We all love Social Media and Messaging- sending as well as receiving. But so many of us end up having a bad experience and cannot fathom why! Here is a general insight on common mistakes we make as audiences to Influencers as we message them. Many people believe that being an Influencer is fun and play, and I’d somewhat agree to that too! But many people who tend to take their work very seriously, treat it as a business! Indeed it is one, there’s proper planning, communication, and execution of many facets of the Influencer role. Consider Social Media messaging for business, or to Influencers as not a wholly formal conversation, as it does have a personal streak to it. In fact, it is more like a semi-formal communication. So, here are 10 crucial tips on Social Media Etiquette pertaining to Instant Messaging and Private messages for work, or when communicating with influencers – all because someone definitely had to say it!
Lesson 1 of Social Media Etiquette: Begin with a greeting
Begin your conversation with a greeting. Something like a hi, hello, good morning, or whatever seems appropriate is a good conversation starter and a polite way to begin your discussion.
Absolutely shun the idea of using words like dude, babe, bae, hun, baby, sweetheart, and the like. A professional discussion is usually between colleagues working on the same platform. Using words like friend, buddy, or professional hierarchy annotations like Sir, Ma’am, or Mr/Ms are more suitable for professional setups.
3. Emojis – Yay or Nay??
Any conversation in today’s date seems impossible without emojis. Professional conversations are the same – usage of emojis is a fun way of adding emotion and personalization to the conversation. However, using too many emojis or really crazy emojis are considered highly unprofessional.
If you go by proper formal communication rules, using emojis is a no-no. But since emojis, as well as instant messaging sites, are pretty new (compared to when the rules of communication were invented), social media etiquette
4. Make One large message instead
Instead of typing 5 lines for saying Hello and breaking the ice, try putting it all in a single message. Let’s demonstrate this simple rule of social media etiquette. So, For eg, instead of
How have you been?
I wanted to ask
If you want to attend the event tomorrow?
Social Media etiquette instructs to use all messages in a single, or maximum 2 messages:
Hi, How have you been?
Listen, I wanted to ask If you want to attend the event tomorrow?
4. Social Media Etiquette says KISS Your Messages
No no, not like kiss-kiss, but K.I.S.S. – yes, the plain old, Keep It Short and Simple! Make sure you jump to the agenda quickly, and on point unless the other person is willing to discuss further. They will let you know by asking details or questions pertaining to the subject. Take that as the cue to expanding your conversation.
5. Suspense is a Buzz Kill
Many of us just drop a message that we want a favor and then stop there. We wait for the receiver to respond to the message before we proceed and let me tell you that it is a manipulative and obnoxious method of communication. Drop your complete message and wait for a response.
It is important to remember that we are not conversing with our friends or someone whom we are personally related to. It is a work-related conversation and the relationship is kind of formal/semi-formal. Therefore, following social media etiquette guidelines help in building better relationships among peers.
Also, a major NO-NO when it comes to social media etiquette is to delete your message and vanish! Whatsapp and many other social media instant messaging apps give the option of deleting your sent message, yet display that a message was sent, but contents are deleted. Either think before you hit send, or post an explanation before being asked for it.
Use the Indian average of work hours as your guide to communicating. Use timings between 9 to 9, especially for work-related messages. For reactions and other responses on a story on Instagram or other such platforms, timing may not really be a constraint. However, WhatsApp messages, it is crucial to take note of the timing.
7. Who is this?
As it is, communicate with people you know. If you do not know them, do not crank-message them. Messaging Instagram influencers is a different thing since they encourage and enjoy messages from their followers. But messaging people on Whatsapp without knowing who they are can be quite offensive to the receiver.
8. Preferred Mode of Communication
It is important to know the preferred mode of communication of the receiver. Some people prefer WhatsApp messaging, some prefer calls, and some prefer emails. If you are not sure, use emails as they are the least invasive method of communication. For semi-formal conversations, initiating a WhatsApp or call conversation can seem alright to start with, too.
Abbreviations are not loved by everyone. U, ur, ty, tysm, ttyt, not everyone is up to date with the lingo or appreciates the short forms of sentences. We all like to keep our conversations formal unless you get acquainted – IYKWIM 😛
10. Social Media Etiquette, Especially when Messaging Influencers
Do not bombard people with your promotional messages, especially Influencers. I am not sure who started the trend, but whoever did, must come to the public and apologize for bringing this trend into motion. When you DM your Insta posts to other influencers, most of them will end up blocking you eventually (even more so if you don’t even follow them). It may appear casual, but influencers are running a business – their Instagram grid may look like fun, but it is beyond that! Your messages with posts requesting participation in giveaways and contests, requesting like, comments and shares for your posts, are utterly indecent.
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Oh I totally agree with you on this but shortforms are killing the language itself. I mean k instead of ok or okay is one example. 😄
absolutely agree! I absolutely dislike when people delete messages and then don’t tell you what they said, or say hi and vanish!
the worst for me personally is #5 – like why would you not just come out and say it!?
Very basic points illustrated Prisha. Crisp and to the point 🙂
wow great tips dear and you had covered it all. yes use of language and maintaining all other etiquette are very important for a professional conversation but unfortunately most people did not follow the norm.
You have rightly mentioned all the points and have beautifully explained it, Prisha . This is a must-read for all the active Social Media users.
HBD, BRB, there are so many that I sometimes feel i need a dictionary to understand these. some very relevant points, i wish more people read and understood how annoying this can get.
I’m actually tired of #10. Especially the unknowns and also known people. Why don’t they understand if I really like it I would engage on it myself and share it on mine.
All these etiquettes are a must to follow! I follow the same set of rules in my office as well as blogging space. The professional attitude is must if you want others to take you seriously.
I agree with you 100% Prisha. These etiquette must be followed not only in whatsapp messaging/ DM space but also in all verticals where one works as a Professionals.
The abbreviations & emojis somewhere kill the essence of the language. No.10 is again very relatable and what irks me up the most.
Totally agree to these points… I hate when people send one message in multiple sentences…. rather just say it in one sentence… also the suspense is really a killer…. Suna na… kuch kaam tha…. and then they vanish and you are left wondering what is it till they come back to you… uff this is so annoying ..
Great pointers Prisha….
Prisha I agree with your pointers. These days our dms are filled with collabs of wanna be bloggers. Most of which do not understand the importance of correct way to communicate. Wonderful post.
Great points covered. I hate it when people say a hi and leave it there… Expecting I reply back and then they open the suspense! Such a buzz kill. Sometimes not even a Hi or Hello and ask favors out of the blue.
Bang On pointers shared by you Prisha regarding social media etiquette. honestly abbreviations like k, Hmm disconnects me to listen anything further from sender.