Everyone likes to think they’re an expert when it comes to using social media. Many etiquette rules have to be followed when using social media that unfortunately, many people are uninformed of. This lack of knowledge can brutally injure both your image on social media as well as your chances of success at building a huge following and/or business.
Since there’s no handbook written for you on how to navigate the world of social media, we took the time to provide you with some valuable answers and insightful information on how to handle your social media endeavors. Social media is a tricky world consisting of who you are and who you want people to see you as. Doing too much of either one can give you bad results, it takes careful consideration and conscientious planning to get the right results.
Let’s get right into the 15 top social media etiquette tips everyone should know (and why you should never forget them).
1. Use a Different Account for Your Business and Personal Profiles
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “Never mix business with pleasure.” Believe it or not, this applies to social media etiquette as well.
Having a personal profile is pretty easy to do and most people already have one. You don’t have to think much about what your posts say if you’re not worried about the image you portray to anyone outside your close friends and family that you’ve added.
With a business profile, you’re going to need to fill out a lot more information about who you are (what you represent) and also carefully plan what your posts will say. When building a brand for your business you need to appeal to a massive amount of people, not just a small group of friends. Make sure you don’t post anything offensive that could lead to lost revenue.
2. Don’t Friend People Just to Try to Sell Them Your Products or Services
This is the fastest way to lose business and be unsuccessful. If you’re looking to start a business online, then learn how to build relationships. Be concerned more about them and what’s going on in their life instead of seeing how fast you can talk to them about your products and/or services.
When speaking with new people, too often do we get excited about discussing our business and what we can offer them, this is the wrong approach, period. People will do business with people that they like, know, and trust. If you haven’t taken the time to get to know them, make them like and trust you, you’ll probably have a very small chance of getting them to want to know anything about you or your company.
3. Offer Valuable Information
There’s a lot of different types of posts out there. Perhaps the best post to make is the ones that give people valuable information for free. The great thing is, you don’t have to come up with it yourself. Sharing an informative article that’s related to your business and/or industry can work wonders for you. People will appreciate any comment or post they feel like they learned something from.
4. Don’t Send Out Invitations to Play Games
This should be obvious but unfortunately, too many Candy Crush players want to get whatever their next bonus is and send out as many invitations as possible. You don’t like getting spammed with these invitations and neither does anyone else.
5. Pick a Name That Describes You or Your Company Well
This goes along with branding. Make sure that it correlates with what you represent and resonates with the type of people you want to connect with. Branding is one of the most important aspects of building a business and your company name will always be associated with your brand.
6. Don’t Post Anything You Wouldn’t Want Your Boss or Clients to Read
If you don’t have your security settings ramped up you should be careful with what you post. If you’re a company you shouldn’t have your security settings too high (outside of private Facebook groups) if you want to reach as many people possible.
Don’t post anything distasteful. There are people from all around the world that will view your posts and they come from all different walks of life.
7. Never Post When You Feel Jet Lagged, Tired, Intoxicated, Angry or Upset
If your mind isn’t working at 100% capacity you should refrain from posting anything on your social media account. Posting when you’re tired can lead to errors in judgment, poor grammar, and many other blunders.
Posting while intoxicated, angry or upset is even worse for obvious reasons.
8. Don’t Tag and Post People in a Bunch of Posts
There’s nothing more annoying than being tagged in a bunch of pictures that you don’t want to be spread all over social media. If you have a close group of people in a team that constantly does events together, then I would say make an exception and ask the people if it’s ok to tag them in a picture before tagging every face you recognize.
9. Create a Section on Your Profile Detailing What Your Mission Statement Is
Mission statement – A short, formal statement of what your company does, why it exists, its overall goals, what products or services you provide and who’s your primary customers or target market.
This could be the #1 most important etiquette rule to follow when using a business account. Your mission statement will be one of the first things people see and it’s going to help them decide if you’re a company that makes sense to them or not. Having a strong mission statement will help you reach a wider audience and connect with more people.
10. The 4-1-1 Rule
Most people want to post about themselves but when it comes to using social media we should follow the 4-1-1 rule. For every one post that you post about yourself or your company, you should be sharing 4 posts that have some educational / entertainment value behind it and you should share at least one other post from someone else (usually informational / value post).
11. Understanding and Using Universal Sense of Humor (Not Your Sense of Humor)
Just because you think it’s hilarious doesn’t mean everyone that reads it will. Universal humor involves humor that is clean, relatable, and of course funny. It’s probably a good idea to stay away from trying to post humorous jokes on your business account anyway. Leave that part of your personality for when you meet someone in person so you can try to gauge what type of person they are first.
12. Be Consistent on All Social Media Accounts
If you use different mediums for social media (which you should) then it’s imperative to keep the same personification on each account you have. You don’t want to be a business professional on Facebook only to have one of your potential clients find your Twitter account filled with profanity-ridden tweets. People want to get to know someone genuine and honest, not some two-faced, hypocritical, conniving con artist.
13. Don’t Be Dishonest
Nothing is more unattractive than a liar and/or a cheat. Don’t use the fake it till you make it strategy. Remember people are more intuitive than you think. They’ll easily be able to spot your inconsistencies. They’ll take into consideration the way you talk and present yourself to them and they can spot fraud faster than you can say codependent.
14. Avoid Posting Irrelevant Information
Want your business to stand out? Make sure you’re standing out for all the right reasons and none of the wrong ones. Don’t post things that people could care less about. If your business is about Tonka Trucks, don’t post things about carrot cakes.
Posting things that aren’t related to your business is bad business practice. People come to a Nike store to see different clothing apparel that represents what they like. If you end up posting other things not related to your business it will have people confused about your brand (or company) and make them question whether they want to do business with you or not.
15. Don’t Join, Start or Get Involved in Heated Debates
This might be the hardest thing for certain people to avoid. Getting caught up in a post you disagree with and making sure everyone knows exactly what you think. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s right or everyone will agree with you. Even if you’re using a personal account you should shy away from going back and forth with someone on a thread. If you have a business account stick to being a business professional and conducting yourself in a manner that’s presentable to everyone.
Social media is full of traps and trickeries. Learning how to navigate the world of social media takes time and experience. A lot of people had to go through many pitfalls just to learn how to manage their social media accounts. Lucky for you, you don’t have to.
If you want to know a couple of tricks that will help you stay ahead of your competition, treat people the way you would want to be treated and research what the top leaders in the industry are doing and try to mimic them. Find out what works and then use the information you learned from above and apply it to your next social media campaign.
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