Social Media Etiquette: If I Wouldn’t Tell My Grandma, I’m Not Going to Tell You!

Social Media etiquette has a lot of gray area.  It’s not just right & wrong, and depending on your audience, you might be able to get away with things that others couldn’t.  So, how do you know what you should or shouldn’t share on social media?

As marketers we want to connect with our audience, share our human side, and share the things that make us, “who we are” so our friends online can say…hey, she’s just like me.  It increases trust, and helps to develop relationships with people, which increases the value we can bring to our audience.

Sharing stories about our kids, our struggles, our challenges, goals, dreams, etc. are all the mortar that binds us together as humans on this journey to obtain our own versions of a “successful life.”  And it’s important to do so because people “buy” us before they buy our products or opportunity.

But what’s OK to share and what isn’t?  As a network marketer you already know the power of word of mouth marketing.  But do you stop and think about what you’re sharing online?  Would you want your message to be shared with 4 people who share it with 4 people = 16 people who each share it with 4 people = 64 people, who each share it with 4 people = 256 people, etc.?  And in social media those numbers are in the thousands with your very first tweet.

I’ve followed the unwritten rule, online and in person, that if I wouldn’t tell my grandma, I shouldn’t share it.  Although I don’t know that this rule would apply to everyone and their grandma.

My grandma is a hard-working (she’s still stringing tennis rackets at 87 because she likes it, not because she needs to) wife of a tree farmer, who raised 3 rowdy boys. But she’s a “lady” and I’m always sensitive about the things I share with her, out of respect. (Even though I know she’d love me always.) She knows my feelings about things, but not my negativity. I’ve shared with her my weaknesses, challenges, and fears, but not by whining. She knows my goals, my hopes, and my accomplishments, but I’m careful to not come from a boastful place with her.

You’ll never hear her “gossip” about anyone or anything.  She doesn’t tolerate people being hurtful or caddy.

My dad’s mentioned to me hundreds of times, a quote/philosophy passed onto him from my grandma’s mom, “Make people glad that they know you,” and that’s exactly how my grandma has lived her life.  The philosophy has served me well for the first of my 36 years, and I think it would work, both online & off for anyone.

Elizabeth Potts Weinstein also wrote a great blog post on this topic if you’d like to read more.

What boundaries have you set with your online marketing, blog posts, social media, etc?  Please share them in the comments below.

And if you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you shared it with others in your network who might enjoy it too! 🙂

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