article in the New York Times, providing you with general principles about digital etiquette.
This week, some specifics:
Email signatures: Should you use a digital signature? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re selling something, include a link to whatever you’re selling. Ditto if you’re very active on social media: Include a link. An email signature can even be inspiring. The signature of TV producer Shonda Rhimes states: “Please Note: I will not engage in work emails after 7 p.m. or on weekends. IF I AM YOUR BOSS, MAY I SUGGEST: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.”
Direct messages. A direct message — DM — is a one-on-one conversation with another user hosted on a social media platform. Most of the places you spend your time online — like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and so on — offer some form of DM communication.You can DM just about anyone, whether you know them or not, without needing to know their contact information. The barrier to communicating with people outside your realm socially, professionally and geographically is shrinking. A DM is tantamount to sitting across the table from someone who has given you their time and their openness. You want to use that opportunity well.
1. Keep it short. Think a few sentences, not several paragraphs. “When DMing, give the recipient the information they need. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, suggest moving it over to email within the first two or three messages.
2. Don’t make demands. If you’ve never sent somebody a message before, your first message to them should never be a request of them.
3. Avoid chasing someone across several platforms. Don't send DMs across multiple platforms hoping to catch the person's attention.
4. Be interesting. Use your introductory message to offer something relevant to the person you’re DMing (a video, an article), and say, “Here’s something I thought you’d find interesting.”
5. Never assume this is a private exchange. Anything we write through direct messaging could become part of a public post. Act accordingly.
6. Explain why you’re reaching out. Be specific. Pose precise questions, such as, “I’m wondering about the following two things.”
7. Check your DMs regularly, especially your requests folder. This way you won’t miss out on any professional opportunities. Ninety-two percent of H.R. people use social media before making hiring decisions. DM might not be the place you sign the contract, but it could be the place you first shake hands.
8. Let people know how you’d like to be contacted. Consider sharing your email address in your social media profiles, along with a note that lets people know how you want them to connect with you and what you wish to connect over.
9. Be realistic. If you admire a person in your field or industry, chances are that other people do, too. It’s probably not personal if they don’t respond to you. You’re allowed one follow-up email if your DM is unanswered. Saying something like, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I just want to make sure that you saw that I asked you about X,”
Lastly, when using social media for work purposes, Don't use emojis. Consider using emoticons sparingly.
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