Rules for Social Connecting

Don't mess with my rules of social engagement.

I’m constantly amazed by the number of LinkedIn connection requests that I receive – from people I’ve never met.

But I shouldn’t be.

People have different criteria for connecting on social media channels.  For me, LinkedIn is a place to connect with people – mostly colleagues and business partners – that I’ve done business with.  I consider LinkedIn to be an online Rolodex of people I know – or at least have had business or conference experiences with.

But those are my rules for LinkedIn – and not everyone else’s.

So I did my own review of my rules of connecting on my social networks.

  • LinkedIn – Business associates and colleagues.
  • Twitter/FriendFeed – I follow people that I find interesting or have the same interests as me.  I use Twitter and FriendFeed primarily as a work channels so I look for people with interests in social media, public relations, communications and journalism.  But I do follow friends and people who read and write books as well.  My only real strict rule for Twitter is that the person I follow have an active account, a photograph and a complete bio filled out (including where they live).
  • Facebook – I reserve for friends, family and colleagues that I know, although I have – on occasion – broken this rule.
  • – I allow all engagement in the comments section – even anonymous comments – as long as the person is respectful and polite.  I encourage, however, disagreement.  I delete all spam and any comment with excessive profanity or that is in poor taste.  I, of course, would love for more people to subscribe via RSS.

The challenge with social networks is that we all have different ways of connecting.  So it is easy to offend or turn people off people if you try to connect with them and you don’t know their personal rules of engagement.  This is a new type of etiquette that we’re all going to navigate as more people move to social networks.

Do you have rules of engagement?  What are they?  Does it bother you when someone inadvertently violates one of your rules for connecting?


Photo by Obbino (via Flickr)

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2 Responses to “Rules for Social Connecting”

  1. I feel the same way…I get them too. I guess that’s what being a good PR pro does to you : )

  2. I hope that’s the reason!

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