Do and Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette To Inspire on Social Media

Social media etiquette today for businesses may be different than it was several years ago. More people are on social media today than ever before. If you don’t understand social media etiquette you may lose followers or even worse, customers! So here are some do and don’ts social media etiquette you can use to inspire others on your social media channels.

do and don'ts social media etiquette
Be sure to learn the do and don’ts of social media etiquette to inspire others on social media.

The latest 2021 stats from Pew Research show some 84% of 18- to 29-year-olds indicate that they use any form of social media. (That is actually less than in 2018!)  That share falls to 81% among those ages 30 to 49, to 73% among those ages 50 to 64, and to 45% among Americans 65 and older.

The increase of social media usage is for those aged 50 years old and above.

The way each social channel is used may vary from the other.

Do and Don’ts Social Media Etiquette

Businesses just as personal users on Facebook and other social media networks must be careful not to post too often. Do you still see your Facebook stream overwhelmed by a certain few users today?

The other rule of thumb I always said was not to post political topics on your social media business feed. Well, that rule of thumb has gone out the window it seems!

However, I do still recommend that you follow that advice.  Otherwise, you may end up in a battle with a client or a potential client. Is it worth it? That is for you to decide. Or even worse, have your social media account suspended.

Hence, the one exception to the overposting rule is Twitter.

Twitter Etiquette for You

On Twitter, hashtags are more important than ever before. Be sure to use them and use them well there. You can use programs like RiteTag to help you find the best hashtags for your posts. As a result, only use 1-3 hashtags on Twitter.

Twitter is not meant for just promoting your own products and services. (That is called push marketing, being pushy!) Be sure to share other relevant content with your audience. Engage with others on Twitter often and thank those peeps that share your tweets. (And not just the ones in which they share your content – Selfish!) 

Equally important are the retweets on Twitter. Be generous in retweets and add some content before a tweet – give others a reason to click on the tweet. Add something like: I just read and commented on this great post about XYZ. Learn more about XYZ here. Great tips from XYZ.  Twitter is the one network where you can share often.

do and don'ts social media etiquette with Twitter
Know the dos and don’ts of social media etiquette on Twitter.

Equally important, is to use your Twitter lists. This will keep you out of the political battles and issues being tweeted today more than ever before.

For more Twitter etiquette and Twitter, tips check out my new eBook Learn to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter.

Instagram Manners for All

Instagram is now one of the hottest social networks that users log into daily. The top etiquette tip is never to share anyone else’s photo without permission. This one tip should apply to all social networks and blogs.

Hashtags are huge on Instagram, did you know you can have up to 30 hashtags there? Try to start using all of them today. Check out more great Instagram tips here to up your Instagram game.

One-third of all internet users use Instagram today and the age demographic tends to be lower. (18-29) Do note the engagement level of Instagram is higher than most of the other social networks.

Therefore, be sure to engage with others on this powerful social network.

Using social media etiquette is a must on this popular social network! Finally, be sure to check out tips here by InfoBunny on getting started with Instagram if you haven’t already.

LinkedIn Professional Manners

Do you send a personal invitation to connect on LinkedIn? That could set you or your business apart today on this business professional social networking site.

Linkedin Invitation

Using groups on LinkedIn to help others and contribute is a top-notch social media etiquette tip. It’s not the place to promote your business only. Hence, be sure to remain professional throughout your interactions here.

Become known in your niche by sharing your knowledge on this network. Don’t forget to engage in a very professional manner as well. You can now also use video on this network (fairly new!).

However, be sure your videos are done in a professional manner on Linkedin. No children or pets to be included here! Unless you have a pet-related business or a daycare, etc. 

Pinterest Manners

Are you always linking back to the original source on Pinterest? That along with a mention is the most polite way to be on this visual social networking site. Also, be aware not to pin away all at once each day. Schedule them out with an app like Tailwind.

