There are certain rules that you can’t find in books. They are often referred to as unwritten rules. Baseball has a lot of them for some reason. But, we’re not talking about baseball ones today. The unwritten rule we’re talking about simple. Following it can propel your career or standing among peers. Not following it can reveal your character and bring much of what you work for to a crashing halt.
“If someone takes time out of their schedule to write something to you, your team, group, etc., you need to respond to them.”
Even if you don’t write more than “thank you” and the person’s name, a response goes a long way. And, I can guarantee you the person remembers who responds regularly and who never does. I’ve been reminded of responses years after they occurred. I also know people who lost good standing by not responding. Its not petty, its courtesy and sign of a trustworthy, appreciative, humble teammate.
Additionally, don’t think because the person writing is not on your team or your title level that you can ignore it. That goes to another unwritten rule: “Treat every single person the same because you never know who they are.” If someone says “hello,” you say “hello” back. Tell people “good-bye.” Smile and say pleasantries.
This is what common courtesy is.
Now, how does it translate to social engagement on social media. It is the very definition of “social.” Without engagement, there is nothing social about it. If someone takes the time to comment on a post, you need to give them the courtesy of a response back. That is what social engagement is.
Diving a little deeper, it is baffling to read people posting that they lost followers and can’t understand why. Yet know they do nothing but post or complain, and seldom engage with their contacts. Why should someone continue to follow you if you don’t reciprocate the engagement? How would you feel if you made several comments and they went unrecognized? I know I would feel slighted.
Think of it this way. If someone asks you a question during a meeting or congratulates you after a race are you not going to respond? Of course you will respond. So why should it be any different digitally? Especially when we are living in a digital era.
In the same vein, take time to read what people post in their captions instead of just double-tapping for a like. You’ll be surprised what you are “liking,” as sometimes the photo doesn’t match what is written. I’ve made this mistake a couple times, and have corrected it. Also when someone has a thoughtful caption or a question in there, I try to respond.
Common courtesy, decency, and respect go a long way. And, you never know how far a simple comment or thank you can take you.