12 Social Media Rules That You May be Breaking
The beauty of social media is that anybody can get into it and publicize their business to a massive audience. The downside is that unless you are up-to-date on all social media trends and cultural expectations, you may find yourself making some missteps that can actually cost you business.
Here are 12 social media rules that you may be breaking without even realizing:
1. Mixing professional and personal accounts
If you are the personality behind your business, you can feature yourself on your company’s page occasionally, but don’t let your personal views and life spill over into the business’ territory.
For example, a family photo where you wish customers a happy holiday is a nice personal touch. Constant sharing of family photos year-round is simply annoying for customers.
2. Sharing controversial views
Religion and politics, no matter how important they may be to you, are best avoided in social media that is connected to your business.
You are more likely to alienate customers, even those who may agree with you but find such postings distasteful, than you are to rouse a chorus of support.
3. Reacting to every interaction
It’s a big world out there in social media-land. Just because somebody has sent you a message or commented on an ad that you’re promoting doesn’t mean you always need to respond. If a comment is legitimately related to your business, responding is essential.
If a post seems like spam or is simply attacking you or your business inappropriately or vulgarly, it’s best ignored or even deleted.
4. Being monotonous
If all you post about is your opening hours, the service you offer, or why customers should choose you then you may find yourself losing followers quickly.
Keep things interesting by posting relevant news, fun articles and photos that customers would appreciate, and diverse updates on your business.
5. Having an inconsistent identity
Is your social media account all about lighthearted fun or are you trying to project a serious and professional image? Do your ads implement a consistent sense of humor or are they everywhere on the spectrum from dry wit to crude jokes?
Keep your postings diverse to stay interesting, but make sure your social media “personality” is consistent.
6. Not addressing your audience
People of all ages and demographic groups now use social media. Knowing your audience is the key to success in any business venture. Speaking to your audience directly and correctly will make a huge difference in the quality of interactions you receive and in the way followers perceive your business. It also increases your chance of growing your business since potential customers will relate to you better through social media.
7. Not checking your spelling and grammar
Poorly written posts can be very off-putting for people who are looking to your page to get a sense of the quality of work you provide. Checking that your spelling and grammar are all in tip-top shape will improve customer confidence in your business.
8. Reposting without giving credit
Stumbled across a hilarious photo or a brilliant article? That’s great! You should certainly post it on your social media accounts, if your audience would appreciate it (keeping in mind the rules above). Just be sure to give credit where it’s due. This shows that you respect the time that other people put into managing their social media accounts. A nice way to do this is to write “H/T” and then the name of the person who posted the content and link if relevant. This just stands for “hat tip” showing that you acknowledge where you found the content.
Automation can be a lifesaver when you need to handle a high volume of followers, or you want to organize social media posts far ahead of time. However, people want to feel that there’s a human being on the other side of the screen. So don’t rely on automation too heavily or it may turn off potential customers.
10. Misusing hashtags
Good social media etiquette says that hashtags should be a blend of useful, simple, fun and short. A hashtag should directly relate to the content you’re posting, and should be easy to read. Except on Instagram, don’t use too many hashtags or your content will be quickly drowned out.
11. Micromanaging how others interact with you
The bigger your business gets, the more likely the chance that you’ll have to deal with disgruntled customers who take to social media to complain. Quick, helpful and polite responses show other customers that you take complaints seriously and address them immediately. Deleting comments that you don’t like is just as likely to lead to a deluge of angry posts calling you out for poor social media behavior. Spam is one thing, and should be deleted for everybody’s sake, but unsatisfied customers should be handled delicately and respectfully.
Speaking of spam, this is probably the number one social media sin that a company could commit. Nothing will lose you followers or likes faster than posting spam-like content. Spam could be anything from posting the same content multiple times or posting the same message in multiple places such as different Facebook or LinkedIn groups. It could also be repeatedly posting useless or irrelevant content, a sure turnoff for followers.
At the end of the day, social media is a unique marketing tool but it also has its challenges. Staying aware of each platform’s nuances and expectations will help you to better connect with your audience and create higher-quality content that will attract people to your business. Make sure not to break these 12 rules and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful social media presence!