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What are Digital Manners and Why are They Important?

woman smiling in front of the laptopIt takes just a few seconds for potential customers to form an opinion of you. As a business owner we are aware of how we present ourselves in person, but have you considered how you present yourself and your business digitally? Digital manners, digital etiquette or netiquette is basically how your business shows up online. It is about using good manners in all your online communications and transactions from commenting on social media sites posts to email and your website tone.

Digital manners, like all manners in our offline interacting, are becoming somewhat blurred. What was once an absolute taboo is now becoming acceptable and, in some instances, expected.

Your businesses digital manners will set your business apart, elevate your status and in some instances open doors that would otherwise be firmly closed. Read on to learn more including:

  • Communication
  • Email Etiquette
  • Social Media Etiquette
  • Understand Different Social Platforms Have Different Rules
  • Stop and Think Before Commenting
  • Avoid Trying to Sell All the Time


Did you know that in a face to face meeting, 93% of the communication is non-verbal? When we are using digital communications that only consists of words; we’ve only accessed 7% of our normal communication tools. That is another reason why video can help bridge the gap to build online trust. We are increasing our communication tools when people can see you, hear you and watch how you behave.

Podcasts and audio communication fit somewhere in the middle. You can hear my voice, the tones I am using but you can’t’ see me. Digital communication, especially emails and text message, can often be misinterpreted especially when written in a hurry. Be as descriptive as you can when emailing, texting, and messaging as the person on the other end may not understand the context behind your words.

Email Etiquette

sending emailsNever assume just because you pressed send, or thought you did, the recipient has received your email. Following up is important. If you haven’t received a reply, call the recipient and make sure they received your email. Make time to respond to emails and messages sent to you and reply in a manner that is appropriate for the situation.

Capitals used in one word can be used for emphasis but anymore is shouting. Nobody wants to be shouted at so use all capitals sparingly. In some situations, you can get away with using them a little more such as headings where you have limited formatting options such as text message, text emails or Facebook posts.

However, for Facebook you could break up or emphasise your text with emojis. In long texts, you could use capitals more but do so with caution. Maybe you should be writing multiple text not just one? If you have an abundance of information you need to tell them a phone call or face to face meeting is probably best.

Social Media Etiquette

There are many do’s and do not’s when it comes to social media etiquette. Begin with the basics such as don’t steal others content and try and pass it off as your own, always credit content or photos that you use, avoid oversharing personal information, be mindful of other people’s feelings and don’t post other people’s children’s name if they have not.

Social media etiquette goes for both personal and business. If you wouldn’t want the information repeated at a cocktail party then don’t post it. Remember even deleting information still leaves a digital footprint so avoid posting it in the first place.

Understand Different Social Platforms Have Different Rules

There are many platform specific manners. Hashtags for example, are used more on Instagram and YouTube than on most other platforms. Keep up to date on each social media platform’s best practices. Connecting and then immediately spamming someone with a sales spiel is definitely bad business manners on all platforms.

Stop and Think Before Commenting

Think before you launch into a rant, rave or political comment on any post. Is this a good idea? How will my brand be seen? Of course, it is OK to comment, especially on hot topics, just think first, especially if you are tired, emotional or have been drinking. What seems funny last night might be damage control today.

Avoid Trying to Sell All the Time

Add value with your social media, not just try to get the quick sale.

Tom Hopkins who wrote “How to Master the Art of Selling”  and sold 365 houses in 1 year said

“Build relationships. You’re in the people business and learning to make people feel important and cared about will help you make both the initial sale and long-term sales over the course of time”.

Listen to Small Business Talk Podcast Episode 054 for more on this subject.

Does Your Business Have Digital Manners

Cathy at CATCO Enterprises is the Attraction Maven helping businesses attract their dream customers easily online

Cathy Smith has run the same Marketing Agency for more than 19 years and has helped hundreds of business owners achieve their marketing goals. Cathy’s passion and knowledge for digital marketing has helped thousands of businesses reach their dream customers easily online.

If you want to build your social media channels, increase traffic to your website or develop a digital marketing strategy for your business call Cathy on 0409 489 464 today.