Monday, December 13, 2010

Online Communication Etiquette

One of the first guidelines of business communication I ever learned was to respond in like kind. This means that if someone contacts you via phone, you reply with a phone call. If they contact via email, you send an email and so on and so forth. In the age of social media, this rule still holds true. If someone contacts you via Twitter or Facebook, then it's fine to reply via Twitter or Facebook.

Here are a couple of thoughts I have about this rule and how it ties in with new media:

1. If managing multiple inboxes is slowing you down, it is perfectly acceptable to reply to a Facebook or Twitter business inquiry and ask them to email you instead. I do this in order to keep all of my correspondence organized and in one place.

2. If someone contacts you via a private channel (email, Twitter DM, Facebook private messaging or through a phone call), ALWAYS assume that the information provided is privileged and confidential unless they note otherwise. It is not okay to publicly reply to an email or phone call on Twitter or Facebook and reveal information from those conversations. In this day and age of such open communication, it is still important to respect another company's or client's right to privacy.

This post was originally published in March 2010.


Kelsey @ Kelsey Taylor Events said...

I'm glad to hear someone else thinks that! People reach out to you in the way they feel is best, and it is a courtesy to acknowledge that. I always feel a twinge of annoyance when I call someone, and they respond to me with a text to attempt and have the conversation that way.

Lindsey said...

Regarding managing multiple inboxes, I use threadsy to keep my @reply tweets, conversations and multiple email accounts all in one place. It will also scroll my twitter and facebook feed together!

It is an incredible tool that helps keep me focused. It's totally free- I highly recommend it!