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Minding your p’s and q’s online

Just like keeping your elbows off the dinner table and letting pregnant women sit down on the bus, the online world has its own etiquette.

These are especially important to know – and follow – if you are a business with an online presence, as offending potential customers and/or clients is certainly not the right way to go.

When online always keep in mind the following rules:

Interesting content: Whether on Facebook, Twitter or blogging make sure you aren’t just posting for the sake of uploading content. The content should always be interesting and add value to your business or the conversation.

Listen to your followers, don’t just talk. Always follow up and reply to people who have made an effort. Whether they have asked you a question through Twitter or made a particularly interesting comment on your blog, people like it when they know the person on the other side of the computer screen is paying attention and not just posting things for them to read. Social media is a two-way conversation, just like in the real world.

Be professional: You are a business and aren’t gossiping with your buddies down at the local watering-hole. Before posting or replying ask yourself `Would you say these things in real life to a client or customer?’ Because if you wouldn’t say it to their face, do not say it online where it is out there for the world to see. While it can be tempting to become over-friendly with followers online, think about your type of business and how casual you want to come across.

Never bad-mouth anyone or anything. Talking about another business or a customer/client in a negative way online will alienate people and it just looks petty. Like your parents told you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

If you do happen to make a mistake online remember to be gracious and admit to it. Nobody likes a sore loser and sometimes a simple apology will suffice to get you back into the good books of whoever you offended.

Always keep in mind whatever you put online is there for the world to see.

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Catriona Pollard

Catriona Pollard

Catriona Pollard is the founder and director of CP Communications, one of the most respected and innovative boutique PR and social media agencies. She is co-founder of Social Media Women, teaches a PR course she designed and writes the popular blog, Public Relations Sydney. Catriona regularly shares her expertise through articles and presentations to assist businesses grow and thrive by effectively using PR and social media. You can find Catriona on: Blog: www.PublicRelationsSydney.com.au Twitter: @catrionapollard Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PublicRelationsTips Facebook: www.facebook.com/cpcommunications

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