What do Confucious, Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump have in common…

… they are quoted hundreds of times a day on Twitter.

For the record, I like a motivational quote as much as then next gal.  The targeted quote used to introduce an article or chapter can be informational and inspirational, but thousands of quotes a day on Twitter are just Internet fodder.

Successful social media aficionados have to post and tweet many times a day even if they have nothing of consequence to say.  Right?   No. You can reach your desired audience with interesting and beneficial information while maintaining your decorum.  Got to use a quote here – “Less is more” Robert Browning

Etiquette in the virtual space has the same rules as in the physical space.  You would never spam someone at a dinner party and if you did, you wouldn’t be invited again.  Before jumping into your sales pitch, you’d take time to get to know the person and establish rapport. Before sending endless correspondence, you’d ask permission and if declined you would happily respect the request.

Online doesn’t mean anonymous. In fact, your local online community is a just that – a community.  Although it’s larger, it still has the same expectation of etiquette, manners and acceptable behavior as any community. You are expected to be polite in person and online.

Facebook and other online social sites give us the opportunity to have more friends than ever before.  That’s because we can more easily keep up with the activities that make us friends.  It is estimated that before social media, we had an average of 150 friends.  With social media, that average is up around 700.    But we still expect kindness, politeness and courtesy from our friends.  I like Aliza Sherman’s 10 Golden Rules of Social Media as a guide to using the online communities. Regardless of the media, we are people communicating with people.

As the social media and marketing experts (that’s all of us) decide what is an effective online strategy and as our expectations of social media as a marketing tool are redefined, we should remember what our mothers taught us –

If you can’t say something that’s not spam, don’t say anything”

“There is no substitute for good manners”

“Silence is golden”

and “Don’t forget the Golden Rule.”

Until next time … shhhhh.

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