Facebook’s guide to digital communication: what’s the etiquette for businesses and employees?

We’re now seven weeks into the Covid-19 lockdown, and although gentle steps are being taken to ease lockdown protocols south of the border, many businesses won’t be considering a return to the office routine for some time yet.

So, communicating digitally will still be the main method of reaching out to customers, employees and stakeholders.

We’re reflecting on Facebook Messenger’s ‘Guide to Communication in the Digital Age’, which was developed in partnership with etiquette experts Debrett’s and released last year. The guide sets out the top 10 rules for users to consider when communicating online — but how do they translate for businesses, and how do they translate in this new digital age?

Here are our five top tips:

Have fun with your tone

Relationships with clients and customers often rely on the human element, and in a time when human contact is at an all-time low, don’t be afraid to inject some appropriate humour or an emoji in your online communications. When using social media, emojis, GIFs and images can be the ideal way to encourage engagement. Also, consider whether you really need to include ‘in these unprecedented times…’ in your latest email?

Know your audience

While humour and emojis are great for engagement, knowing your audience is key. Starting a response to an unhappy client email with “Happy Monday 😊” is unlikely to garner a positive response, no matter how good your intentions are.

Always respond

Always respond quickly, especially to customers and clients. Whether it’s to say you’ll get back to them with an answer within a time frame; or to admit that you don’t know the answer to their query but will respond as soon as you can, it’s just polite!

Keep it concise

As a society we’re more distracted than ever, so say what you mean in as few words as possible. As our Account Director Kirsten said in her recent blog: “Have you noticed that as technology advances, so does our use of complicated jargon?” When writing for social media, your website, or even communicating with staff tell your story, or make your points as concisely as possible.

Sign off with intention

All communications should have some form of call to action; whether you’re signposting to your website for further information, requesting feedback or a response to a question, set your expectations just before you sign off.

Of course, always double check your content for spelling and grammar before you send, and if you’re worried about how the content might be received, ask for a second opinion from a colleague before it goes live.

Are there any other rules for digital communication you’ve developed since you’ve been working from home? Learn more about how we assist clients with all their social needs here.