Social Media Etiquette for Business Owners by Uma RadhakrishnanMar 12, 2022
With the social media landscape constantly evolving, the do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette for business owners will also continue to change. Staying aware of current best practices and incorporating them into your social media strategy will keep your marketing efforts stay afresh and properly aligned.
Social Media Etiquette for Business Owners:
25 Common Do’s & Don’ts...
1. DO: Complete and update your social pages and profiles.
First impressions are important and lasting. Think of your social media accounts as your digital first impression. Social media accounts that are only partially completed automatically appear less professional. Take a few minutes to thoughtfully fill out all your profile information, including contact information, and upload good-quality profile and cover photos.
2. DO Separate business and personal accounts.
When building a brand, it helps to keep your personal and professional pages separate on social media. By being consistent with the types of content you share via your business profile, your clients know which account to follow. You also avoid spamming friends and family that follow you for personal updates.
3. DO: Share thoughtfully.
4. DO Post regularly.
This can vary depending on your business and industry, but a good rule of thumb is at least once or twice a week.
5. DO: Prioritize your networks.
To start, focus on the social networks where you know your customers are. Providing quality content via any social outlet is worth your time and effort, no matter your industry.
6. DO: Interact with your audience.
Providing helpful content is nice, but it’s not all social media has to offer. Interacting with your followers is also key.
7. DON’T: Be needy.
Don’t constantly ask your Twitter followers to “please retweet,” or beg your Facebook friends to “like” your page every week. It’s perfectly acceptable to let your followers on personal accounts know that you have business pages and what they can expect if they follow you. Please be strategic.
8. DON’T: Be a spammer.
Retweeting, liking, commenting, posting, and sharing is great, but keep everything in moderation.
9. DO: Handle criticism gracefully.
Should you run into an issue that causes a flurry of criticism on social media, the worst thing you can do is try and hide from it. Try and respond the best you can, and don’t become defensive.
10. DON’T: Complain!
All businesses see their ups and downs, but complaining about customer interactions or when a business transaction didn’t go as planned should not be part of your social media strategy. Remember, you’re trying to distinguish yourself from competitors. This can be a way to stand out in a less-than-ideal way.
11. DO: Help more than you sell.
Though you’re in business to make money, that shouldn’t be the focus of the vast majority of your social media posts. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind here: 80 percent of the content you post or share should be entertaining or informative, while no more than 20 percent of your social media communication should directly relate to the goods or services you provide.
12. DO: Match your content to the platform.
Each social media site has its own intended purpose and audience. Understanding this and matching your content and tone to the proper social media outlet is imperative for success.
13. DO: Watch your grammar and spelling.
The occasional grammar mistake or spelling error isn’t the end of the world, but don’t let it become a pattern. To help avoid mistakes, prep your social media updates in a document or spreadsheet with spell check. You can also ask a colleague to proofread before you share. Tip: read your post out loud before sharing to catch any missing words or tough-to-understand sentences.
14. DO: Be visual.
Photos and videos can boost your social media engagement. If your industry relies heavily on visuals (like real estate or interior design), consider adding social media platforms based on visual engagement, like Instagram, to your marketing repertoire.
15. DON’T: WRITE IN ALL CAPS.
ARE YOU MAD AT ME? DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? Stop with all caps!
16. DO: Location tag other businesses.
Social media is all about sharing. This means supporting favourite restaurants, businesses, and other stops while you’re out and about. Be sure you add your location to your Instagram photo or Facebook status so people know where you were and, more importantly, how they can get there. This is an all-around good move to support other business owners and raise your brand awareness within the community.
17. DON’T: #Abuse #Hashtags
Adding appropriate hashtags connects your post to all other posts on that topic and with that hashtag.
18. DON’T: Share the exact same message again and again.
Put yourself in the place of your followers. Would you want to read the same message from people or pages you follow every day? It’s lazy and in poor taste to take the same social post and continue to share it over and over again on the same networks.
19. DON’T: Share without researching first.
Social media networks make it super easy to quickly share content from another account. With the tidal wave of content and information coming at you at all times, it’s easy to forget that some of this content comes from questionable sources or even bots. Sharing content is often seen as an endorsement of that content and of the user who posted it, so be careful what you share — it could become part of your brand.
20. DO: Share without expectations.
Consistency and patience will pay off. Putting time and effort into social media doesn’t mean you’ll see big results right away. You might, and that’s excellent. Similar to starting your business, your reach may be slow at first. Then you’ll make connections, build a reputation, and develop a strategy.
21. DO: Give credit where credit is due.
Stay on the right side of social media etiquette by attributing the author or photographer when you share an interesting article or a gorgeous image. Take the time to find the handle/account responsible for the original post and include it in your post. Also, be sure to thank those who mention or retweet you. You can make some great connections when you play well with others on social media.
22. DON’T: Automate without thought.
If you’re using the same content across your social channels (and you can!), take the time to change the voice of the message to match the network. Take the extra time to write an original message for each social media network based on its intended purpose and audience.
23. DO: Think before tagging.
Tagging others in photos is a great way to introduce your business to their friends, but before you do, think through it. Are you tagging everyone you can think of because you’re hoping some of them will follow you or promote your business? Or are you tagging businesses and people to create a dialogue or to highlight something you admire about them? Unexpected tagging can be a fun way to surprise and delight someone, or it could cost you friends, fans or followers.
24. DON’T: Obsess the numbers.
It’s important to remember that brand awareness and growing your network is a long-term effort. While having lots of followers can be good, it’s quality over quantity. So stress less about your follower count and concentrate on providing engaging content for your audience.
25. DO: Have fun!
Using social media for your business doesn’t mean you should stop having fun with it! Shake things up from time to time.
Still, feeling like it’s too much? I totally understand. Shoot me an email or DM me for more questions.
UR Creative Agency
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