people on social media, do your best to give everyone a response unique to their situation. If you automate the response they might be able to tell. At a cocktail party you are going to talk to people differently as you meet new people because they will have different personalities. Offer each interaction your best effort and the benefit will pay off.

5. Don’t Beg for a Response

It’s like the person who had too many drinks at the cocktail party and is begging for attention. On social media don’t beg for retweets or likes. Although occasionally this can be fine, if it becomes repetitive, people will start ignoring your social media posts and you’ll lose followers.

Behaving with proper etiquette on social media will have many long term benefits. More people will gain value from your interactions and remember these encounters fondly. Engaging on social media is a lot like a cocktail party so keep these do’s and don’t’s of social media etiquette in mind when posting online.


Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with mid-size, established businesses as a growth and scalability consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel, CA home with his wife Safira and two children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”