It goes without saying that social media is helping businesses all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a small business at home or you’re a decision-maker for a Fortune 500 company – you can benefit from an established and thriving social media presence.
While many businesses use social media successfully there are important considerations that are sometimes overlooked, which can make or break this success.
Etiquette is one of these areas. You need to always keep in mind that your social media makes up a good part of your online brand and if you don’t practice good etiquette your branding can be negatively impacted.
Social media etiquette tips
If you’ve been using social media for a while, or are even new to it, we can all be prompted once in a while about the importance of etiquette. Here are some simple tips for a positive social media experience:
No one likes spam and unfortunately a lot of businesses are now making the switch from spamming via email to spamming via social media. This is the quickest way to get your social media profiles unliked and unfollowed.
Spam will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your customers and worst of all you could get banned or suspended if enough people report you.
At least one or two updates daily across your social media profiles is generally good practice, depending on your business and what you have to say. Obviously, hourly updates are too spammy but If you have additional and important updates for your followers throughout the day, go ahead and make them but only if it is very relevant and timely.
Be careful not to mention or direct message people on Twitter with the sole intention of directly selling your products or services and don’t use tools that are designed to spam social media profiles.
Hot tip: You shouldn’t blatantly promote your business on other business’ profiles – we’re seeing this more and more and we’d encourage you not to actively do it. Instead, follow other businesses of interest and share relevant content in your own profiles, which encourages others to share with their followers.
Provide relevant updates
It’s good etiquette to make sure that you provide updates on your social media profiles that are relevant and interesting to your fans and followers. If you consistently provide useful updates people will actually read and share them, which should be one of your goals!
Your business’ social media profiles is not the place to update your fans and followers about your personal life. Keep it professional and remember that your social media profiles are your online office. You’re supposed to act professional while in the office, right?
Be careful of sensitive issues and don’t insult or offend people. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there are no spelling and grammatical errors in your updates. Also, make sure that you’re providing accurate updates.
Hot tip: If more than one person contributes to your social media profiles ensure that they are across the important etiquette tips too. We also recommend an internal social media policy so that everyone is on the same page as to what can and can’t be said and done with your business’ social media presence.
Reply to your fans and followers
You have to expect your fans and followers to treat your social media profiles as your customer service department. They’ll most likely post a message or mention you on their own profiles if they ever have concerns, and they’ll also hopefully provide feedback.
It’s good etiquette to interact and reply to your customers, especially if they have important and timely issues or questions. No one likes to be ignored so use your social media efforts to reach out to your followers in a quick and efficient way.
What bad etiquette erks you and do you think it’s important to keep a check on how you act online?
Rhonda is a senior social media and online content specialist. Rhonda specialises in social media, content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and has a passion and enthusiasm for quality content, and its use in building profile, engagement and relationships.
Rhonda has a degree in communications and has completed courses in online marketing and SEO.