Social Media Etiquette

How a business behaves on social media will depend on what industry that business falls into and when marketing you will have to take that into account. All business regardless of their industry will have to uphold a level of professionalism when dealing with customer concerns and enquiries. But, not all businesses will post the same content and the way they interact with their clients publicly will vary between industries. In this post, Black Rebel Group will be giving you some of the common rules businesses follow when marketing their businesses on social media and why.

Keep your business account separate from your personal accounts

Now, you may think it would be easier to link personal to business so that all of the content you need is in one place, but don’t! Not everything you post on your personal accounts will be appropriate for your business, so having separate accounts will allow you to keep a consistent brand message going when posting on your professional account without having to worry whether something is appropriate. It also means that if you want to put across your opinion on a particular topic, you will not have to state that ‘the opinion is your own and not the view of the company’ as you could just post said opinion on your personal account rather than your business account. Having them completely separate will also reduce the chance of accidentally posting something to the wrong account. It would also be advisable, if your views could have an impact on your business, to make sure all of your settings are set to private.

Don’t auto message new followers

We’ve all had them, when you follow someone on Twitter or like a page on Facebook, a little 1 appears above your inbox, you click on it and are greeting with a message like “Hi, thanks for liking/following us, go check out our products/services [insert link here]”. Now,  I don’t know about you, but I have never once clicked on the link, in fact, I think I rarely even open the message. I’m all for engaging with your audience, but I don’t think auto thank you messages are the way to go.

However, I don’t think all auto messaging is bad. For example, if someone send a message to your page out of business hours or if your business is closed due to a holiday or for personal reasons. Giving your customers a reply to tell them there may be a delay in your response will make sure they don’t feel ignored.

Respond! Interact!

conversation-1468159_960_720If a customer has found enough value in your products/services to leave a positive review on your page then it is important that you respond with your thanks. However this goes both ways, so you must also respond appropriately to negative reviews, doing so, will show other customers that you care about their opinions but could also mean that the upset customer will return and use your services again due to your quick response. It is not just reviews you can respond to, if you see an article that is relevant to your industry on another page, share it. If someone ask you a question directly on your page, answer it. It will show that your business is active, enthusiastic and willing to interact.

Don’t badmouth other companies especially competition

Keeping an eye on your competitors by following them on social media can give you an insight into what they are doing marketing wise. You can see the things that are working for them and things that are not. Interacting positively with them will help to build a good working relationship which could benefit you. Badmouthing them or directly posting negative comments to their pages will make your company look unprofessional, so just don’t do it. There may be occasions, however, where a company will post on your page, it is important that you respond to them as you would any other customer, being courteous and professional, even if the content of their post is negative.

Maximise shareability

What you post is very important, always posting just plain text can be boring and not many people are likely to share it. Including a high quality, relevant image with the text will improve chances of someone sharing it, links and relevant hashtags can also make a difference. You could even include a GIF or a short video if it is relevant to the message you are trying to get across.

Spelling and grammar

This is quite an obvious one, make sure that you check all of your posts before you send them out, it looks unprofessional if there are silly mistakes. However if you use Twitter for your business and are limited to 140 characters, you may have to get creative to get all of the information in, just make sure that it makes sense. If you do need to post something to twitter that will definitely need more than 140 characters, you could always write it out in a note on your phone, screenshot it and upload it to Twitter as a photo or make an advertisement with all of the necessary information and post it.

Use hashtags but don’t overuse them

hashtag_128Hashtags can be great for reaching more people and making your content more visible however the using them too much can be distracting and make your content not make sense, basically do more harm than good. For example, Black Rebel Group recently captioned one of our posts on Instagram with this:

If you like one of our package options but it doesn’t quite fit what you want for your business. Get in touch!! We’ll be happy to make changes to suit you. For more information on the packages we offer, visit our website

and we added hashtags such as #socialmedia #marketing #marketingservices and #blackrebelgroup as a comment. You can take a look at the actual post here.

Now here’s what the same post would look like with an  over use of hashtags:

If you #like one of our #packagesoptions but it doesn’t quite #fit what you want for your #business. #Getintouch !! we’ll be #happy to make #changes to suit you. For more #information on the #packages we offer, #visit our #website. #socialmedia #business #marketing #contactus

I think you’ll agree it is a little distracting…

Don’t spam

tumblr_ni2v3u20jz1u0k6deo10_250It is obviously important that you get your content out there to your customers, but don’t do it all at once! Make sure you are posting regularly and with quality content across ALL of your channels. You could also find out what the best times for posting are across your channels and post accordingly or give yourself a set frequency for posts a day and stick to it unless there is something important that needs to be posted.

Profiles should be complete

On every channel you choose to use for your company, you need to make sure that your profile is complete with as much information as possible for your customers. You should include all contact information such as email address, phone numbers, links to other social media profiles and a link to your website. Having an informative bio/about section will make it easier for your customers to find out who you are and what you can provide them with.

Common sense is needed when sharing

Everything you post, like, comment on and share will be seen publicly. It is therefore important that you only interact with/post things that accurately portray how you want your business to be represented. This doesn’t mean you can’t have your opinion on topics that relate to your business/industry, just make sure you stick to the message you want to send out to your audience. If you do want to voice your opinion on a subject which may be seen as controversial, do it on your personal profile rather than your business account.

Neediness is a no-no

When posting, don’t constantly ask your audience to like/share/comment. Once in a while is fine but doing it too much will make you seem needy. Also, if you are posting high quality, creative content, you shouldn’t need to ask them as they will already be doing it.

DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS

We’ve all got that one friend that decides to post in all capitals and I’ve seen a few businesses do it too. Now, I’m not saying that capitals should be removed completely, you could use them to emphasise a certain word/phrase that is important in a post just don’t use it for the entire post.

Mix up your content

When using social media, it is important that you catch the attention of your audience or you won’t get any engagement. So posting plain text updates all the time is definitely not something you want to be doing. Post a video/image/GIF with your messages to make them more eye-catching and engaging, just make sure that any visual content is relevant to the message you want to put across. However, even if you post images/video/GIFs alongside text, if the text or purpose of the post is to send the same message or promote the same product/service all the time, it will be boring for your audience; so make sure you are posting a variety of messages in your content.

Automation

This point goes both ways, some people like to automate their posts so they don’t have to worry about forgetting to post something important. However, when you automate, it can mean that the same message is being posted to every platform your business is on, which may become boring to your audience, but also not every platform set out you posts the same way e.g. Instagram needs images, Twitter has a character limit.

Have fun with your content

A previous point was to mix up the content you post and this one is pretty similar, if you are having fun with your content it will show to your audience. Try new things! For example

  • Host a live Q&A session where the audience are free to ask you and your employees any questions they may have.
  • Create your own GIFs using your employees or products
  • Try making your own informative videos

Just think outside of the box!!

We’ve just touched on a few of the common “rules” for putting your business on social media. If you think we’ve missed out an important one, let us know! We want to make our posts as informative as possible so we value your input.

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