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More Social Media Manners
Kate Gingold
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More Social Media Manners

The Sprocket Report

Because last time folks were so amused, let’s look at a few more etiquette rules Emily Post wrote in 1922 that still work with today’s social media. Her tips on how to move well in society are quite relevant for successful navigation of today’s social media marketing.

Some people dismiss manners as "pinky in the air" affectations and Miss Post actually agrees. But she defines "manners" separately from "manner:"

Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment…manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life."

Corporations work very hard at creating distinct and attractive personalities in their social media campaigns that will appeal to the right demographic. Old Spice’s "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" is a one example.

"Manner" is important but "manners" serve to show off that personality in the best possible light. Obnoxious social media manners keep potential clients from getting to know your company. Here are a few of Post’s tips for society that apply to social media marketing:

For instance, a first rule for behavior in society is: "Try to do and say those things only which will be agreeable to others."

That doesn’t necessarily mean "agreeable to your grandmother." Plenty of company personalities are cheeky or downright rude. It just depends on what appeals to your target market.

To listen attentively when one is spoken to, is merely one of the rules of etiquette… Ideal conversation should be a matter of equal give and take, but too often it is all "take."

In social media it’s called "shouting in a crowded room."  You’ve seen it yourself – people who post over and over again the headlines that are on the same sales flyer they stick under your windshield wiper. They must get some sort of return on investment, but most folks ignore such boorish behavior.

Engagement is so much more important than just broadcasting messages. Saying "Thanks for the Like!" takes little effort and goes a long way toward relationship-building. And responding appropriately to complaints is even more important.

The charming talker is neither more nor less than a fisherman. … she wonders which "fly" she had better choose to interest him. She offers one topic; not much of a nibble. So she tries another or perhaps a third before he "rises" to the bait.

Does Post not perfectly illustrate social media marketing with this fishing example? Target markets are much like dinner companions. Marketing research will give you good direction for starting a relationship, but engaging your customers is not an exact science and takes a little creative effort.

Presenting an attractive, friendly and persuasive personality on social media platforms takes work and many businesses prefer to get help, particularly in the beginning. Contact us to jump start your social media campaigns so you can start building relationships with prospective clients. We’re happy to help!

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.


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