Etiquette for connecting on Social Media Channels – Birds on the Blog

Etiquette for connecting on Social Media Channels

Love or hate your social media channels; they have become a vital way to make a connection and to share value. Or at least you would like to think so. Wouldn’t you?

For me living in the hills, far away from the madding crowd, some social media plays an important part in enabling me to feel connected and to remain in contact with people that matter to me.

Increasingly I have become aware of a growing feeling of irritation at some (probably, in the scheme of life and the Universe not terribly important) things. One of these is the way that ‘some’ oh the dreaded ‘some’ behave.

It is as if once you commit to the dark side of social media, they own your ass and your inbox.

Let me tell you a story.

‘Hiya.’ Looking gingerly around, not sure who was calling me, in that oh so friendly way. When all of a sudden I found myself cornered in a room by a person I didn’t know. ‘Welcome to my world’ the face cried.

World, I wondered, what world? I didn’t agree to join anyone’s world and certainly not by this person that I only know by a hair’s breadth one. Yikes, how do I get away? Luckily I can see some big buttons, all I have to do is shimmy out of the corner to the other side of the room.

Shimmy I did. Phew, that was a close shave I thought to myself. Two minutes later, I found myself still staring at the wall with the buttons, wondering do I just delete the spam that I didn’t ask for or remove the person and their spam?

Before I could make a decision, my sojourn was interrupted with another uninvited without my permission message. ‘Hey, I sent you some great stuff, I want you, I need you, no I love you, buy my stuff, join my group, come on run away with me to a land far away, we can be King and Queen for a day.’

Looking around I see an open window and escape route – yay. If I had been a grasshopper, I could quick as a flash leap out. But I’m not a grasshopper, just a nice girl who likes people and mostly gives them the benefit of the doubt. This time, I was feeling abused and disrespected. I didn’t want my inbox box full of empty promises from vacant people with nothing I wanted to hear about.

Ok, so that was a pretty crummy story, however, that’s what it feels like sometimes when you say yes to a friend or connection request on social media. You get added to email lists by people you barely know and certainly wouldn’t be allowing into your home uninvited and without your permission.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no goody two shoes, and I do have a shady past. Let me unlock the door to my skeleton closet. In a land far away and long ago, when I was a marketing manager, I was given some tools that scraped websites of email addresses. The then King of my land who ruled with a fist of iron demanded that we email these and the other million or so he purchased from the shady beggar who hung around the back of the factory. Just because we did it and it was long ago, doesn’t make it right or good practice. Later following networking events we asked for attendee lists and entered business cards into our CRM systems. And…. Yep, we emailed them.

Connection etiquette across social media has changed.

I love to connect, I adore making new friends, but first I want to get to know them. It feels good to get a glimpse into their world, by being in the same groups or reading their blogs. Call me prudish, but it is bad manners to add people to your email list if you haven’t asked them first. Blimey I am even at the point of mailing my lists and saying if you don’t want to be here can you unsubscribe. What feels right to me is to cultivate ‘one on one’ connections, to get to know people and for them to know me.

Here are my simple social media contact etiquette rules

  1. Ensure your profiles across all social media channels are consistent
  2. Have a blog or places where you blog, create content so that your ‘friends’ can get a feel for you
  3. Next, think about who you would like to connect with and why
  4. Ask yourself, how would I like someone to connect with me?
  5. Don’t do to others what you would hate to have done to you
  6. Respect others right to NOT want to be your friend
  7. Send a great connection request, do not use the social medias automated system. If the system does not have this say thanks and hi in a private message
  8. Now that we are friends do not:-
    1. Offer me any networking marketing opportunities
    2. Offer to give me a free coaching session – how can you possibly know what is going on for me?
    3. Add me to your list and send me your autoresponder sequence
    4. Ask me to write a blog for your business when your business is totally unconnected to mine
    5. Send me your book to review
    6. Ask me to help you with your campaign for XYZ
    7. Contribute to your crowdfunding efforts
  1. Now that we are friends do:-
    1. Send me a message to say hi
    2. Interact with me in a subtle way
    3. Share a great group you are in (do not add me to yours), say why you think this would be a good place for me to meet new friends and business contacts
    4. Ask me to hop onto Skype so that we can have an hour together – I love chatting to others to find out about them
  2. And finally expect to be excommunicated if you cross my values and piss me off with your bad manners

Social media is great when everyone understands the purpose of making friends and is committed to participating in the relationship in an adult way.

Please do not ever add people to your email list or group without permission. Otherwise, you risk alienating them and worse they will name and shame you. And that’s a waste of energy.

Let me give you an example. When I add someone on LinkedIn, I read their profile and ask myself why would l like to be connected to this person. Recently I added some people who had responded to my articles. I said thank you for commenting and that I would like to add them, not to pester about writing a book, rather that I found them inspiring. My request was to the point, said why I wanted to connect, I was respectful and witty.

On other occasions, when I have received a friend request, I check out the profile and consider why I would like to be connected. Then, when I accept I write and say something about why I have accepted. E.g. I loved their summary, I am intrigued by what they do, I’d love to do an author interview.

…and yes I do just sometimes add people without thinking and wait and see. And no I never accept those handsome men in uniforms.

What social media etiquette rules would you add?

PS: There are rules you know.

CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) –

And there is more

And from Mailchimp who I use


About the Author Dale Darley

Alchemist, coach, writer and author. Inspiring you to discover and claim your identity and have the freedom to be. Helping to make sense of jumbled mess and bringing order to chaos, simply. Creating a safe place where your voice is heard, you find self-love and know that you are loved. Helping you to share your story in a book. Author of Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend and The Conscious Woman Guide to leaving your husband and getting a life. Connect with me Dale Darley

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