Today we are going to discuss etiquette’s baby brother, netiquette.
Netiquette is all about proper conduct online. There are lots of areas of netiquette but I’ll just tell you about some of the major questions I get asked regarding online content that you write.
Number one: Emoticons and acronyms. Now emoticons can be OTT sometimes but we also want to make sure our email recipient knows we are LOL funny and that we constantly ROFL at their comments but even though they make us LMAO we’ll have to TTYL J
Now if I sent that to my 12 year old nephew he might know what we were talking about however we should stick to this one major rule when writing emails at work: Try to sound older than 15.
I really believe that etiquette is generational and there are many different rules depending on who you are dealing with and what is appropriate to them, so as a general rule try and think you are sending these emails to your mother, be articulate and use proper (full) words.
As many crazy acronyms out there this has to be the most crazy that people use “ROTFLHOLCBF” – It seriously is, look it up (but don’t use it).
Number two question: smiley faces. Simply put they have no place in a business email. Let me ask this, would you write a wonderful well-written letter to a client, print it, sign it and then before you mail it to them put cute little smiley faces all on the page? No, you wouldn’t (well goodness I hope you wouldn’t). Your client should be shown this same professional level in emails.
I completely understand that sometimes it can be really tempting to put a J in your email, just to make sure the other person knows you are being lighthearted. We should all have a pretty good grasp of the English language by now that we can suggest our humour purely in our words and language expression. So it’s best to stay on the safe side and keep your emails J free.
My final tip for you today is actually one of the biggest rules to remember when dealing with any content you write online is: it’s forever! So just like advice on getting a tattoo – don’t put anything on there that you wouldn’t want to see in 5, 10, 50 years.
As I always say, remember you are your client’s experience of the company, you are the service. How you act in your meetings, at events and even online and in emails influence the way they perceive you and your company as a firm and its value.