Cape Town - Despite corporate and personal warnings, tweeters and
posters are constantly getting themselves into trouble with inappropriate online
activities. Many South African corporations have rules and guidelines for the use of
social media for their staff members, especially when their brands are at risk.
Internet etiquette, or netiquette, is a set of rules and best practices that encourage effective and
appropriate interactions when online. Treating others with respect, online and
in person, is obvious but digital online platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Linked In and
Facebook also have their own rules and customs.
Online microlearning platform Grovo has some tips to help you with netiquette
and their bite-sized on-demand videos make learning quick and easy. IOL has teamed up with Eiffel Corp, the accredited reseller for Grovo in Africa, to give you a chance to win 3 months access to the platform's wide range 2000+ lessons at the touch of a button. See details below.
“Social media blunders have cost employees their jobs, left brands panel-beaten and torn apart close relationships,” says C
lare Reilly, Marketing and Sales Manager at Eiffel Corp
Before publishing a post that could leave you red-faced, Reilly advises, consider the following
Each medium, including email and instant messaging and video chat has a specific
set of etiquette rules to be aware of. Rules might be stated, or they might be implicit,
such as age usage of a platform.
Communicating with a prospective client requires a more formal tone than arranging
the weekend activities with former student friends. Similarly when communicating
with a superior or older person.
“Whenever you share something online, you’re asking for your audience’s time and
it’s polite to give your respondent 24 hours to respond before following up. If you
require a response urgently, accompany your message with a DM or phone call,”
Reilly urged digital communicators to respect their audience’s attention by keeping
messages focused, concise, relevant, consistent and polite.
Maintaining platform consistency is also important. Keep all replies and
correspondence on the same platform, which keeps the thread together for easy
Whether intentional or not, over-sharing can reveal sensitive information that should
be kept private. These risks also apply to public channels of discussion, such as
timeline posts and comments on social media. Some information should never be
shared online such as phone numbers, home addresses, passwords and financial
This is dangerous and disrespectful, often violates the platform’s policies and can be
removed or legal action taken.
Online comment sections are notorious for being
contentious and sometimes unpleasant. Even forwarding an email can reveal
Studies show that online commenters abandon etiquette because they feel protected
by anonymity. Proper etiquette is essential to foster productive online discussions.
Give others the benefit of the doubt and assume a positive intent.
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What is netiquette?
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