Simplifying Social Media Etiquette

social media etiquette title

By: Clarabridge Team

July 15, 2015

social listening
social media

The world of social media is an ocean—vast, difficult for beginners to navigate, and potentially dangerous. Or maybe it’s a mountain—a steep learning curve and a daily climb to proficiency. Or, it could be outer space—full of innovation, untapped potential, and a boundless area for exploration.

Wrong. All wrong.

Social media is high school.

Countless “How to Grow Your Social Media Following” or “Be Effective on Social” blog posts, webinars, and conference sessions have taken something simple, made it complicated, and tried to make it simple again. How do you get people to listen to you? To listen to you a second (and third…) time? How do you get people to like you?

The principles are the same as they’ve always been, whether you’re making friends growing up, navigating a high school lunchroom, or trying to “figure out” how to reach people with a social media account. It’s just about making friends – both in the conventional sense and in the Facebook sense of the term.

Everyone knows how to make friends – even if you’re not particularly good at it. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy. In order to position yourself as someone people want to befriend:

1. Be nice to people

2. Be smart, or interesting, or funny (or all three!)

3. Listen to people, and be responsive to those around you

4. Don’t just talk about yourself

5. Be yourself—and if you’re not quite sure who you are yet, figure it out

Those are essentially the lessons learned during puberty, and they’re the basic philosophies that you need in order to succeed on any and every social media platform. It’s so simple (again, simple, but not necessarily easy), and yet somehow we’ve collectively managed to overthink things. So toss aside buzzy-sounding maxims like “communicate value” and embrace the exceedingly simple underlying message:

Be interesting. Be nice. Be a person.

Click here to download our eBook Social Media Etiquette: Your Guide to Engaging as  a Person, Not a Logo to learn more!


Clarabridge’s blog, Sentiments, helps businesses incorporate customer sentiment and feedback into their business strategy. Published by Clarabridge, Sentiments speaks to customer experience professionals, marketers, customer care leaders and anyone who wants to make informed, strategic decisions that delight customers. Follow Sentiments on Twitter @Clarabridge.