Social media marketing is always changing and evolving. Because of this, it may be difficult to stay on top of best practices for social media and the etiquette that goes along with it. You run the risk of looking unprofessional and leaving a negative impression when you break some of these “unwritten rules” of social media. Here are some do’s and don’ts so you can stay ahead of the game.
DO These Things
Complete and update your social media pages.
First impressions are important! Your social media page is usually the first thing people see about your company. A fully completed social media profile, with up-to-date contact information and good quality photos, will make a great first impression and look professional to visitors.
Separate business and personal accounts.
It is important to keep your personal and professional accounts separate. Pictures of your dogs should be on your personal pages, while blog posts from your company should be posted on your company pages. Be careful to separate both “identities.”
Use great imagery.
Images should be immediately catching the eye of your potential customers. Attention spans on social media are short, so images ate the perfect way to communicate in this fast-paced world. Social media posts with a photo are ten times more likely to get engagement than ones with just text.
Use the appropriate caption length for the appropriate platform.
No two social media platforms are the same, so it is important that you analyze what content to share on each different platform. For example, longer-form posts are more suitable for LinkedIn posts, while short blurbs may be better for Instagram. Understanding the ideal post length and matching it with the goals of your post will help grow and compel your audience.
It is called social media for a reason. Don’t make it feel one-sided to your potential customers. Use your social media to get social and engage with your followers. If you are looking for recommendations, ask your Facebook audience. See something that you like on Twitter or get a mention? Send them a like and a friendly reply! Interacting with others boosts legitimacy, makes your audience feel heard and exposes you to a wider audience.
Jump in on relevant topics and conversations.
Staying social means also jumping in on relevant topics. Social media listening allows you to join in on topics that affect your industry. This expands your reach and helps your brand be recognized as a “thought leader” in your industry.
Post regularly and stay consistent.
But DO NOT over-post. You should be posting quality content on a consistent basis that identifies with your audience. This can be different depending on the social media platform. For example, three posts per day would be acceptable on Instagram, while it might be a little too much on Facebook. Conversely, you could post up to 30 times a day on Twitter without overcrowding people’s feeds. Creating a daily schedule or calendar for your posts is a good idea. Consistency is very important when it comes to social media, so make sure to stay on a schedule. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
Match your content to the platform.
Each social media platform has different purposes and audiences. Understanding this and matching the content to the social media platform is necessary for success. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular social media platforms.
Facebook: Facebook is more casual and focused on connections. Join groups, follow relevant pages, and engage with others.
LinkedIn: The focus of LinkedIn is on business professionals. Share content on LinkedIn that reflects your industry.
Twitter: Rapid-fire conversations between businesses and individuals shine best on Twitter. The character limit makes it the best option for short posts.
Instagram: Instagram is best for great photos. If you have a great-looking product, this is where you want to share those photos.
Think before you post.
Make sure your content is relevant to your business and platform before you share it. A picture or post about the latest political scandal may not be the best post for your shirt business. Keep your content in line with your target audience. What you post is a representation of you and your business.
A few questions to ask about your posts are:
Does it have value? Does it fit the company’s mission? Is this the best platform for this content?
Handle criticism with grace.
Negative reviews or comments should be handled appropriately, not deleted or hidden. Respond the best you can, don’t become defensive, and learn from your mistakes. An overreaction can go viral quickly in a bad way.
DON’T Do These Things
Don’t abuse #Hashtags.
Every word doesn’t need to be turned into a hashtag. Keep the hashtags #relevant and to a minimum. They are great for finding relevant information and connecting your posts with other posts on the topic. But when used in excess, it just looks spammy. Use your hashtags correctly.
Don’t share the exact same message over and over again.
Keep your social media feed interesting. It is just lazy to share the same content over and over again. If you want to revisit previous content, get creative and try rewording it or using a different image rather than posting the same exact thing.
Don’t share without doing your research.
Social media makes it really easy to find information. It also makes it really easy to find the wrong information. Make sure you research your posts carefully before posting them. Make sure you check out the account that shared the information before you share or retweet that content.
Don’t write in all caps.
We’re not even going to type like that here as an example because we are not mad at you or yelling at you. Be aware of the tone you are setting with your words. All caps posts communicate that you are aggressive and angry.
Don’t be needy.
Nobody wants to follow an account that constantly begs for people to like or retweet your posts. It’s acceptable to let people know where they can follow you and what to expect, but asking constantly is just needy and not engaging.
Don’t spam your feeds.
Retweeting every 30 seconds just fills up other people’s timelines. Nobody wants to see their feed filled by one account. Don’t join a group, spam it with promotional messages, and then never engage again. Post relevant content in a timely manner.
Don’t post things with grammar and spelling mistakes.
We all make mistakes, but grammar is one that is easy to check. Grammar and spelling mistakes can ruin your accountability. When writing on behalf of a company, triple-check the copy before you click post. If your eyes are tired, send it to a colleague for a once over as well. You won’t regret taking these extra steps.
Don’t ignore questions, comments, and messages from your audience.
Once you’ve got your engaging posts and people are liking, commenting, and messaging, it is not time to just be done with your social media. All those questions and comments should receive a response. Take the time to respond. Social media is not a one-way conversation.
The social media landscape is constantly growing. Because of this, staying aware of current practices will keep your marketing efforts fresh. Make sure to follow us to keep on top of current trends. If all of this seems like too much for you, contact us today so we can help you with your social media game.