Above all be sure to spread your pins out. That is another tip that could apply to all the social media channels. No one wants to see their stream or feed filled up by the same person all the time.

It’s the quickest way to lose social media followers. Be mindful of others.

social media etiquette on Pinterest
Learn to have manners on Pinterest by not pinning all your pins at once.

Snapchat Manners

Snapchat is becoming another fast-growing network no longer just for teens. This network has grown for business use and marketing. Your snaps can become stories and be used elsewhere on the web. Many businesses and news organizations are now using Snapchat.

Always remember anything you put up online – is it okay if your mom saw it? If it passes that test you can post and snap away.

Alternative Social Media

Not only do you need to know the do and don’ts of social media etiquette on the old social media networks but also on the newer alternative social media networks that have cropped up over the past few years.

These newer social networks may include:

  • MeWe
  • Gab
  • Rumble
  • Gettr
  • Parler
  • Minds
  • Koo
  • One Amend
  • Boxy
  • Hive OnBoard

Many of these above social networking sites are similar to either Facebook or Twitter in nature. It’s hard to find the stats from these as most are being censored on mainstream search engines.

Both MeWe and Gab have groups similar to Facebook so you can engage without having a filled-up political feed.

Social Media Etiquette For Every Social Network

My biggest tip for all the networks is not to post only your own stuff. Be sure that the 80/20 rule applies. Share 80% of others’ stuff and only 20% of your own stuff.

Posting too much promotional content will surely get people to stop following you or engaging with you. Engaging on the networks is the ultimate goal. Therefore, engage politely and you will reap the rewards over time. Do not expect results overnight with any social media. It can take small businesses years to build up an engaged audience. (unless you spend a lot of money on social media ads!)

Next, tagging people just to get to them to look at your latest post without them being mentioned is in poor taste. They may unfollow you just for that reason alone!

Watch Your Language and Tone

Over the past several years since I first wrote this blog post, things have gotten shall we say “ill-mannered” on social media?

One of the best ways to avoid this type of thing happening is to stay focused on your purpose. You can do this by staying in groups or on Twitter lists.

These groups and lists help to keep you more focused on social media.  The same applies to other networks like Pinterest (boards) and Gab groups.

In Conclusion of Do and Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette

Finally, be sure to respond quickly on social media. People do not want to wait long for responses today. Speed is everything today online and of course on mobile.

Remember, how the human brain is like that of a goldfish? You only have 8 seconds to get your message across to someone for them to remember it.  Only 8 seconds!

Therefore, using a social listening app like Brand24 or Awario can help you to respond quickly.

What other tips can you share to be sure your social media etiquette is up to snuff today?

Did any of these tips about social media etiquette surprise you? Have you noticed manners have disappeared more than ever before on social media?

I’d love to know more in the comments below.
brand24 listening tool for social media etiquette

Lisa Sicard
  • Poulomi Basu says:

    Hi Lisa,
    One of my biggest struggles has been to juggle the different social media and how to work with them in the best way. So this post about different etiquette for different media is a good one to bookmark!
    I have realized that from my experience, it’s best to try out different social platforms, see which one works the best for you, and do that really well. Use it to engage, interact, be a part of communities.
    Because really mastering the etiquette on each platform takes time. So especially for small businesses, it’s more effective to really focus on the ones that are the best for their relationship-building and long-term growth.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Poulomi. Oh yes, it can be challenging for sure. My favorites are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Gab. I find those the most engaging platforms for me. And I’m not so sure about LinkedIn of late. I just learned how to use campaign URLs to track my alternative social media networks and it’s a great way for me to see who is reading my content now. As far as etiquette it’s basically the same on all networks as it is in real life. Manners matter 🙂 Thanks for coming by on this one and have a wonderful day Poulomim.

