Social Media platforms are a great way to market your business but it’s important to follow these rules of social media etiquette to ensure you’re giving the best experience to your community and potential customers.
1. No Spamming
The biggest thing to avoid on social media is spamming. I see spam as any comment or post that is irrelevant to the discussion going on. If someone is talking about great things to do with your kids in the school holidays, posting a link to buy your Ray Ban sunglasses is spam!
Another form of spam is being too promotional in general even on your own profiles. Social media is a 2 way communication tool, you should be adding value and generating conversations not sell sell sell.
Stick to the the 80/20 rule if you’re not sure. 80% pure value for your audience and 20% promotion (MAX!)
Posting too frequently can also be seen as spamming your audience. Any more than one post an hour is too much!
Remember to always ad value to the conversation that is happening. Ask yourself ‘is this comment or post adding value or am I just trying to sell something?’
2. Limit Self Promotion
This is another form of spam. Self promotion is talking about yourself or your services when it hasn’t been asked for. Like posting to someone else’s Facebook group trying to sell yourself of your product. Unless there is a particular thread asking for you to promote yourself or your links the general rule is don’t!
This goes for LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups or any kind of forum. These communities soon loose their value when people start plugging themselves all the time.
Be helpful and contribute to conversations with your ideas, suggestions and opinions but don’t mention your business unless it’s asked for. Promote yourself by being a valuable contributor to the group, people will look you up if they like you.
3. Check Spelling & Grammar
Take the time to check your spelling and grammar. Most social media platforms don’t have spell check so if you struggle with spelling (like I do) then do a quick copy and paste into a word document and run it through the spell check. Even the quietest of Facebook pages will soon get heaps of comments as soon as someone spots a spelling mistake!
I know many people don’t care much about their spelling and grammar but just a few seconds to check will help create a much more professional image for your business and shows you care enough about your audience to take the time.
4. Keep it Professional
If you’re on social media for your business keep it completely separate from your personal social media accounts.
Personal Facebook profiles serve a completely different purpose to business Facebook pages so be sure you’re running your business on a page and are not set up as a person.
If you like using Twitter for yourself and your business create 2 separate accounts – and don’t get them mixed up!
5. Be Positive
This ties in with the above. If you want to have a vent on your personal accounts, fine whatever, but DO NOT do it on your business page. Nobody follows a business page to see you vent or have a little whinge so keep it positive! If you’re in a bad move, step away from the computer and come back later 🙂 Never post angry, stressed or tired!
6. Respond Promptly
Be sure to monitor your comments, messages and mentions on all your platforms. If someone asks a question it’s expected you will give a reply within 24 hours. No one likes waiting so reply as quick as you can 24 hours is a long time in the digital world so reply within an hour when possible.
7. Give Credit
This is a big one. If you find a post you love and want to share it with your audience – share it, giving full credit to the original author. This means on Facebook use the share button, on Twitter re-tweet. Don’t copy and paste and make it your own. It’s not nice, it’s not fair and it’s not necessary. Sharing a post relevant to your audience adds just as much value as an original post.
The biggest problem on social media comes with people posting photos that aren’t their own. If you want to post a photo with your posts use your own, buy a stock image or share with permission. If you’re going to go to google and search images at the bare minimum credit the original owner of the photo or the website you took it off.
Programs like Canva make it super simple to make your own images and have stock images for just $1.
8. Stop the Automatic Replies
Nobody likes talking to a robot! There is nothing worse than following someone on Twitter and getting than PM that says “thanks for the follow why not like me on Facebook too”. That kind of automation whether it sends someone to your website, free download or another social media page adds absolutely no value and everyone knows their automated. My instant reaction to that kind of automatic message is to unfollow the person as my first impression is ‘spammer’.
9. Follow with purpose
My pet peeve is businesses who follow for follow – then un-follow! This is a huge strategy even for some large businesses I know on Twitter and Instagram. The idea behind “follow for follow” is that a business will follow a user on Twitter or Instagram with the hope that they will follow them back. Now this can be an effective way to build a new profile but if you’re going to follow people make them people who are relevant to you, whos posts you want to see and don’t turn around and un-follow them once they follow you back. This strategy is just sleazy marketing and not good social media etiquette at all – don’t do it!
10. Be Relevant
The best etiquette on social media is to be relevant to your community. Make everything you post add value – educate, entertain and inspire your audience. Make sure your Avatar is clearly defined and then you can be sure everything your posting is relevant to them.
Do you have another rule you think should be included for best social media etiquette? Let me know in the comments below.