Business Collaboration Meets the Enterprise Social Network: Etiquette

With all the recent attention to social media platforms due to the interesting commentary, fake news, and release of information on these tools, I thought it worthwhile to re-release an article I wrote 6 years ago. I have added a couple of updates to include the new Facebook Workspaces platform.

Business collaboration tools, such as’s Chatter and Facebook Workspaces are taking companies by storm. It makes sense, these tools provide the most efficient way to increase productivity, boost morale, and create a sense of community within your organization. But how should you “act,” post, respond, and question on these platforms? If you are already engulfed in the social media phenomenon in Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, then you probably already know or have a good idea as to how you should contribute to these collaboration tools. To address this, I have created an aptly titled list provided below. The list is called Business Social Network Etiquette. I know, fancy names, right?


1) DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS! Typing in ALL CAPS online represents shouting. Unless you are shouting and you want everyone online to know it and know it forever (because it does not go away), refrain from typing in all caps.

2) Do not post inflammatory comments. Trying to get a rise out of someone online is not the best way to show your professionalism.

3) Point out misguided behavior. If you notice someone is doing something they probably should not be doing eg. TYPING IN ALL CAPS. Help them out. Respond to their post or send them a direct message letting them know the error of their ways.

4) Ignore people who just don’t take the hint. The hint being they are not appropriately participating on the business collaboration tool. An example would be someone that has been corrected numerous times by their colleagues and yet continues to post inappropriately. Do not get sucked in by their antics. Simply ignore them and report them to the administrator.

5) Accept guidance from your community leaders. These community leaders are group leaders/creators, network influence[rs], and (for you Tipping Point groupies) connectors.

6) Keep your posts business oriented. This is a business site, so we should be talking about business.

7) Think before you post. A good way to look at it – DO NOT POST anything that you do not want your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss to see.

Remember these internal business platforms serve the great purpose of increasing communication, breaking down barriers, flattening organizations, and creating greater efficiencies through sharing. Don’t get caught up in the antics and daily “reality show” feel of what is happening in the “open” social media environment. Emulating these practices is not in your best interest within the organization.

Use the Washington Post Test

This goes back to Rule #7 Think before you post. If you would not want what you are about to share on the front page of the Washington Post, then do NOT share/say it.

How to Use Social Media to Improve Your Relationship With Your Boss ( Everything You Need to Sell Your Boss on Business Blogging ( How Google+ Is Changing the Web, Even Though No One Wants It To ( Networking for Survival (

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