Minding Your Social Media Manners

It happened on a Friday afternoon. While working at my desk, I saw a notification on my phone that my mother had added to her Facebook story. When I told the rest of Team YMC what happened next, they all gasped in dismay.

My mother had posted a picture for her social media friends to see. Harmless enough, right?


My mother had posted a picture of my two-day-old great-niece before her parents had shared any pictures of the baby on their own social media. She scooped them before they had a chance to (or chose to) share them themselves.

What the rest of the team understood is that this is a no-no. It’s the equivalent – one team member pointed out – of sharing a picture of the bride in her dress before the wedding (something my mother also did, but that’s another story).

So why would my mother, a sweet, loving, albeit excitable woman, steal the thunder of my nephew and his wife, whom she loves dearly? It’s simple. She didn’t know better.

For those of us in the digital world and for the generations who grew up with the internet as ubiquitous of a utility as electricity, the manners we observe online are as ingrained as table manners and please and thank you. While the internet is often described as the wild west with people saying and sharing whatever they want, most of us observe the unwritten rules of social media protocol.

You may think this has nothing to do with your credit union’s social media channels, but have you taken a good look at them lately? What you may be surprised to see are comments that are completely unrelated to the post or photo being commented on. At YMC, we see it all the time. Sometimes, it’s a photo of credit union staff volunteering at a community event with a comment asking how to report a lost debit card. Or a person seeking information about an auto loan who asks a very detailed question on a post about a holiday closing. While this isn’t bad manners, per se, it reinforces the importance of being on the lookout for member comments in places that aren’t always the most logical. You’re on social media to promote your business but also to be social. Imagine a member who came into a branch and asked for help using your mobile app. Your staff would hopefully spend the time to go through all the steps in the process to make the user feel comfortable utilizing the service or feature. On the same note, patience with a member who may not be as savvy as some users on social media goes a long way to grow and reinforce your reputation for service.

Like we were taught growing up, it’s important to be kind and considerate and to use our best manners. We just need to update the thought a little for the digital age to make sure that etiquette makes its way to our social presence as well.

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