Manners matter; in real life and online. The days of “faceless” or anonymous online personas are gone. As we rely more on the internet to connect on a business and personal level, digital etiquette takes centre-stage too.
It is about more than simply choosing the right words and checking your spelling. It is also about respecting those who you are communicating with. The memory of digital is unforgiving. The following Netiquette is as much tactical as it is practical.
Domains.co.za’s Top Business Netiquette Tips:
● Do send business emails from your business email account, and vice versa.
● Refrain from using emoticons in business correspondence.
● Create a clear, relevant subject line for your emails.
● Don’t send out unsolicited bulk emails (SPAM).
● Refrain from using unknown or unprofessional acronyms.
● Avoid using caps.
● Don’t send large files, rather use an online file transfer service e.g. WeTransfer.com and advise the recipient you are doing so.
● Respond to emails promptly.
Chats & Forums
● Common courtesies, such as: “Hello”, “how are you?”, “goodbye” and “thank you” should always be typed it out and not assumed. Treating people online as you would treat them face to face.
● Make sure you know what the rules of the group are, keep things professional and polite.
● Chats are ideal for quick correspondence and not the correct platform, or environment, for briefs or complaints.
Video calls for business
● Dress neatly and appropriately.
● Ensure that the visible backdrop behind you is tidy and neat.
● Wear a headset to limit background noise during a video call.
● Do not plagiarise – quote, or credit the source properly, or only use original content.
● Do not engage with internet trolls (negative people out to provoke others online).
● Do not reply to an email or a chat comment if you are feeling overly emotional in any way, rather ‘walk away’ and respond at a later stage.
● Update and ensure the accuracy of all online company information, including product & service information i.e. contact details, product details, prices, promotions, terms and conditions, etc.
● Always protect and encrypt customers’ personal information that is submitted online.
● Respect the data and time of those you send communications to.