Do’s and Don’ts of Social Networking

I was quoted in today’s Launch magazine in Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Internet Sites for Business. In the article, I offer the following advice on adding and interacting with contacts on various social networks:

Don’t forget your manners.

While nearly all social networks have rules for participation (don’t post obscenities or copyrighted material, for example), the etiquette for adding people to each network is defined by the mores of those on the network, Postman says. He offers a few guidelines:

  • Users should be particularly careful to avoid the appearance of flirtation and inappropriate comments and messages. Use the same rules as you would in the workplace.
  • Don’t send blatantly commercial messages. Business networking is OK. Shameless promotion and cold calling is not.
  • If the network allows, give the person you are inviting some context for the invitation.
  • Do not take it badly if someone declines or ignores your invitation to connect. That’s their option.