Are your bad manners on social media getting you on the naughty list?

We’ve all walked into a room and soon realized that we don’t know what the rules are – the protocols or etiquette that guide people’s behavior. The room becomes a minefield of potential social miscues. Take the gym, for instance. Without someone telling you the right way to do things, it would be easy to obliviously offend others during your workout in dozens of ways.

For both businesses and individuals, social media represents a massive minefield. And no one is going to give you the benefit of the doubt or give you a break for not knowing the proper etiquette. Naivete is no excuse, especially for an established organization. At Fryed Egg, we guide organizations through the sometimes confusing realm of social media to ensure that you can be your best self online with confidence and without crossing any hard-to-see lines.

Here are a few areas where organizations frequently trip up.

Give credit where credit’s due

At Fryed Egg, we see a lot of theft of photos and graphics from the pages that we manage. Community pages and organizations will take these images without crediting the original source. Most of the time, we know it’s from individuals and organizations who don’t know that they’re doing something wrong. However, they should. Take the time to learn the rules of what you can share on social media and how you should share it. Most of the time properly crediting the source – a simple step that will have no negative impact on your own post – is all that you need to do. If you don’t, you not only could harm your relationship with someone important to your organization, but you could make yourself vulnerable to potential legal trouble.

Avoid hashtag spam

Hashtags are a fantastic way to participate in the ongoing online conversation and to help attract more attention to each of your posts, but be judicious with them. If you are going to use a hashtag, there should be a specific reason for it – and not just because you can. We frequently see posts, especially on Instagram, with as many as 30 hashtags. When you use that many hashtags, there’s no longer any purpose to them. It’s social media debris cluttering up your post. It won’t get you more views, and your audience will turn away as fast as they can at such an unsightly parade. In addition, social media platforms advise against it and employ algorithms to combat the practice and prevent users from irresponsibly manipulating their results with hashtag overuse. Be strategic, pick a couple of good hashtags, and you will get a lot more out of them.

Watch your tone

The temptation on social media is to be lighthearted and casual. Your organization is trying to forge a connection with your audience, and in the interest of doing that your language on social media will lean toward conversational and accessible. That’s all good. A dry, technical and detached voice probably won’t do much to endear you to customers on Facebook or Instagram. However, beware of crossing the line – a line that isn’t always clearly visible – and using an inappropriate voice that undermines your brand and your business. Similarly, be smart about how you interact with followers and others on social media via comments and other communication. A single wayward sneering comment can cause real trouble. Don’t forget that every social media post or comment represents the voice of your business, and you can do damage to your reputation with language that doesn’t match who you are. Be professional, and be authentic. You should have a clearly established brand tone that guides how you post on social media as an organization as part of your brand guidelines.

Fryed Egg can help you build and maintain a social media presence that resonates with your audience and strengthens your brand, while staying true to who you are. If you want to learn more about how Fryed Egg can help, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or [email protected] or visit