Social Media Etiquette. Is there such a thing? Absolutely. Social media is an essential communication tool and a valuable skill to have for any business. If you are looking to build your brand online and handing these platforms to a junior marketing employee or a newbie agency, read on!
One important note, you’ll receive as much love and hate on social media. The response will be immediate. You may want to take your time to build your brand or stay away from hot topics. Ideally, train your staff and implement a social media policy for employees.
1. Embrace who you are!
Be the brand message; walk the brand message. Always speak with the awareness that you are speaking in public, while you maintain authentic to who you and your company’s brand message.
2. Be transparent
Unlike traditional companies, social media etiquette requires that you disclose any business relationship you have with a company. Also, if you have or will have financial support or sponsorship to anything you post or promote.
3. Play by the rules
Take your time and learn the rules of each platform. All of these rules are unwritten, but many people have written posts on how to properly engage with social media. In addition, if you work for a company, read their social media policy before you engage online.
4. Engage Often
It is considered proper etiquette that you respond promptly, however, from experience, this means that you need to ‘be online’ all the time. So, I think this is a grey zone. Also, it is very good of you to like, share and answer questions so that it is now always about you. Listen to the community first before responding. Remember to follow the rules of three, give, give, get and you should be okay. Or the other popular saying, “be a friend to get a friend.”
5. Fewer sales content and more interesting content
It is important to understand how much you share about yourself, balanced with good content while building an engaged community. Follow the 80/20 rule. That would be 80% of your posts should be value-add content and 20% promoting your brand and selling your products or services.
6. Quality versus Quantity
Once you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll find yourself testing all the tricks of the trade, like hashtags (#). However, most people tend to add too many hashtags, which weakens your message. One hashtag works! If you’re on Instagram, add space, which will allow you to add more hashtags.
7. Don’t be spammy!
As you build your network on LinkedIn, don’t promote the same sales copy in all 20 groups, and only update your profile to sell something. Again, people are looking for quality content. Be mindful of how many promotional messages you send as it will be on their feed, and you’ll be disturbing your community’s social media experience.
8. Have a goal with your sharing
Again, be mindful of your motivation when you share. Are you upset about your neighbour’s dog, need more sales or want to be seen as a leader. Today’s research shows that we are or want to be seen as the content we share.
9. Give credit where credit is due
Acknowledge the people who have supported your company or has helped to share your brand message to their community.
10. Facebook social media Etiquette
Facebook allows you to create different timelines for different people. Also, people on Facebook can be tagged, remember to ask before you tag people. Because Facebook allows you to add your high school, highlight your favourite restaurant and friends, accepting a friend request from a stranger can be dangerous – so proceed with caution.
11. LinkedIn social media Etiquette
Employers and clients will check your profile, don’t overstates your accomplishments and represent yourself accurately. You can sell using private messages and, again, don’t overshare. Do your homework before you send a private message. Check out the prospective client’s website and profile. If you have something in common or an area you can help, start from there.
Identify Your Company’s Purpose on Social Media
A brand or company without a purpose on social media will create weak and baseless content. How will you know what direction to steer your social program if you aren’t guided by clearly defined objectives and purpose for building your online audience via social media channels?
Start by asking what do I want to accomplish by being social on social media channels? While every company is different, objectives are almost the same – build the brand and increase lead generation.
Whatever your objective, remember to add KPIs to each one. Even for brand awareness, which can look like increasing fan followers and engagement from your online community.
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