Social Media Etiquette – Play Nicely!

by | May 15th, 2018 | Social Media

Whilst some minorities have become far more vocal on social media in terms of being moaning Minnies, it seems businesses have become more frightened to answer back in case they upset someone.  Well we aren’t. This is a piece of writing intended to give some suggestions on social media etiquette as well as a few tips for businesses on how to protect their brand and deal with the few negative Normans (apologies to anyone called Norman – I’m sure you’re very nice!).

As a user of social media with a personal account, you enjoy the fruits of someones hard work. Hours spent creating interesting posts and often for little or no reward. Some people feel it is perfectly acceptable to constantly write negative comments about peoples posts. For example:

“That photo is crap – you shouldn’t be allowed a camera” or “That’s clearly photoshopped – it’s AWFUL!!!!”

“Sort your spelling out – I mean who can’t spell!!” or “Grammatical errors are stupid and show your lack of intelligence”

“STOP mentioning BRITAIN and UK – you’re here to promote SCOTLAND!!!!!”

These are real comments made to me and to others who have posted on my page.  I would ask those people, or others who think about writing something negative, whether this achieves anything for them. Perhaps the person who posted the photo is recovering from a stroke, is 76 and has taken up photography as a hobby. Perhaps the person you call out about their spelling is dyslexic. Perhaps the person you harass about grammar is suffering from depression and has got the guts to finally post to page their photo or comment to someone. And as for the last comment – Well – I had fun responding to that……

I honestly can’t believe that people who are abusive to others on social media are this nasty in real life. There is something about a screen and a keyboard that makes people “brave” and say something they wouldn’t possibly say to that person face to face. It’s nothing short of bullying.

As a user, please remember that these pages are run by real people with real feelings. Some are trying to make a living and others are doing it for pleasure. Let me put it this way. A social media business page is akin to a high street shop. Businesses put their wares in display in the window for you to look at. As you walk past a high street shop, perhaps a clothes shop, there is a jumper in there, hand knitted and in bright colours. Now, personally, you don’t like bold colours with tassels and glitter. What do you do? The majority would simply keep walking and not give it a second thought. Some may do a double take and think “ugh”. But how many would stop and get worked up enough over this offensive jumper to walk into the shop and start telling the little old lady sat knitting the jumpers that “It’s bloody awful! Get it out of the window! You’re crap! My god you’ve got a nerve charging for that!”  Not many – if any. So apply the same principle to social media. Don’t like it? Keep scrolling.

Business pages want discussion, they want your comments – wouldn’t life be boring if we all agreed! But there is definitely a way of doing it that isn’t confrontational.


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Catherine Bentley

My aim is to help train business owners to take control of their social media. After all, who knows your business better than you?

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    Catherine Bentley - Social Media Marketing
    2 Ballicherry Farm Cottage
    Balblair, IV7 8LH
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