Social Media Etiquette for the Young Professional

In our fast-paced world of deadlines and meetings, happy hours and dating, family and friends - one of our best ways to stay plugged-in is social media. We love it! But as young professionals, it’s important to understand the impact every post, tweet, pic, and snap can have on our own personal brand. Used effectively, social media can enhance this brand. Abused, it can lead to some heavy consequences.

Here are some key tips for young professionals when it comes to social media presence:

Create an honest, real & warm cyber-environment

It’s not all about you, well it is, but not completely.

  • Capture experiences, not things. Your family, friends, and trips are often more interesting and revealing than that gourmet burger you ordered.
  • Use your posts to highlight other ideas or organizations that you believe in.
  • Give praise, where praise is due. Interact with social media – it’s a living, breathing thing. Like other’s posts and respond to comments.
  • Show that you are human. Those staged images of your “amazing” life (whether true or not) fail to show your authentic self and depth. To error is human- imperfection is what makes you unique!

No fight zone

Don’t be a troll!

  • Resist creating cyber-wars. Those involved will never reach a resolution and those not involved will be laughing about it from behind their screens.
  • Do not use social media as a platform for personal revenge against someone who has wronged you.
  • Keep polarized issues to a minimum. Unless this issue is one that you are strongly connected to and strengthens your personal brand. Side note, be prepared to engage in an educated discussion of said issue when the naysayers appear.

Add value 

We reap what we sew.

  • Use your influence to share resources, provide helpful tips to other young professionals, educate on industry trends, and highlight relevant events.
  • All posts should enhance your personal brand. If not, it’s just taking up space in your friend’s feed.
  • Use hashtags effectively and sparingly.
  • Keep in mind that social media is not an emotional dumping ground. Facebook will not hug you, nor will Twitter take you out for ice cream after a bad day. Find a better and more receptive outlet for venting, like a friend, spouse, colleague, or in some cases - shrink.

Think before you leap 

You could be jumping headfirst into disaster.

  • Always give yourself time to process a post. Is this something I will regret tomorrow? Am I okay with those I respect the most seeing this on my page? There’s a difference between a picture of friends cheering a success, than one of you upside-down on a keg.
  • SPELL CHECK and re-read multiple times before hitting “enter”.
  • Many of us have multiple same platform accounts nowadays. Make sure to check you're on the right handle before sending.

These are some simple guidelines for creating a social media presence that’s appropriate in and outside of the office. Remember, be kind to other’s feeds and keep posting to a maximum of three per day per platform. For more tips check out this article from Keith A. Quesenberry, author of Social Media Strategy here: Happy posting friends!


Written by Joe Hernandez 2017/18 PAC Chair & Second Vice Chair