Social media usage and online customer engagement has skyrocketed in the last few years with more businesses and people connecting in the virtual world. If you are an owner who has grown an online presence for your business, pat yourself on the back and if you utilize social media, you deserve a big high five!
Whether you are new to social media or a savvy veteran, it is important to know how to conduct yourself and your business online in order to establish a strong brand and maximize your time. Not knowing the rules of social media etiquette can have a detrimental impact on you and your business.
Initially these rules may either seem like common sense or a foreign language but they are important to keep in mind when composing your next social media interaction. As with every other business practice, the more you use these rules, the faster they will become second nature and you will realize the benefits of adhering to them!
Rule 1: Engage Quickly
Like a customer walking into your store, people don’t want to wait around for service. When your customer engages with you online or asks you a question, you need to respond quickly. This shows your customer that you value their input and time. It also demonstrates that you are just as plugged into your online community, as you are to your offline world.
Rule 2: Stay Active
Posting infrequently or only when you have something to promote will not get you the traction you are looking for in social media. Posting regularly and engaging others keeps your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds and shows a strong online involvement. However, posting every hour will likely have the opposite effect.
Depending on the demographics of your followers and activity level of your industry, it is a good rule of thumb to post once a day on Facebook and 2-3 times daily on Twitter. These frequencies many change as your number of followers increases or your social media strategy evolves.
Rule 3: Be Concise and Engaging
When utilizing social media, you want to quickly disseminate key information to your followers in a way that will entice them to share your posts and engage in dialogue. Social media tools such as Twitter have a character limit so make your posts short and punchy to increase the probability of shares/retweets.
Rule 4: Provide Value, Not Just Sales
People follow your company because they like the information you provide, whether it is about your industry, product/service or business. Followers will not stick around If they feel you are constantly bombarding them with sales posts.
A ratio of 2-3 non-sales to 1 sales post is typically a good rule of thumb to follow. Use your non-sales posts as a way to demonstrate your expertise in the industry by providing good resources, articles and advice. Providing good information also increases the likelihood of people sharing your content.
Rule 5: Pay It Forward
Rules of politeness carry over into the virtual world, so remember your manners online. A few examples are:
- When someone shares or retweets your social media post, thank them and if possible engage with them to create a dialogue about the post. This demonstrates your knowledge on the topic and helps build your online network and influence.
- When people share or retweet your posts, reciprocate by sharing or retweeting their posts whenever possible.
- Promote others by sharing their links, information, giving them a shout out or simply saying “hi”. This promotes their business to your followers and also opens up the invitation for them to do the same.
- Incorporating these rules of etiquette in your social media campaigns will go a long way in building your brand. Be sure to check out Part 2 of this series, where I share Rules 6 through 10.
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