  • Thanks for this. I find LinkedIn frustrating at times. As a business owner, I keep being targeted by sales and marketing

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Pasquale, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Oh yes, that can happen. Just be careful who you allow connecting with on LinkedIn. Hopefully, that will cut down on those sale pitches. Although I get them too from those that have a premium account and can message anyone they target.Thanks for coming by on this one Pasquale. Have a great day.

  • Maxwell Ivey says:

    All good points on social media eticate. I am a blind computer user, and I would love it if people would add captions or descriptions to all their photos and video links. This would especially be helpful for the many blind people using Pinterest, Instagram, Flicker, etc. And also be sure to add the alt tag to your images on your bwebsites and blogs. Thanking you in advance, Max

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Maxwell, nice to have you back here. Great info to share with us about that Maxwell, thank you. It is also good for SEO – maybe that will encouarge more people to add those descriptions to those photos and videos. I do use the alt tags but not always the descriptions. I will start to do that. Thanks for that addition to this post Maxwell. Have a great day!

  • Adrienne says:

    Hey Lisa,

    I’m going to have to take some time and go through this infographic to see what’s correct and what’s not these days.

    I will admit that I have a few friends on Facebook that share so much stuff I’m really getting tired of it. Granted it’s all positive and uplifting but it’s also hard to keep up and because they do share so much I’m missing a lot of my other friends stuff. I can’t keep up all the time.

    As you know though I’m all about sharing other people’s stuff and it’s worked to my benefit after all these years. As I’ve been told many times in the past, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Thanks for sharing this one Lisa and I’ll be back later to go over it more.

    Happy 4th of July and I hope you really enjoy your weekend.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adrienne, please do take your time. I think that is the biggest mistake on Facebook – posting too often. People will put you as an “acquaintance” instead of friend so they can not see every post you make. Love to know when you do get back to it later. So far it’s been a good weekend and 1 rainy day was nice to relax and the grass really needed it! Thanks for coming by and I hope you had a great 4th of July. Talk soon!

  • Dave Simpson says:

    Awesome infographics and I really loved the ideas shared above. I believe all these top social media are really essential for easy promotion of our stuff.

    Getting in touch with other is another cool benefit of social media.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Dave. Welcome to Inspire to Thrive. I’m glad you loved the ideas in the infographic. Are you all on these networks or just a few? Hope to see you back again.

  • Ravi Chahar says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks a lot for sharing such type of post which encourage people like me to be polite.:)
    You have mentioned all the aspects regarding Google+, Twitter and all other social networks. I really like the infographic you have shown above. It shows every single detail.

    You are right to be in touch or to connect with anyone we should all the polite ways as to respond to every single comment so that people don’t feel offended and feel like we are responsive towards their input.

    Thanks to you for reminding me all the things to do.
    I hope you are good in this weekend.:)


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ravi, you are welcome. Some people still don’t get it on the social networks and only talk about themselves or their brand. It’s more than that – it’s engagement and being polite is certainly part of that. Thanks for coming by and for taking the time to comment. It’s been a good weekend and I’m off from my day job this week – maybe I can get caught up here and online. Enjoy the new week ahead!

  • Peter Kanayo says:

    Lisa great post. I totally agree with your 80:20 sharing formula.

    As for instagram, am not yet on the platform because there are just many social sites out there and as they say time is money.

    Hence, am working toward focusing on the network am presently on at the moment.

    Have a wonderful week

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Peter, thank you. That’s my favorte formula for almost anything in life. I do use Instragram but more for fun. That will change soon. You are wise not to jump on too many networks at once. You too, enjoy the upcoming week Peter and thanks for coming by.

  • Rohan Bhardwaj says:


    Well, I knew few of them, but not the last one. I often share my post more frequently. As of now, I have few following, so I guess there isn’t much of a problem.

    Once I get more followers, I need to give them the best of content from the internet. The 80/20 rule was something new to me, well noted.

    Instagram is very popular, but as of now I still don’t have an account. I fail to manage all of them. Need to sort it out with some help.

