Social etiquette is a tricky one to those who are new to the world of social. So, in the spirit of Christmas and giving we’re going to take you through from A to Z what you should be considering and carrying out on social media.
Obviously this is what we believe to be social etiquette, but it is an ever changing place, so always make note of the changes around you, as well as the general rules in place.
Auto messaging – Don’t over automate. It’s easy to begin with an automation for ‘Thanks for following’, then perhaps you automate a ‘thanks for liking’ tweet. But this can easily escalate, and it becomes quickly recognisable that you are just running purely off automation rather than real time interaction. Social media is for being social. Don’t forget that.
Bad mouthing competitors – No one likes a bully. Take the high ground and go with the old saying of if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Everything you put on your social accounts is a reflection of you. Don’t allow the first impression your potential new customers have of you be an ugly one.
Credit, give it where it’s due. It can be really easily done on social that you use a picture or post that you have like and shared, and then it gets lots of attention. Ensure you are sharing that attention with the original creator where possible. It no only expands your network on social, and shows good values. It also means it won’t come back to bite you on the bum later.
Distance your posts so they are not all in one block. No one likes all of your days posts with 5 minutes of each other. You clutter people’s news-feed’s. Then even with the most useful and carefully curated content, you will still get unfollowed. Spread them across the day so you can reach the most people possible.
Entertain and inform more than you sell. Always remember the 80/20 rule. No one wants to follow an account that just sells 24/7. The main purpose of your content should be to entertain and inform. You should be a valuable resource that people come back to time and time again, even if they are not necessarily buying right at that moment. 80% of your posts should be informative and entertaining, and getting to know your followers! You can use the other 20% of your posts for shouting about the great deals you have, or speaking more about the services you offer.
Finish your profiles. Nothing screams that you don’t care about your online presence more than uncompleted profiles. It takes a few moments to match all your profile pictures, add your address and other vital information, and just finish what you started. It gives off a really unprofessional image if you didn’t even have enough time or motivation to finish building your profile.
Grammar and spelling . This is possibly the easiest mistake to make on social, but can have devastating consequences. Though social is a fast game, always try and take 2 seconds to just read back what you are about to post. As even the smallest mistake can be bought back time and time again to haunt you.
Hashtags, use them sparingly. #Don’t #Hashtag #Every #Word, only use them as you need them, look at using 1 to 3 per tweet, but no more than 3 as if makes a tweet a little unreadable. And though it may increase your impressions, you are less likely to get people engaging with you.
Interact with the follower’s you have gained. Be social god damn it! If people are following you and taking the time to post, the least you can do is speak to them. This follows on from the don’t over automate point, in that you need to have real time interaction if you want to gain any benefit at all from social.
Jokes, make sure they are appropriate. Take note of your audience as well as the timing with current events. Posts taken badly on social media can quickly spiral out of control, and can cause you to go viral for all the wrong reasons.
Keep focused on quality not quantity, it’s not all about numbers. It can be easy to get tempted into buying followers, or following fake profiles to get loads back. Or even just following loads of accounts to get people to like you back. But it’s just not worth it, and is not good practice. Social for business is to gather together people who think the same way, and to for you to ultimately turn into customers. If they are fake, they cannot buy.
Links. Try and be as clear as you can about where any links you share go to, to build trust with your followers. You may want them to go and check out your latest deal, but if the follower didn’t realise that was where they were going, the highest stat you will have is your bounce rate.
Maintain your brand across all networks. Go for the same look and feel, so fans know they are on the right page. Having different images is okay, but it still needs to have that same feel to not only reassure current fans, but to attract new fans.
Network, are you posting the right content for the right network? It can be easy to cross post, and to have the ame post for all of your networks, but this just doesn’t work. Your LinkedIn audience may not appreciate your hashtag heavy post, or your Twitter audience may not be able to read that longer post ideal for Facebook. It takes a little more time, but you should always write for the network you are posting for.
Oversharing, remember this is for your business. Not everyone will want to hear your in depth views on a controversial subject, or know that you’ve eaten something bad. Be personal, but always remember where the line is.
Personal and business should be separate. This is quite obvious but apparently still quite a big problem, where people use the same account for both. Keep them separate to maintain tone. Also be aware of accidentally posting your personal posts to your work account.
Don’t be too quiet, people have followed you for updates, so post them. Yes it can be hard to find time, but schedule a little if you have to. What’s the point in having the accounts if you don’t ever update them?
Respond to comments and messages quickly. People do not like to be kept waiting on social. Answer as soon as you can or risk the wrath of the internet.
Spam – Don’t don’t don’t spam. I shouldn’t have to reiterate this.
Target audience. Remember you are writing for them, not for you. So do your persona research, and write posts that will entertain and attract your target audience.
Unite and promote other businesses who are doing a great job. This can be done in twitter business hours, or just when you use the services of others. Shout up about it and do a good deed. You never know how it might come back to you.
Visuals, use lots of them. Its proven that posts with visual elements do significantly better for engagement. It’s something you will probably find yourself that you are more drawn to visual content when you scroll through a news-feed busy with posts.
Wise words get shared, so remember to provide value. The more insightful your post, the more likely you are to get shared. Consider latest industry findings or stats, or words that you have followed yourself and found success with.
X-rated, have some common sense of what you share and if it is appropriate. Always consider what your audience may find inappropriate. You can’t please everybody, but you can do all you can to not go out of your way to offend or shock.
Yearly review – It’s good practice to take a look each year and see if there is any details that should have been updated both on page and within your security settings. Whether there is any new features to take notice of, and if there is anything else you need to update and review.
Zzzzz don’t reshare the exact same content over and over and over … You need to reshare things like blogs a couple of times, just to get it spotted in the flow of traffic. But if you keep sending the same posts over and over and over, its not only lazy but annoying too.
Do you think we’ve missed off any social etiquette which you follow daily? Let us know in our comments.