Understanding the rules and etiquette guidelines of social media can make or break the success of your company. A poorly managed profile can make your business look careless and like you are not interested in your followers.
Last month, inspired by the recent craze of Pokémon Go, I gave you social media etiquette rules and guidelines for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While these are three of the most popular social media platforms, there are still many more out there. Keep reading for more guidelines on social media and specific insights into Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
Important Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
How often does your small business engage in proper social media etiquette? So often, a brand will think they have a handle on social media but neglect their customers and engage in poor behaviors and habits. To avoid falling into social media traps, here is a list of do’s and don’ts to best represent yourself and company.
3 Do’s for Social Media Etiquette:
- Do Use A Cheery, Familiar Tone
No one wants to feel constantly bombarded with different advertisements. Use a natural, conversational tone when sending out posts. Customers respond more positively to a human tone, rather than just another ad.
- Do Initiate Customer Interactions
Social media is meant to be social! Include open-ended questions and ask for the opinions of your customers; they’ll love to be included in the conversation.
- Do Decide Who Your Brand Is and Be That Person
Don’t lose focus of who you are as a brand and company. Be consistent with the content, images and helpful answers so your customers can get a feel for who you are as a brand.
3 Don’ts for Social Media Etiquette:
- Don’t Put off Responding to Your Followers
Customers expect a fast reply when they write a comment or complain about you on social media. Reply in a timely matter and customers are more likely to recommend your brand to their friends and family.
- Don’t Only Talk About Yourself
Not everything needs to be about you! Follow the topics and trends your customers are interacting with and get involved. They’ll appreciate seeing a company they love sharing their interests.
- Don’t Lose Your Balance
There is a fine balance between posting too much and too little on social media. If you post too infrequently your content may never be seen, but overwhelming your fans’ news feeds is just as bad. Try posting a varying number of updates throughout the week to see which yields the highest rate of interaction.
Keep in mind these rules for social media as you begin your business’ Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat accounts.
Understanding Different Social Media Platforms
Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are all strong players in the social media game and could be right for your business. Follow these do’s and don’ts for these lesser understood sites:
Pinterest is more than just for “zoodle” recipes and fancy up-dos; this social media site allows business owners to share interesting articles and helpful information with their followers. In fact, Pinterest currently has 70 million active monthly users and more than 50 billion pins on more than 1 billion boards! Get pinning with these tips for sharing on Pinterest:
- Do Keep Board Names Simple
- Keep board names simple so they will be more likely to come up in search results; if you have a board about food, name it something like “Divine Desserts” or “Favorite Recipes” rather than “nom nom nom.”
- Do Pick an Interesting Cover Pin
- These are the biggest pictures in a board and will ideally catch the interest of users.
- Do Interact with Other Pinners
- Interacting with other boards will increase engagement and show that you are active on the site.
- Do Write an Original Update with Each Pin
- Long comments and descriptions of pins have a higher interaction rate than ones that do not.
- Don’t Pin Excessively
- Try not to pin more than 10 consecutive posts at a time as this can overload your feed and may jam up the homepage of those who follow you. Instead, spread your pins out throughout the days and weeks.
- Don’t Pin Random Images
- While it is okay to post interesting topics, make sure they are related to a timely event or your brand in some way.
- Don’t Only Post Your Products or Projects
- Certainly share any new company information you have, but also pin articles you’ve read that are interesting and relevant to your services. Three Girls Media recommends following the 80/20 rule for content; 80 percent of updates should be non-self-promotional, while 20 percent of your posts can be about your business.
LinkedIn is considered to be the most professional social media platform of them all, and with that comes different rules than Instagram, Pinterest and even Twitter. If you are going to create a LinkedIn profile, here is a list of do’s and don’ts to keep an upstanding business image from Inc.
- Do Treat Your Profile Like a Professional Brochure
- Use a company logo or a professional image of your team for the profile picture.
- Keep information current and up-to-date.
- Do Choose Groups Carefully
- Pick groups that relate to your business and ones that you can not only provide insight to, but ones that you can also learn from.
- Do Be Active in Groups
- Posting regularly and with good information will establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
- Do Get Testimonials
- If you have positive reviews from customers share them here; it is good for potential customers to see that others enjoy your product or services.
- Don’t Be Self-Indulgent
- While it is appropriate to share awards or milestones your business has achieved, posts that are too self-promotional are not well received.
- Don’t Let Your Profile Sit Inactive
- We live in the age of social media and customers expect businesses to have active and lively accounts. Even if you can only post once a week, it is better than your last update being over six months old.
- Don’t Link to Your Personal Sites
- If you have a personal LinkedIn page or other social media account don’t include those links in your business profile; keep your business and professional life separate.
Snapchat is not a new platform for customers, but recently businesses have found it to be a useful tool; this may also be a relatively new platform for business owners considering the average Snapchat user is a female between the ages of 13-25. If Snapchat seems like a good fit for your business, follow these corporate do’s and don’ts from Talk Shop Media.
- Do Keep It Simple
- Just because you can have a 200 second story, doesn’t mean you should. Keep videos to about 10 seconds to make sure that followers actually watch your entire update.
- Do Post Exclusive Content
- Posting at an exclusive event or behind the scenes of your business gives followers a VIP pass to places they could never go otherwise. Check out this blog post on the show “Girls” and their expert use of the app.
- Do Keep Your Brand Human
- Highlight your brand’s culture and all the fun you and your employees are having in the office.
- Don’t Use Snapchat Just for the Sake of Snapchatting
- Just because you can add rabbit ears and a nose to your face or turn yourself into a monster doesn’t mean you should, unless it is related to your business’ content or products. It is a good idea to use these elements (although use them sparingly) surrounding major holidays or events; for example, go ahead and use the monster filter around Halloween!
- Don’t Go Off Brand
- Monitor how “silly” you let your Snapchat account become; stay on message and keep your brand identity in mind.
- Don’t Forget That Content Lives On:
- Your video may only be ten seconds long, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone after its run. While it may be tempting to share a risqué or controversial update, it may come back to haunt you… ten seconds at a time.
Starting Your Social Media Journey
There is a lot to learn and remember about social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat are all ways to share information, connect with fans and improve brand recognition. Keeping your brand image positive will help your business succeed online and in the real world.
If you are interested in beginning your own journey in social media, but don’t think you have the time, contact Three Girls Media today for a free consultation. We are happy to talk to you about building an online image and discuss what needs to be done for a solid social media campaign. In the meantime, check out these blog posts for more information on social media:
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