Rule 3: 21st Century Social Media Etiquette
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George Bernard Shaw

Communication is about understanding and social media is about connecting. The etiquette of social media combines the golden rules of communication and networking or connecting with other people. 

When considering etiquette consider the "walls" of social media vehicles as a living breathing, human being. Social media etiquette is the same as etiquette towards other people. Would you put a post-it note or a t-shirt on another person to advertise your product without asking? Would you tell someone face-to-face in front of group of people that they were inappropriate? Would you spray paint on a public building profanities and insults?

"I want minimum information given with maximum politeness" Jackie Kennedy

My preference for social media is found with conciseness. The maximum amount of valuable information and politeness in the shortest space allowable. No matter how public they are, social media vehicles should be treated like personal property or the person themselves. Social media vehicles reflect and communicate a persons personal thoughts, pictures, and feelings. That alone should be respected should a Sophisticate be interested in connecting with them. 

The golden rule: Less is more. Conciseness and awareness is key. 

- To be a "friend" or an "acquaintance" is a privilege

Privacy settings allow for public or friends posts. Privacy settings are at the decision and discretion of the creator of the vehicle.Therefore, what they are okay with a Sophisticate posting on their profile is also their decision and at their discretion. The ability to be allowed access to another person's profile is a privilege not a right. 

- No soliciting- Requesting someone to follow or e-mail you? E-mail them

If you have an invitation or request for a meeting, send a message through e-mail or the social media vehicle. Unsolicited requests are considered "spam".  Spam in the real world is ham. Unless a Sophisticate is a pig or specifically Miss Piggy (A Sophisticate is a Diva), why would she want her comment to be considered  "spam"?!

- Tag people on all vehicles - Tagging people show respect and appreciation

Tagging may seem offensive or obtrusive but it a sign of appreciation. It is similar to providing a reference in a paper or when writing a book. Credit goes where credit is due. A Sophisticate can "untag" and set her privacy settings to un-allow unsolicited information on her social media vehicles. 

Pictures posted should have web sites credited and so forth. Although imitation is a form of flattery, it's a way to say 'Thank you'. If necessary send an e-mail asking for approval before it's posted or published on a social media site. 

- Like or Unlike, there is no in-between 

Negative comments are rude and inappropriate on a public profile. The public persona has a job and a purpose. That purpose is to make all of their fans happy with what they have to offer.

Being a fan means you "Like" a page therefore respect is appropriate. When a Sophisticate is a a "Fan" or like a page it means she respects or likes that public person or product. Negative comments are inappropriate. If a Sophisticate doesn't like what that public person or product, it is appropriate for her to "Unlike" or leave the page. If it is highly offensive and a Sophisticate feels strongly about it, she can send an e-mail remembering her politeness and the fact that anything documented can be used against her.

- Dislike button

Dislike button is for empathy and sympathy purposes only. If you dislike too many statuses, it is time for a Sophisticate to 'unlike' a page or consider the de-friend option (Sophisti-Etiquette Tip #2: De-friending).

A Sophisticate knows the dislike button is a privilege of being part of another person's life on social media. A privilege that should be used for positive not negative intentions. 

- Posts are vehicles for public announcements that can reduce 1,000 e-mails

Sometimes a Sophisticate needs to communicate vital information. Instead of e-mails and tons of meetings or mini-meetings she can politely communicate    her views or values. Given that she chooses to take that course, she remembers that social media is documentable and can be used against her or be misinterpreted.

- Apologize and say 'Thank you' on your status posts

It is okay for a Sophisticate to say 'Thank you'. She can make a general or specific 'Thank you' to people either to all of her friends or everyone all at once. A post is her microphone to communicate to others as in a public speech or presentation. If a Sophisticate has ever made a public speech or presentation  apologies and signs of gratitude are usually given and are appreciated by the audience.

 - A Sophisticate is not Perfect 

De-friending, unfollowing and negative comments are a way of life. A Sophisticate can't expect to be friends with everyone. Misinterpretations happen. Similar to when a Sophisticate is talking or getting to know someone face-to-face, she must expect everyone not to "Like" or be "Friend"  her. 

In the end, social media etiquette comes down to her purpose. The most important purpose of social media for a Sophisticate is sharing what she loves with who she loves in a concise manner with the maximum politeness. ;D