Understanding Social Media Etiquette

By: Tree Ryde, May 19, 2015
Understanding Social Media Etiquette

Are there rules and boundaries to stick to?

Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s right and what might be right to put on social media. I’ve been there. You’ve had a bad day, started by waking up on the wrong side of the bed, coffee was cold, the pants you wanted to wear are not clean…need I go on…you are stretched to the limit by the end of the day. Your first instinct? To rant and where via Twitter or Facebook? This is where you might normally share the angst of your day. But this isn’t about the barista getting your coffee order mixed up: you are a health professional, you are the one that makes someone else’s life better.

Being active on social media can build your business if you or smart about it and realize that what you say on there can be read by thousands of people. THOUSANDS. Millions if you are Ashton Kutcher. I can assure you that anyone making use of social media to build their business takes it very seriously and you need to as well. Why? Because being aware of the etiquette of social media interaction can make or break your online reputation. Well I thought you might like to know that so …

Here are my top 8 Social Media Etiquette Rules:

 1. Once it is on the internet, it is ON THE INTERNET

Every, tweet, post, rant, pin or article gives the public the opportunity to comment, re post, re tweet etc. And this can make or break you. So before you put something on the internet, before your little (or big) finger hits publish or post, take a moment and re read it. Ask yourself: is this the message I would like to put out there about my business?

2. Do not go for shock value

What you do on the weekend is between you and the weekend. When you share it via social media, especially if it involves you not quite remembering the weekend, you’ve just made it between you and anyone who follows you. They won’t distinguish between personal and professional tweets but you need to. Remember: your personal messages can cross over to professional and you might find yourself with more time during the week when people stop using your services.

3. Do not be the overshare-er

People do not like getting moment to moment updates about your business. They will leave you faster than you can send your next post. And word will spread. I always ask other friends of mine about a new friend request I received. If they are a post-a-holic….they get DENIED! Post according to a schedule which should be once a day or once every other day. I’m not saying don’t share a key piece of information if it’s worth sharing, but the office supplies showing up don’t count.

4. Publish from a positive place

Nobody likes a negative Nancy! Keep things light and positive or funny. Shine a light and open doors rather than being dark and negative. This is where some timed posts come in handy so on the days you’re not your best, you don’t have to put that out there just to be active online. People want to know how to make their life better not listen to all the negativity that is out there. You are a wellness professional, so be a wellness professional! Also an added bonus, they might share it on their social media as well.

5. Tagging someone in a post

You should always always ALWAYS ask for permission before you tag someone in a post or picture. If I am promoting a class or workshop, I ask the class if it is ok to take the picture and then I ask specifically if I can post it on Facebook or wherever I was intending to use it. You never want to just assume that they are OK with it. I had a student stop going to another studio because she was so embarrassed that the studio used a picture of her on their website. The goal is to grow your business not shrink it so be respectful and ask!

6. Do not demand likes or followers

Your students or clients are coming to you for your help and expertise. If you ask them to follow or like you on social media, especially during an appointment, some will feel intimidated in to saying yes. That’s not what you want. Some might not even feel comfortable with social media and then yikes! Have your social media on your website or promote it in your office and then let your patients / clients decide. If you post great content, they will come.

7. Be professional

Treat clients / patients the same way on line as you would when they walk in to your business. If you wouldn’t be sarcastic or derogatory in person, then keep that kind of banter off line too. The disadvantage of posting online is that there is no body language or facial expression to go along with your words. No matter how comfy you and your patient / client might be in person, no one else knows that.

8. Smile at the world and it will smile back at you

There will always be someone out there that loves to hate and that will not like what you wrote. Do not retaliate. Ever. Just smile and move on. You need a little bit of a thick skin to put yourself out there on the net. If they are about your business, politely answer but don’t escalate the situation. Why? Because it’s not worth your time or energy to be negative. Remember #4?

With great power, comes great responsibility (Spiderman’s Uncle Ben was really on to something with that one). Being online is a responsibility that you need to have fun with but take seriously. I hope these suggestions make your social media adventures a positive one. After all, to take liberties with Peter Pan’s famous saying, “To post will be an awfully big adventure.”(Love Peter Pan, he wears yoga tights…I think..LOL)


After 12 years of being in the rat race of the fashion industry Tree Ryde was looking for something to calm her mind body and soul and she found it in yoga finishing her 200H at Kula Yoga in 2007. She was addicted and wanted to deepen her practice of meditation and study the sub-conscious mind. She became a hypnotist in 2014 and works part time at the Burlington Hypnosis centre. Helping clients with anything from weight loss, quit smoking to nail biting. Tree also loves exercise and cook whenever she can, and is always coming across new recipes that are both delicious and nutritious