    Informative post. Keep it up!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Rohan, To get more followers try to share others info too. That may help you out getting more. It’s best to get proficient at one before jumping to another. I use Instagram for fun but will work on it for blogging info more and do a post once I feel I have learned it well to share with you. Thanks for coming by and let me know if you need more info on Twitter 🙂

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing this infographic. The one thing I have problems with is using up all 140 characters in my tweets. I have to learn how to use less but I love to talk :).

    I installed Rite Tag and it sure does help. This post made me go back and use up the five free tweets we get after fixing the hashtags and I like that it works with HootSuite.

    I agree with Mi Muba. All Social networks are different. Great post Lisa! Definitely passing this along.

    Hope you’re having a great week!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Corina, You are welcome. Those that know me well no I’m not wordy with my emails or phone calls most of the time so Twitter is perfect for me. I like to get to the point, LOL. I use Rite Tag as well from time to time. It’s a great tool. Yes, they really are. Each have their unique ways of communicating. Thanks and I hope you are enjoying the long weekend there.

  • Steve Pots says:

    I have been a long time believer in sharing more of other people’s content (good content) with my followers so yes the 80/20 ratio is a good one in my book. I like to remind people that social media is a 24/7 party or social gathering and that you need to behave the same way on social media as you would any gathering. Keep the conversation light, interesting and try not to talk only about yourself.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Steve, welcome to Inspire to Thrive, I love that ratio for most things in life too Steve. Yes, it’s like being at a networking event at times on social media. You need to ask questions too 🙂 Thanks for coming by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  • Mi Muba says:

    Hi Lisa
    You mentioned the top 5 social media here. They all cover more than eight per cent online marketing field. It is good to remain selective and don’t run after number. If someone stick to them consistently he can bring desired results quite easily.
    The infographics is wonderful and communicates each point so well.
    One thing is to be remembered that audience at each of them have different vision of social media and their objective to join them is also different. Bloggers sometime commit a mistake and treat all of the in same way and that is why lose a huge number of them because they don’t get the help which they are seeking online. So we need to be so focused while serving our social media audience.
    Thanks a lot for sharing another wonderful post that do worth bookmarking for further reference.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Mi, Yes it’s not a numbers game either 🙂 Staying focused is a great tip too – and each niche is different too. You are welcome and glad you found it worth bookmarking Mi. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Thanks for coming by with your input too.

  • Pankaj says:

    Hi Lisa,

    There are popular social networking sites out there, where you can easily find your targeted audience. Your aim should be to build your trust first and promotion later. Social media marketing is not about always talking about yourself alone. Instead share some interested and useful content to build engagement, then get the benefit of that buzz and promote your stuff.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Pankaj, that is so true. You must be useful and engaging to others on social media. You can then do a little self promotion after that. Luckily I don’t see as many who talking about themselves only anymore. I used to see more of that years ago. Thanks for coming by and have a great rest of the weekend there.

  • Enstine Muki says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful stats Lisa!

    I just want to say something about the 80/20 rule people don’t get. I have been trying this and it’s crazy effective and brings me more real followers on Twitter than ever before.

    If I post 10 posts on Twitter a day, I make sure 7 – 8 are not about me. But here is the point – in each post that mentions someone else, I append via @enstinemuki For the most part, the people I mention end up following me and visiting my site.

    The idea is not just to promote others more but to let them know you did. As a matter of fact, most of those that share my post on Twitter, I end up creating a relationship with them.

    It really works and that’s what I love about it

    Thanks for the engagement over on my blog earlier Lisa. Hope you are having a beautiful week

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Enstine, you are welcome. Nice to see you back here. That’s interesting Enstine but isn’t it deceiving and not giving them credit or am I misunderstanding you? I don’t believe I’ve heard of that one before. So I share others and they know because I have the via @theirusername – isn’t that the same? Thanks Enstine, hope to better understand this one. Thank you!

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