The Value of Proper Business N-etiquette
It seems to me that lately anyone can run a so called “business” online. Yes this may sound all well and good for the economy and for families however one area seems to be overlooked quite regularly and that is the value of proper Business etiquette/Netiquette.
Now before you all think Iâ€™m being judgemental and getting on my high horse hear me out. I do not begrudge anyone the opportunity to be creative and â€œhave a goâ€ at being a successful business person however I ask that people take the time to do it properly. Research, gain knowledge, have integrity and follow some basic (to say the least) business etiquette. If you want respect and acceptance it is not too much to ask that you learn what is needed or at least expected of you and your business/hobby.
Etiquette is defined as the usages and rules for behaviour in polite society, official or professional life. Netiquette (short for “network etiquette” or “Internet etiquette”) is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks.Â In other words, Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Not being up to date with the latest etiquette/netiquette rules can hurt your businesses chance of being successful. Improper etiquette comes in many forms and many may be unaware of the mistakes however being a â€œbusiness personâ€ it is our job to make sure we remain professional and following the rules. If we make a mistake it is our job to rectify it and be sure we do so in the proper concise way.
ONE VERY COMMON MISTAKE IS THE MISUSE OF CAPITAL LETTERS WHEN CORRESPONDING. ALTHOUGH IT IS OFTEN DONE TO HELP MAKE A POINT THE COMMON PERCEPTION IS THAT IT IS LIKE YELLING OR BEING OBNOXIOUS (Get my point). You must keep in mind that conversational tone and voice adjustments do not come across in text form so all that is seen are the words. The reader of the text is responsive to the words alone and the use of capitals gives a misleading impression. It may not be your aim to do so however you may end up offending your intended reader(s). For many it is seen as just plain rude!
Remember, your website, blog, Facebook page, twitter etc are a reflection of your business or affiliation; Limit the Controversy. There are appropriate ways to be controversial and engage fans, without being offensive. Your social media page or Wall is where your fans can leave messages and start a discussion on a topic. All messages on your facebook Wall for instance are visible to everyone who’s a liker of your business or anyone who visits your Page. Think of your Wall as a place of public record, so avoid editing comments that you don’t like and make sure you’re professional and courteous to anyone posting. Thank fans for posting and make it fun for them and others.
Keep it clean and civilized. Sending threatening, harassing, rude, or sexually explicit messages to members and also unsolicited messages to members Inboxes through social media are not tolerated. Not only will your members disapprove they will vocalise their disapproval with friends, family and being LIVE on the internet it is there for all to see, view copy and share! Also your social account could be warned, banned, and eventually disabled. Remember your a page reflects your business ethics. Posting spammy updates, multiple times a day, babbling about garbage or getting off track with your content is just as bad as posting rude, obnoxious, spamming or nonsense updates! Stay on track and remember to behave like a professional!
Irate fans pose one of the biggest challenges that this new social medium has to offer. You have several ways to deal with an irate fan:
Honestly consider his/her point and try to find something (anything) to agree with. Finding and establishing common ground is a great way to get the conversation back on track.
Correct factual inaccuracies in a very tactful and pleasant way. The fan may not have all the data, which could be causing her to be irate.
If you don’t know the solution to a particular situation, don’t bluff your way out of it be honest, commit to finding out more, and give the fan a date when you’ll get back to him.
Don’t forget that you can always take your conversation offline which personally I would recommend.
I have seen some shocking things over the last few months that simply leave me shaking my head wondering “WHY”. Obnoxious and rude business operators, fights on pages, attacks by pages owners to other page owners or members, unprofessional behaviour, bad language and personal attacks by business people who disapprove of comments made, status updates that I wouldn’t even expect to see on personal social pages let alone business pages, threats of violence because someone disagrees with a comment, poor judgement and more. This behaviour is an unacceptable way for a business person to behave. What happened to proper etiquette, customer service, professionalism and integrity? Should we accept online businesses behaving in such ways?
Remember that the internet is frequented by many, many people. Anything you post online will not only be seen by a few people it has the potential to be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people; even if you post something for two seconds and remove it. The chances are that it can and often will be copied and shared over and over and often over again. The use of share, ctrl-c and even print screen buttons enable people to simply uplift any incriminating, vulgar, obnoxious, obscene and nonsense information with a simple click and your integrity and professionalism could all be flushed down the toilet! Remember word of mouth marketing is the fastest growing marketing tools and most often than not bad publicity is never a good thing. Bring back good customer service, professionalism integrity and above all proper business etiquette!