Category Archives: Social Media Etiquette

The Top 5 Ways Brands Can Annoy Customers

Is your marketing team ready to “circle back” to the social media discussion and you’re finding yourself short on bandwidth?

We have a list of the 5 most successful ways brands can use social media to irritate their fans as much as humanly possible.*

Get out the chalkboard, sharpen your nails, and get your loudest, quickest clicky pens ready – we’re going to discover what type of behavior brands can use to bother, pester, and all around annoy their consumers. Continue reading

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Brand

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Guess what I’m going to write about?

That’s right: not Thanksgiving. Even better, I’m going to write about why we should not be afraid to be ourselves – even online – even if you are a business.

Defining and refining the voice of the brand begins in the onboarding process. The onboarding process involves a lot of information, but one of the more critical parts is defining the voice. Every brand should have their own unique voice. Depending on the client, we suggest a possible position on the sliding scale of how our tone should come across when writing content.

Let’s say that one side of the scale is professional and the opposite side is personal. You never want to be completely on one side or the other. Rather, you want to adjust to be somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning more strongly on one side or the other. A financial corporation would do better leaning on the professional side, while a fun, hip restaurant would do better leaning on the personal side. In both situations however, neither lose touch with one side or the other.

This is what works. This is what we have seen work. This is what we have tried, tested, and proven to work. But sometimes, people feel that their voice should be “all professional, no personal.”

I understand the hesitation to relax and loosen up a bit. It’s your company in someone else’s hands.  And the people who want “all professional, no personal” have great intentions. But it doesn’t work. As an example, take a look at this clip from The Office.

Funny, right? But it also makes a point.

Social media is an ongoing conversation. Social media directly reflects how we communicate in person, as human beings. In fact, the success of a social media site will partially depend on how well it can best replicate the process of human interaction. Replicating this process online is a difficult endeavor considering scientists are still studying and trying to figure out the experience in and of itself.

There is one thing we can easily extract from human interaction however. It’s that we want to know that the people we are talking to are people. We want to know that the people we are interacting with have a voice. No one wants to communicate with talking heads (except for The Talking Heads). We want personality. We want charm. We want a little style and flavor.

The people are asking for it, so don’t be afraid. Give it to them. If you’re going to have a brand, you’re going to have a voice. Let that voice be heard.


Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, drinks an unhealthy amount of coffee, and searches for good conversation.

Social Media Etiquette: What’s Better than Elevator Music? Elevator Gossip!

by Gerrilyn Koontz
Posts | Bio

In the past few weeks, what seems to be the latest fad are elevator-themed Twitter accounts. Just as it sounds, these accounts are sharing snippets of conversations shared inside company elevators.

First, it was @CondeElevator which has, since August 11, stopped Tweeting. Making headlines more recently, is @GSElevator, run by a Goldman Sachs employee.

Here is a brief look at some of @GSElevator’s latest Tweets

For obvious reasons, Goldman Sachs wants this Twitter account terminated and has been aggressively pursuing the issue.While the GS employee says they created the account for amusement during the summer lull, he or she has gone to great trouble (like using an unregistered laptop that was paid for with cash) to keep their identity a mystery.

Where does Social Media Etiquette tie in to this? From my list of 15 Tips, I think this would fall under #15: Post wisely, post well.

Whoever is running the account has hopefully realized by now that if (and when) their identity is revealed, they will most likely lose their job. What may have started out as summer fun and games, as quickly snowballed into a much bigger situation.

What do you think about the mysterious @GSElevator account? How would you handle the situation if you were Goldman Sachs?


Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from Penn State in 2009. Originally from Birmingham, AL, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, SC with her husband Erick and their cat Reid.

Social Media Etiquette: Here’s A Definite No-No

There are so many social behaviors that can easily be associated with the phrase ‘good etiquette’: arriving on time, writing thank you notes, and men opening doors for women. (ok, that last one might be a lost art, but you get the idea).

What you probably haven’t thought about (as much) is the idea of Social Media Etiquette.  As online conversation and interaction become more & more a part of everyday life, it is important to think about the impact our words can have. Let’s start off easy by identifying a “Definite No-No”.

In March 2011, someone with access to the @ChryslerAutos Twitter account dropped the f-bomb when they tweeted: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive”.

Chrysler quickly took down the tweet and posted an apology saying that their account had been compromised. At the time, the account had 7,500 followers. Today (less than 2 months later), it has 10,000 followers. From the numbers, it looks like this could have been a publicity stunt (although unlikely). Let’s hope for social media etiquette’s sake, it wasn’t.

photo courtesy of

What’s the takeaway? If you have access to someone else’s account information, whether that be a friend, the charity you volunteer for, or a Fortune 500 company, double check before you make a tweet! (and especially before you tweet about #gettingslizzard)


Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from Penn State in 2009. Originally from Birmingham, AL, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, SC with her husband Erick and their cat Reid. 

