Internet etiquette or netiquette is simply professional and social behaviors that are deemed appropriate online. This involves being polite and courteous to anyone you come across, the same way you should in the face to face conversations. It also covers things that are not exactly applicable in real-life scenarios, but are nevertheless relevant in real-life business commitments and relationships.
Netiquette is essential in the same sense that basic etiquette is important. Your online activities would reflect on you and your company no matter how much it deviates from how you present yourself in-person.
Anything you post or send online also leaves a digital footprint that could be traced back to you. Netiquette is important in running a business; one misjudged post on your social media page or one ill-advised email sent to an investor or potential client could spell the downfall of your business or at the very least mar the reputation you worked so hard to build.
Netiquette Rules To Live By
The online environment seems to bring out a certain level of recklessness and tactlessness in people. They tend to forget that anything they say, or rather post and send, online still represents them. It’s important to know the fundamentals of good netiquette.
Always remember that there is a human being on the other side of the screen. You are talking to a person, so always be courteous and respectful.
Always be mindful of other people’s time and bandwidth.
Practice control: Don’t let your emotions or the false security of anonymity override your good thinking. Also, it helps to keep in mind that your posts will be associated with you, so never post anything you wouldn’t want to represent you as a person and professional.
Know which part of cyberspace you are currently in. Proper chat netiquette differs greatly depending on what platform you are using.
- Share your knowledge particularly to newbies in the same way that you would assist anyone who needs your expertise in real life.
Presentation matters: Just like in presenting yourself in person, in the way you dress or speak, it would be wise to present yourself in a positive light online. Keep your posts clean, grammatically correct, and most importantly, relevant and with substance. Avoid posting content that’s inappropriate, very opinionated, or political-related.
Business Impact of Exercising Good Netiquette
A business’s success is not merely measured by how efficient you provide the products or services as promised, but by how you interact with all the people that are directly or indirectly related to your company – from leads to clients to investors to employees. The connections you build with these people could positively or negatively impact your business operation.
As the head of the company, with managing the business, looking over operations, and validating outputs, your plate is surely always full. You just don’t have the luxury to sit and chat with your people or to personally thank your customers and investors. The good thing is, there are now various means of communication, many of which are online. With this in mind, it’s necessary to act in a professional manner across all of your online channels.
Here are three major positive impacts on your business when you choose to always exercise proper netiquette.
1. Genuine Partnership
As previously mentioned, your relationship with the people you do business with matters. By not being rude, in-person or online, you get to build strong and genuine relationships. Not that you should expect something in return, but humans are more likely to give back to those who’ve shown them compassion. Choose to be kind, always.
For instance, by filtering your thoughts instead of directly typing online what pops into your head, you suppress any negative statements that might greatly impact your relationship with the people on that channel.
2. Strong Credibility
By observing call or email ethics, or whatever online platforms you utilize, you create a great impression not only for yourself, but for your brand as well. When you’re consistently considerate and sensitive, you showcase the utmost professionalism that eventually builds and strengthens credibility. Then once you’re credible enough, trust just comes out naturally from people.
3. Decrease In Miscommunication
With your hectic schedule, it’s understandable that you can’t afford to go around the bush when communicating. However, you have to be careful as there’s a thin line between being straightforward and being rude or arrogant. Due to the absence of body language, miscommunication is a common problem when using digital communication methods like texting and email. The last thing you want is to offend or piss off people you are trying hard to reach out to.
Proper etiquette should be practiced on all online platforms and devices including social media, web forums, emails, computers, messaging, and more. It always pays to make a conscious effort to be polite and courteous in all your dealings online as anything you post or send may very well come back to haunt you. In the end, it all boils down to respect – respect for others and respect for yourself and everything you’ve worked hard for.