Utilizing social media as an online marketing tool is an essential in recent business strategies. Reports show that consumers are increasingly turning to the web and its various resources to determine where to spend their hard-earned cash. Thusly, the digital world has proven to be a milky way of opportunity; leading to referrals and networking opportunities both online and off.
However, there are some important “Rules of Etiquette” to keep in mind when operating social media channels for your business. These will ensure you are on the right path with handling issues and marketing online.
Here is a list we’ve compiled of some important Social Media DOs and DON’Ts:
DO make sure you have fully completed the profiles on the channels you have decided to promote yourself. Add clear brand images and relay important information about the services you offer in an accessible manner. DON’T leave customers guessing! Be sure that your social profiles give a clear, concise picture of what your brand has to offer. If customers have to guess, chances are they won’t be spending money on your services.
DO keep your online persona professional, polite and positive. Your business social media channels are not a place to air your dirty laundry, or tear down the competition. No one likes to see negativity on their feed, so DON’T complain about or bully other people or businesses. It’s also important to be courteous when reaching out to potential customers on your channels. For example, you wouldn’t respond to a new follower on Twitter with a Tweet like this:
“Hey @mrjoops321 thanks for the follow, if you want someone to fix that old website of yours I can for $564 call me #yyj #fixit #happytohelp”
The language in the above statement, while well-meaning, could end up offending the other person by implying how “old” their website is. Even worse, this type of response could give other viewers the wrong impression about you, and how you conduct your business.
Instead, you could respond with:
“Hey @mrjoops321 I look forward to connecting with you in the community, thank’s for the ____________ (follow, retweet, like, share etc).
This will open the door for further communication in an organic way that better facilitates further interaction online and off.
DO take the time to re-read and edit your posts before you make them public. DON’T forget about your spelling and grammar! Seeing typos and poorly worded sentences are not only annoying, but they also make your business seem unprofessional and unqualified. Make sure to use whole words and complete sentence structures, and avoid inappropriate slang and substitutions which can make your brand look cheap. For instance, don’t use “2” in place of the words “to or too”. It is important to put forth a polished social media persona so that other businesses and community members can take you seriously.
DO post frequently, and consistently. It is important to be actively engaged when promoting yourself on social media channels. However, DON’T overshare or get too personal online. If you are using social media to promote your business(say you own a consultancy agency or a healthcare business), chances are your followers and potential customers aren’t going to enjoy seeing you posting pictures of you and your friends drinking at the bar or what your outfit of the day is.
DO be a good listener. Pay attention to what your audience is talking about and how they are responding to your content. DON’T make your social media account a “one-to-many” communication channel. People will get tired of posts that don’t seem to be engaging with their interests or that blatantly ignore feedback they might have given.
DO select your social media channels wisely. DON’T sign up for every social media platform that exists simply because you think it is the best way to get your messages out to the most people. Instead, strategically plan according to which platforms most support your marketing goals, and where your target audiences are using social media the most. For example, a yoga studio might get more responsive customers by using Instagram because yoga is a very visually interesting practice and Instagram is a mostly visual platform! Whereas an accounting firm might do better on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook where they can post useful information and easily re-share relevant posts.
WHAT SHOULD I POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
DO use the 80/20 posting rule: 80% of your posts should be social, and only 20% should be about business. DON’T use social media to overtly sell your products and/or services. Instead, use your posts to inform, educate, and entertain. This will help build trust in your brand and show expertise in your field.
These DOs and DON’Ts tips will help you with your social media goals and get you on track with building a reliable online personality. Lastly, DO continue to examine your progress, but DON’T take lack of likes/shares/retweets as failure. Getting your messages out there into cyberspace is important because it shows you are active and knowledgeable. When people consistently see your messages, it will be more likely that you will stay in their minds for the next time your services and/or products are needed.