But Internet etiquette can be a tricky thing, and you can’t always learn by example. Plenty of people get it wrong. Here’s a quick holiday-season refresher to keep you building relationships and communicating during the busiest time of year -- and beyond.
Do join conversations on Twitter -- don’t hijack for self-promotion
Contributing to a festive conversation with “Happy holidays, buy my stuff!” is only going to lose you friends. Lots of people do it, but that doesn’t make it right, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s effective.
Instead, craft a genuine, human response to any conversation you’d like to join, and let people check your business out if they want to — you should have a link in your bio. Building relationships will get you followers and subscribers. Spamming will make you lose them.
Thank people for praise — don’t retweet it
Otherwise, you’ll come across as narcissistic, and you’ll embarrass the user you’re retweeting.
Say you’re shopping with your friend. She compliments you on your haircut. You don’t run around the mall, pointing at your friend and yelling, “She thinks my bangs are awesome!” Retweeting praise is kind of the same thing. It’s weird. Don’t do it.
Make use of Facebook lists and Google+ circles
By tailoring your posts to suit your fans, you can avoid spamming. Be selective. Organizing a holiday fundraiser in your city? Fans abroad aren’t going to attend, so there’s no need to ask them. Inviting friends to like your dog-walking business page? If they don’t have a dog, skip them. You can apply this to pretty much anything on Facebook.
To #FF or not to #FF?
Sure, thank people for a #FollowFriday mention — it’s only polite — but don’t feel obliged to return the favor if you don’t know them, or if #FF isn’t your thing.
Above all, be polite, be friendly, and have fun. Excessive self-promotion is counterproductive, and could be sabotaging your online success. Need help? Just ask us!