Online Etiquette 101

Online Etiquette 101 – How should your business behave online?

Your reputation speaks volumes for your business, and in the electrical industry, word of mouth accounts for a lot of small business opportunities. In the real world, a good handshake goes a long way… but you can’t shake someone’s hand via email. So how can you ensure you’re presenting yourself in the best light online?

These simple online etiquette tips can help you project an image of a polite and professional organisation.

Tip 1: Stay neutral

When writing for email, web or social media, remain as clear and matter-of-fact as possible. It’s best to avoid anything that may come across as sarcastic or passive aggressive. Try to look at your content through someone else’s eyes, and imagine how they might take your comments. Alternatively, if you think something might be a little off kilter, ask a colleague to proof read it.

Tip 2: Follow traditional grammar and punctuation rules

In any digital communication, use real worlds and complete sentences. Punctuation is still key! In some circumstances your followers might be ok with abbreviations – Twitter is a perfect example – but keep them to a minimum. You still want them to be able to understand your message!

Tip 3: Beware the “Reply All” button

Emails are one of the main places for error. There’s nothing worse than hitting Reply All on a sarcastic comment that was only meant for a close friend or colleague. On a similar note, know the rules for CC etiquette. When sending a bulk email, make sure to BCC – that’s Blind Copy – all recipients. Some people may not appreciate their email address being sent to your entire database.

Tip 4: Use a different profile for your personal connections (and make sure you know which one you’re posting from)

This rule applies in particular to social networks. There’s nothing worse than hitting “Post” from your personal account, and realising you’ve just sent it to your professional account. This is one of the main ways in which big businesses face social media problems, so be sure to double check everything before hitting the post button.

For tips on how to connect with your customers online, see our Customer Engagement topic.

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