I spoke with a local consulting firm a couple months ago about social media, and we started talking about social media etiquette. Because social media is so new and just starting to be widely adopted, there are not a lot of standards in place for etiquette. I was intrigued to find that one of the creators of Twitter has written a book that is becoming sort of the Strunk and White for Twitter, 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form.
Social media etiquette is still so new we are creating and breaking the rules all of the time. I’m often asked by nonprofits, “What should I or should I not post?” And it varies in each community. As you grow and develop your community, it is important that you provide consistent messaging and that you set the style and expectations for your community. If your community is used to seeing new content and thought provoking conversation, and you start posting a bunch of books people should purchase or sponsorship information, your community may react poorly.
I’m also finding that people are still figuring out how they like to receive information. With so many different mediums, you can update your fans, followers, donors in many ways. From a Facebook Page update to a group email, from a causes announcement to a LinkedIn group update, there are many ways to send out information about your nonprofit. Because we are so early in the adoption of these technologies, we do not always know which one works the best or what kind of etiquette to use with each different way of communication.
My advice is to listen to your community members and ask them what they think. What lessons have you learned in social media etiquette?