So you are a business owner and you use social media to enhance your business profile or promote a product or service? The fact that social media is a fluid entity that constantly evolves, it can be difficult to stay on top of the correct etiquette. You could of course pass all of your social media management to an experienced SEO company which is an excellent strategy but there will still be times when you need or want to post something yourself. If you only use the platforms infrequently there are a minefield of usage rules and nuances to navigate. If not followed correctly, these etiquette issues could leave you looking unprofessional and leave your audience with a negative impression.
To help alleviate any possible “faux pars”, here are:
10 Don’Ts for Your Business Social Media Account
1: DON’T: Be needy
If you have personal accounts, for example on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, it is acceptable to inform those connections that you also have business pages. Let those contacts know what to expect of your business pages when they follow you. It becomes problematic when you begin begging. Constantly asking Facebook friends to like your page or asking Twitter followers to “please retweet” devalues your brand and your business. You can achieve likes and retweets by using quality content that your followers would be delighted to share with others.
2: DON’T: Spam
A huge “No, No” is spamming. Everything should be in moderation, retweets, comments, posts and shares are part of the platforms’ connectivity. No one wants their social media feeds swamped from one single account. This is the easiest way to get unfollowed. If you have a self-promotional message to post, don’t join loads of different groups just to post your message without any interaction with other members. Another common mistake is following 100’s of random Twitter users in the hope that they will follow you back, chances are, they won’t. Do not post any promotional content where it is prohibited to do so, you do not want that impression left on the other users.
3: DON’T: Moan & Complain
It is a fact of business that not all interactions with customers or other businesses go as planned. It will be seen as very unprofessional to complain and moan about a customer after an interaction wasn’t positive. Remember you are on social media to promote yourself and this is a very damaging action. Potential customers may be unwilling to do business with you if they see you negatively talking about a customer. They will think that it could be them on the end of your complaining next time.
4: DON’T: SHOUT
Your tone of voice comes across in your posts and comments. DO NOT WRITE WHOLE SENTENCES IN CAPITAL LETTERS!. They are not only visually displeasing but they also convey upset anger and aggressiveness. Capital letters do have a place, but only to emphasise something IMPORTANT. You should always be aware of the tone you are using as it can change the emphasis of your message.
5: DON’T: #Abuse #Hashtags
Appropriate hashtags added to your posts connect your message to all other posts on that topic with that hashtag. It is used to help users search and categorise content on social media platforms.
If used correctly hashtags will enhance your visibility and increase your followers. That said, when used in excess they make your posts look spammy and amateurish. Don’t stuff hashtags into your post unless they add value. There is nothing worse than a whole sentence or even a whole post crafted out of hashtags.
6: DON’T: Keep sharing the same message again and again
Imagine yourself as one of your followers. Now, what do you think they will do if they receive the same message from you every time you post? They will snooze you at best or unfollow you at worst. It shows you to be lazy and not interested in engaging with your audience. If you want to reuse previous content, try rewording it slightly, a new image or maybe a new title would do it. Just don’t report the same thing over and over.
7: DON’T: Share without research
Social media networks have made it easy to share content quickly from an account that is not yours. With this tsunami of content coming at you from all directions it is easy to forget that everything on social is not true. Some content is from very questionable sources and even from bots. When you share content other users will assume that you are endorsing that product or point of view. Be careful, what you share could become associated with your brand or business in a very negative way.
Before you share or retweet anything you would be wise to check out the account from which you are sharing the information. Make sure you are comfortable being associated with that account as a source of information. Many people and businesses have lived to regret sharing untrue information from nefarious sources that they had not checked prior. If someone retweets or mentions you, thank them for doing so.
8: DON’T: Sell before Engaging
The ultimate aim for your business social media presence is to sell to prospects and customers. The primary aim though should be to engage with your audience first and build a firm rapport before promoting a selling proposal. Never forget the “Social” in social media, followers want to engage with you for a reason, keep giving them the reason to engage with you and then follow up with a promotional message.
9: DON’T: Steal Content
Content is king. What you share on your business social media page is a major element of a successful social media campaign. There are problems ahead though if you use content that is not yours and you fail to give credit to the content owner. One of the primary functions of social media content going viral is the ease with which it can be shared, be sure to mention the source of the material if it is not owned by you or ask the copyright owner’s permission.
10: DON’T: Go off Topic
This is a common mistake by inexperienced social media commentators. Your customers and prospects are following you because they have an interest in your industry. For example, a restaurant’s social media page can share recipes, restaurant or menu information and food offers. As these topics are all related directly to the industry, the audience will have engagement as it meets the expectation of the topic subject matter. The restaurant’s social media page should not be sharing information on political beliefs or religion for example. That information is irrelevant to the restaurant industry and could easily offend visitors and customers with differing views. Keep on the topic at all times.
Is it too much to do on your own?
If having read this, you feel it could be too important for you to handle on your own, we understand. Smoking Chili Media can take over and manage your social media strategy on your behalf. We can post professionally written content to your social platforms and with paid social ads. Contact us for one of our knowledgeable staff to have an informal chat about how we could help you develop your social media presence.