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The New Tech Etiquette: How to make a great impression onlineHeather
Your mother always said, “Mind your manners,” and it’s no different online. Making a great impression in the digital space is vital to creating and fostering the important relationships you already have, and hopefully growing them into something even more beneficial.Want to know how to impress with your online etiquette? Read on for some easy-to-implement tips.

Texting and smart phone usage
Next time you whip out your phone to check what’s new, keep in mind …

  • Don’t be on your phone texting or browsing during a meeting, dinner, conversation, etc. Many think that glancing at their handheld won’t be as distracting as talking, but it can be just as annoying. Remind co-workers of this by giving each team member a Portable Electronics Case imprinted with your logo and the phrase “I’m too tired. Leave me out of the meeting today!”
  • Texting may be quick and easy, but sometimes the briefness can be misinterpreted. Consider attaching a short signature to all your outgoing text messages or mobile e-mails that says, “Sorry so brief – sent from my mobile device” to ensure there’s no confusion on its tone or length.
  • Smiley faces, LOLs and other emoticons or acronyms can be fun for personal use, but it’s advised to keep them out of business mobile correspondence. Definitely convey your personality, but keep it professional by throwing the lingo out the window.

Keep your organizational or personal blog presence stellar with some of these etiquette tips:

  • When your post receives a comment, be sure to reply to it to further the conversation. Consider encouraging reader comments with a monthly promotion, awarding the most fruitful commenter with a buzz-worthy tech gift like a USB Speaker Cube, Retractable Earbuds or MP4 Player — all imprinted with your logo, of course!
  • Content attribution rules still apply, even if blog posting seems more informal than an actual article for a publication. If you refer to someone else’s work or a related post, be sure to link to it – it’s not only good manners but also keeps you clear of plagiarism territory.
  • If commenting on another’s blog post, maintain relevancy and provide value to other readers and the post’s author. Steer clear of blatant self-promotion (i.e. “Check out our new product for help!”). Conversation is more important, and building relationships will reap greater benefits than cheap plugs.

Social profiles (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn)
When creating and managing your social network profile, consider these tips:

  • Because it’s common to use the same profile for personal and professional purposes, managing privacy settings is important to maintaining a positive online presence. Consider grouping connections and set privacy settings individually per group.
  • Be wary of choosing who to befriend on social networks. Connect with individuals who you know in-person, or have established a relationship with elsewhere online, to guarantee you’ll retain a solid reputation and have the bandwidth to connect with those who truly offer benefit.
  • Spamming is bad manners. Try to avoid sending multiple application-download requests to your network as well as fan updates from your business page. These continual messages will appear as spam in the homepage feed, and you may lose quality connections because of it.

Twitter is a relatively new communication tool, and with it come many questions regarding its etiquette.

  • Use @ replies to start conversations and re-tweet (RT) posts you find interesting. Being a part of the conversation will create lasting relationships more effectively than simply watching the feed go by, especially if your company is using Twitter to enhance its customer service efforts.
  • Upload a photo to your account to make you feel more “real” and distinguish you from spammers. Remind tweeting employees to upload a photo by handing out Round Portable Mirrors or Goofy Guy Pens imprinted with, “Let tweeps see your smile!”
  • Be gracious to those who promote you, your tweets or suggest others follow you. Give fans a big “thanks” for passing along your praises, and make sure to return the favour down the road.
  • Self-promotion (or promotion of your organization) gets old if it’s a constant topic of conversation. You may lose followers if it’s all about you, so keep the content a healthy mix of information, thoughts, recommendations, resources and genuine pride in your work.

Although the digital world is fast-evolving, and communication over multiple platforms is easier than ever, the same rules of etiquette still exist. Play nice, say thank you and foster relationships – it’s as easy as that!

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