Social Media Etiquette: An Overview

There are so many social behaviors that can easily be associated with the phrase ‘good etiquette’: arriving on time, writing thank you notes, and men opening doors for women (ok, that last one might be a lost art, but you get the idea).

What you probably haven’t given as much thought to is the idea of Social Media Etiquette. As online conversation and interactions are becoming more & more integrated in everyday life, it is important to think about the impact our actions online can have.

Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette professional, said it best when she wrote:

“Facebook is great tool for connecting to people, finding old friends and strengthening ties with new ones. Twitter and other online forums are also a useful way to stay in touch. However, just as with any social interaction, there are etiquette rules to help make social media a smooth and pleasant experience for yourself and others.

As a member of a team of social media experts, we have developed an array of best practices that our clients can utilize to enhance their brand. However, on the path to developing these best practices, we often come across worst practices. So, throughout this blog series, I will be discussing a number of real examples of, “some good, but mostly bad” posts from an etiquette perspective. We will critique them based on Diane’s 15 Tips for Social Media Etiquette:

  1. Remember, your posts aren’t just a chat between you and a few friends.You’re posting information and photos on a very public forum. Don’t put anything up that you wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing on the front page of the newspaper or on a billboard.
  2. Do your Facebook friends include a mix of family, acquaintances, business contacts, and buddies? That’s called “mixed company” and it calls for posts that are suitable for all of them. Posting comments or links that you would be embarrassed for your mother to read is a red flag.
  3. Don’t post anything on your Facebook page you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. Never assume the person that is interviewing you for that coveted job isn’t going to check out your social media pages. Recruiters and interviewers are interested in how you will represent their company “off the job” as well as during business hours.
  4. Request friends properly. If you have recently met or are not thoroughly familiar with a person you are friend requesting, write a quick message reminding the person who you are and how you know each other. Mention mutual friends or something that will make the person comfortable giving you access to their personal life.
  5. Don’t continue to attempt to “friend” someone that is ignoring you. And, certainly, don’t pick up the phone and call them to inquire why they have not responded.
  6. Thinking about “friending” your boss or clients? If your primary use of Facebook is to stay in touch with friends, think twice before “friending” those who may not appreciate the witticisms you post – especially when you’re on the clock or working on a project for them.
  7. Be prepared. If someone is bold enough to ask why you haven’t accepted their friend request, simply say “I just use Facebook occasionally for staying in touch with a few friends. It’s not a reliable way to communicate with me.”
  8. Facebook and Twitter are not synonymous with “Throw away all grammar and spelling rules.” Yes, with Twitter you must rely on only 140 characters and abbreviations are sometimes understandable, but outright misspellings, incorrect grammar, and slang are not.
  9. Don’t call in sick and post pictures on Facebook of your “sick day” at the races. You may be using your winnings while you look for another job.
  10. Don’t break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend over Facebook (or Twitter, text, voicemail, or email). Technology makes communication easy, but common courtesy still prevails when discussing any type of emotional or serious matter.
  11. Drop friends considerately. Facebook allows you to “unfriend” someone easily and discreetly with the click of a button. When you “unfriend” someone, each of you simply disappear from each other’s friend list with no fanfare or announcements. If you have friends who update their status 15 times a day with all the minutiae of their daily lives and you just don’t have time to sift through their postings, you can also hide the person’s status reports. This will eliminate the friend’s postings from your page and they won’t be aware of it.
  12. Don’t spam your friends with farms, mafia hits, and any other type of poke or game.
  13. Post photos with caution. Be sure you know everyone on your friend list before posting personal pictures of yourself and your kids. In terms of personal photos, how many photos do you really need to post of yourself?  Especially when you are the one taking the picture with an outstretched arm at a cosmetic counter, grocery store, car dealership, or beauty shop? Above all, please, no posting shots of yourself in a bikini or Speedo.
  14. Don’t post when you’re angry. Read your post before hitting send. Does it make sense? Are you ranting about something that will not matter in a few hours? Have you singled out or offended another person? Think carefully before posting something that you may later regret.
  15. Post wisely, post well. Your comments and links reflect who you are and what you value. Does everyone really need to know the details of your morning workout, that you just got your nails done or that you stopped at Starbucks?

This is just the start of a growing list, as I expect to add several more of my own as I continue my research. In the meantime, what rules do you think Diane and I are missing?


Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband Erick and their cat Reid.