1. The number one rule of social networking is to offer to help others before asking for anything in return. You can even go so far as to help others without expecting anything in return. Serve others before serving yourself. Keith Ferrazzi , author of ‘Never Eat Alone‘ put it best, “The currency of networking is generosity.”
  2. Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Talk about other stuff – share relevant industry articles, not just ones about you or your company, be happy about others’ achievements and share their good news, ask other people about themselves once in a while.
  3. Don’t monopolize the conversation. If you’re just pushing out information without ever engaging with your followers, answering their questions, thanking them, having a little back-and-forth dialogue, then you’re missing the bus. And no one’s gonna wanna follow you for long.
  4. Don’t be a bully. Trolls, flamers and “bashtaggers” are the online equivalent of the playground bully who goes around picking on the little kids. It’s easy to hide behind anonymous social profiles, but that’s just cowardly and uncool. Be nice.
  5. Don’t take what’s not yours. Always give credit where credit is due and don’t steal others’ proprietary work. What goes around, comes around.
  6. If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it online. Watch what you say and do… it’s all immortalized online.
  7. Say please and thank you. This one’s a no-brainer. Thank others for following you, retweeting you, sharing your content. Thank them by sharing their content, following back or acknowledging them on Follow Friday. Jump onto the comment thread to thank people for sharing their thoughts. Those “magic words” go a long way.

Originally written by: Stacy Donovan Zapar, the most connected woman on LinkedIn since 2008 with more than 40,000 1st-level connections, and 85K+ followers, making her the #5 most connected person out of 400 million members worldwide.