Social media can be an excellent tool to network with brands, peers, and potential customers, but it comes with its own etiquette. Mistakes on both personal and professional accounts can impact your brand’s online reputation and run the risk of leaving a negative impression on your audience. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow for social media etiquette.
DO – Take a few minutes to update and complete your social pages and profiles.
First impressions are essential, and your social media account is your digital first impression. Include important contact information (when appropriate) and good quality profile and cover photos.
DO – Respect your peers.
Bantering with competing brands on social media can be entertaining for some, but it looks unattractive. Be the person (and brand) you want others to be (ahem, the golden rule). Respect will win you more fans, more followers, and more business.
DO – Keep your business and personal accounts separate.
Building up a brand or company’s social media pages can take a lot of time, effort, and ad spend. What you built up over a long period can crumble in an instant if a nasty comment is posted or something gets shared to the wrong page. It is crucial to keep in mind that your individual posts will not necessarily stay personal if you become a face or name associated with the business. Your page will become a representation of the company, too.
DON’T – Overshare.
Keep your brand’s posts between one to three posts per day. If suddenly you begin to triple or quadruple that number, your followers will notice, and they won’t be happy. In most cases, they will be more likely to unfollow you. If, for some reason, you are going to change your posting schedule, give your followers a heads up and explain why.
DON’T – Write in all caps.
ARE YOU MAD AT ME? Be aware of the tone you’re setting with your words. All caps are visually alarming and insinuates that you’re angry or aggressive.
DON’T – Click ‘send’ when you’re emotional or overtired.
Take a deep breath and pour another cup of coffee. Especially avoid sending messages when you’re angry. Whether these are from your brand or personal account, it’s hard to take back what’s been posted. All businesses go through ups and downs but complaining about business matters should not be part of your social media strategy. If potential customers see how you talk about others, they may think twice about doing business with you.
Before you post it online, use the SPACE to THINK approach.
SPACE – Take these steps:
S – Stop: Type it, but don’t post it.
P – Pause: Wait for at least an hour, preferably sleep on it.
A – Assess: Think about what you’ve typed (see questions below).
C – Confirm: Get a second set of eyes on your post.
E – Execute” If it passed the test, click “send.” Otherwise, delete it.
THINK – Ask yourself these questions:
T: Is it true?
H: Is it hurtful?
I: Is it illegal?
N: Is it necessary?
K: Is it kind?