Running a small business successfully is all about relationships, from networking with colleagues to listening to crucial financial investment advice. However, the traditional methods of doing things have been challenged due to social media. 

In today's climate, professionals have to know how to act and communicate via these key tools. Talking online using sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn require a different touch than other forums, and there are plenty of faux pas that could get in the way of an expanding financial plan.

Because of these potential problems, small business owners may want to take note of a few useful steps to improve etiquette on social media.

Don't share too much
When it comes to a person's own social media page, they often have no problem sharing every little detail about their life. This includes their most recent meal, what they are doing for the night, the last movie they saw and their opinions about politics. However, for small businesses, a bit more discretion is advisable.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, over-sharing on social media is bad. The small parts of running a company probably won't entertain everyone, and it is better to keep things focused on the marketing strategy, building relationships and reaching new clients. This way, more time will be left to have actual conversations with other users. In fairness, it is easy to enjoy the benefits of electronic communication while forgetting the value of human-to-human contact. Small business owners should always find time to talk in-person, even if that means a simple phone call.

Be polite, respectful on social media
It is surprising how few people communicate with decency while online. It seems that the anonymity of the Internet empowers some to forget common rules of etiquette. This should never be the case for a small business owner, however.

Barry Moltz, of the Shafran Moltz Group, wrote in an article for the American Express OPENforum that social media users should be respectful of other people's content online. To put it into perspective, think about a colleague's Facebook page like their home. They wouldn't want another person coming in, messing it up and saying how awful everything is. This holds true while online, and it can be easy to forget that politeness goes along way, especially when communicating with an unruly customer.