Are you just getting started with a social media strategy for your business? Want to know the basic etiquette you should follow before getting started?
We share 10 social media best practices in this infographic.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Understand each platform’s best practices
- Don’t be overly promotional
- Monitor posts frequently
- Maintain hashtag “hygiene”
- Be responsive; not reactive
- Don’t force a connection
- Don’t beg for (or buy) followers
- Remember humour isn’t universal
- Play nice with competitors
- Give credit to sources
Check out the infographic for more detail.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to get in touch with people in your network, connect with new acquaintances, and drum up interest about your business or product.
However, when you’re using social media for marketing purposes, it’s important to keep your audience’s best interests in mind. Keep these 10 social media etiquette rules in mind when crafting social media posts or responding to comments.
Understand each platform’s best practices
Each social network has its own culture and etiquette—and you’ll want to make sure you know what those are before diving in. In some cases, it may be obvious, but others may not be so intuitive.
Facebook, for example, is a more personal platform than Twitter, which is more about interaction with brands and information dissemination; that means certain kinds of information or content will perform better on one platform versus another.
It’s also good practice to at least know when you should be present; figure out when your customers or clients are likely using these platforms (do they rely on them for quick responses?), and prioritise your interactions accordingly.
Don’t be overly promotional
Do you really want people to unfollow you because your updates are only about how awesome your business is? Maybe it is, but if most of your followers don’t care, they won’t stick around for long.
Be sure to find a balance between what is important for them and what is important for you—otherwise, it will seem like there isn’t any connection between yourself and your audience.
If nothing else, remember that social media is an excellent way to engage with your customers on a daily basis. Finding ways to regularly use social media in customer service goes a long way toward improving brand loyalty.
Monitor scheduled posts frequently
Scheduled posts are easy to forget about, but they can help automate your social media marketing and ensure that your business stays relevant.
Schedule a reminder on your calendar to check in and make sure your posts are going out and you’re posting at a consistent cadence.
Not only will you be able to measure engagement, but following a schedule also makes it easier for followers to anticipate what kind of content they can expect from you.
Maintain hashtag “hygiene”
First and foremost, pay attention to your hashtags. There’s a difference between using tags in a playful, conversational way and overusing them so much that you’re no longer adding value to people searching for something.
When you go overboard with hashtags, they can get annoying. And when they get annoying, nobody pays attention to them anymore—which means your message isn’t reaching its intended audience.
Be mindful of how you use them. On Instagram three or four is enough; any more than that can be off-putting or confusing for users who are looking for relevant content.
Be responsive; not reactive
Don’t just do a knee-jerk reaction to everything that comes your way. You want to respond, not react, to what people have to say.
If you reply quickly to users’ comments and questions, you can give them a positive experience and create evangelists for your brand who will go out of their way to promote it to others.
This should be your goal for every social media account—to create customers who love you and want other people to know about you too.
Don’t force a connection
Never force a connection with someone on social media. This isn’t only an etiquette faux pas, but it’s also bad practice.
Prospective clients can get turned off by businesses who come across as pushy or desperate, and they may even share their experience on social media—which can be disastrous for your company’s reputation.
Treating customers well will be one of your biggest competitive advantages in any market niche.
Don’t beg for (or buy) followers
Buying or begging for followers isn’t only useless, it’s also a waste of money.
If you want to build up your brand in an organic way, then you need to follow users who are interested in your area of expertise, not just anyone with a larger following than you have.
Users are more likely to engage with brands they know and trust—something that takes time to establish organically. Buying followers doesn’t help you here.
Remember humour isn’t universal
This is a particularly important piece of advice for those planning to use humour in their content. Although your sense of humour might be extremely popular among your friends and family, you’ll need to tailor it a bit if you want a larger audience.
Remember that humour can easily come across as offensive or disrespectful to someone else even though you don’t mean any harm by it.
If there are certain topics that could cause offence (e.g., politics), avoid making them part of your brand personality or even referencing them all together.
Play nice with competitors
Treating your competitors like enemies won’t get you very far. It may be tempting to diss or discredit their brands, but it only encourages negative attitudes towards your brand and other businesses in general.
Instead, create content that focuses on educating potential customers about what makes your business better than any others out there—and do it in a way that doesn’t malign anyone else in the process.
Give credit to sources
Whether it’s a news story, an image or video you want to share with your audience, always make sure you link back to where you found it. Don’t steal; give credit where credit is due.
Not only is it important for legal reasons but also, sharing content that gives credit to its original source shows your audience that you respect them and appreciate their time.