If you’ve decided to use social media to help market your business, congratulations! You’ve now entered a fun digital space that could bring you a lot of success.
Like always, there are rules to follow. Not technical rules (there are those too), but think Emily Post – etiquette rules. Interacting online is a lot like interacting in real life. Just follow these 15 do’s and don’ts below and use your common sense and you’ll be fine –
1. Make sure to upload a profile picture.
The biggest snafu a person can make is to be a name without a face. People want to connect with people – give them a face to look out.
2. However don’t use a picture of you with your red solo cup or bikini.
If you are looking for a job, recruiters will automatically cut you if there is alcohol or drugs in your picture of if they are sexual in nature.
3. Use proper grammar and spelling.
If you want to look unprofessional, then use “your” or “they’re” the wrong way. Always proof read your posts before posting and PLEASE use spell-check.
4. Do not write like you text.
Apparently this is becoming an issue with teens. You’re using social media for some business reason and the last thing people want to see is something like this – “Thank u 4 taking the time 2 talk w/me.”
5. Don’t obsess about your follower count.
Quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Focus on the quality of people following you, not how many. One hundred loyal fans will do more for you than 1,000 sidewalk ones.
6. Do be on the lookout for spam accounts.
This is especially a problem on Twitter. There are many accounts that look real, but they are fake – check out their bio. If you see “I’ll get your 10k followers for $29!” run and run fast. Make sure to report them to Twitter first.
7. Don’t beg for likes, comments, shares, +1s and retweets.
Let the quality of the content speak for itself. If there is something you REALLY want people to share, it’s okay to ask every now and then. Just not on every post.
8. Do post regularly.
There is nothing more frustrating than finding an account I want to follow, only to find they haven’t tweeted in a few weeks, or even – gulp – months. If you are going to use a social media platform – be active. That’s the only way you’ll be successful.
9. Don’t over-post.
Yes, you need to be active, but don’t post 5-10 times per hour on Facebook. It will hurt your page rank and you’ll just annoy your fans. Same could be said about tweeting 10 times in 1 minute.
10. Share other people’s content.
I am sure your content rocks, however sharing other people’s content will show you are providing not only quality content from yourself, but from others as well. It will also help build those valuable relationships.
11. Don’t be all “look at me! look at me!”
It’s okay to point out successes you’ve had, but use it sparingly. No one wants to follow an egotistical maniac. Let your work speak for yourself – there’s no need to point out every single success you’ve had with your client(s).
12. When connecting on LinkedIn, personalize your connection message.
Tell the person you are wanting to connect with who you are, why you’re connecting and how you found them. You’ll see an increase in connection request acceptances.
13. Do not use your connection message (or first contact with the person) as a sales pitch.
If I had a dollar for every time someone connected with me then immediately sent me a sales pitch, or included one in their request, I’d be able to pay for Panera obsession for a whole year. There’s something said to being subtle.
14. Do have a plan.
Make sure you have a plan (or strategy) for using social media for your business. Going at it blindly will not lead you to success. Having a clear-cut plan of your goals and objectives will.
15. Just have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously – it’s just social media.
Using social media for business can be complicated, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what to do – just use your common sense and think like this was all in-person and not online.
What other items would you add to the list? Share with us below!