When was the last time you went to a client meeting or a business dinner with a speaker phone and announced to the whole room your political views?

Have you ever begged your clients to like you and follow your every move?

Surely you haven’t called a company meeting on a bad day to air out your dirty laundry and all your woes.

There’s no way you’ve gone from client to client saying the exact same thing to each of them, interrupting them to interject your totally unrelated chatter.

Ever shown up to work scantily dressed? I didn’t think so.

It’s ridiculously poor etiquette. All of the above. We’d never do such things in real life. But what about behind a screen?

You see the parallels. We’ve all made some social media faux pas in our lives. But you’re a businessman or woman now. There’s no room for poor social media etiquette anymore.

Here are some tips to ensure that you don’t throw out your whole career with one unprofessional social (media) move:

Separate the private from the professional.

It’s probably time to cut ties with yourself. Leave your past etiquette mistakes lost deep inside your personal page. Then create a professional page where you won’t have anything to hide. Use an app like Hootsuite to help you organize your various social media accounts.

You’ve spent (or will spend) countless years and heaps of money developing your professional presence on social, so don’t destroy it all with your personal mess. Think before you post, use tools to help, and keep it professional.

Remember who’s watching (or reading).

Do you know who your audience is? Don’t send out a single post until you’re aware of who you’re talking to as well as who you want to be talking to. Think of social media as your place to start and continue good conversation. It’s not about shoving your opinions or ideas or even your business down an unsuspecting follower’s throat. Quite the opposite. Social media is your opportunity to hear out your clients and build lasting business relationships (and maybe some real life friendships, too).

Be (better than) a good human to other humans.

Social media automation is a thing. A good thing. But it needs to be used appropriately. As soon as your followers realize that your social presence is actually robotic, you’ll start losing popularity fast.

In the spirit of being human, humans want you to respond as if you’re staring at your screen waiting anxiously to jump at the chance to answer every question and complaint. (It certainly feels like that sometimes, amiright?) Okay, everyone knows that’s not the case, so you’ve got roughly an hour, maybe two, to respond. If that simply isn’t feasible, delegate!

Don’t be a foolish follower.

At some point in your social media existence, you’ve had someone follow you then leave a comment completely unrelated to any of your posts, essentially begging you to follow said spammer back. How many times have you dropped everything to follow back? Oh you never have? Me either. Don’t be that account.

Be picky about what accounts you follow. If it’s not beneficial to you in one way or another, don’t bother. Remember, quality over quantity in all the areas.

Be kind to your enemies.

I don’t care how much your competitor deserves a slap in the virtual face, and neither do your followers. Keep it civil. Keep it kind. Or keep your virtual mouth shut.

Chill with the excessive posting.

You will be doing yourself a favor if you limit your posting to once or twice a day. Max. Yep, go ahead and give a nice long sigh of relief. Your followers are, too. Excessive posting is obtrusive, annoying, and quite frankly, rude. And it takes a whole lot of your time away from what really matters- your followers/clients/customers.

If you’re having a special promotion that’ll lead to more posting than usual, give your followers a heads up. They’ll appreciate it, and maybe even look forward to it. Let them look forward to your posts! (For more on posting etiquette, check out this post.)

Contact the professionals.

If your social media etiquette has been less than stellar, Blackwood just might be your saving grace. If you’re officially too afraid to post anything at all now, Blackwood has the necessary backbone. If you want to dominate in social media professionalism, Blackwood is your secret weapon.