Tech Talk

Social Media Etiquette

At Spry Digital, we work with clients on engaging customers on social media. One of our roles is to help customers understand social media etiquette. As a frequent user of social media, I am often surprised by how people treat each other and what is posted for all to see.

If you are a novice to social media but want to connect with family or use it for your business, test each network and decide which is best for you. Based on a 2015 Pew Research Center study, 62 percent of adults have a Facebook account. If you want to connect with individuals for professional reasons, LinkedIn is the go-to outlet.

Once you decide to engage on social media, set your privacy preferences, which allow you to limit the content others see and share about you. If you are running a business or brand page, you’ll want to keep your settings public. The site offers some helpful rules to keep in mind:

1. Don’t hijack posts by recommending your own company or services. It’s fine to share your expertise, but don’t sell on other people’s posts.

2. Be clear how you know someone you want to connect with. Tell people how you know them or where you met. This will make it more likely that they will connect with you.

3. Profanity and threats are not welcome. If you see this behavior, feel free to hide their comments and posts.

4. Give others credit when due. Sharing articles, pictures or quotes of others is a great way to engage online, but be sure to tag people or use their Twitter handle when doing so.

Recently, Claudia Sittman, a middle school teacher, wrote a letter to the Webster-Kirkwood Times. She shared an acronym to use when deciding whether to post something on social media: THINK.

■ Is it True?
■ Is it Helpful?
■ Is it Inspiring?
■ Is it Necessary?
■ Is it Kind?

check out
Dementia Diaries encourages people to record audio diaries (

try out
Manage your social media accounts with Hootsuite ( or SproutSocial (

Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and co-founder of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency that delivers smart digital solutions. Catch her weekly Spry Hive at