Etiquette is a customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. When it comes to your social media marketing plan, the key to seeing the results you want is in adhering to social media etiquette. Of course this etiquette is not static—it will change and adjust over time—but some of the common fundamentals are pretty firmly rooted. This post will help you to carry out your social media marketing strategies effectively so as to reap the benefits of social media and build a strong audience.
The first step in social media etiquette comes before you even start to engage with users. It involves creating a profile that meets users’ expectations and presents your business in the best light.
Does your Facebook profile say one thing, your Twitter bio say another, and your Instagram bio say something else? While they don’t necessarily have to be the same word for word, the core of these sections should be the same. They should state clearly what you do or stand for (aka your brand message).
If these sections are different across platforms, you can leave your audience confused about who you are and what you do.
There are a few elements that go into choosing a profile appropriate image. One, is it high-quality? You don’t want an awkwardly stretched or blurry picture. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your profile image size for each social network to make it look it’s best.
Two, is it memorable and easily recognizable? It’s a good idea to use your business logo in your images, but if you have a high-quality group shot of your team that captures the essence of your culture, that’s okay too.
Overall, it’s best to use the same image for each of your profiles. The more people who see it, the more it’s etched into their minds. This increases the chance that they will remember you when a need arises. That’s exactly what you want!
Keep these things in mind when posting to your accounts.
No one wants to be bombarded day after day with sales pitches or constant posts about your business. In fact, only about 20% of your social media strategy should involve the direct promotion of your business.
What about the other 80%? Share relevant information that your audience can use or needs to know, as well as any interesting topics or noteworthy events in your industry. When you provide value to your audience in this way, they’ll be more receptive and more prepared to act when you do promote your business.
How are you currently doing in this area? Are you annoying your leads with an endless stream of self-centered posts and tweets? If so, you’re hurting your business and cutting yourself out of potential sales.
Just as with your profiles and bios, you need to be consistent in what and how you post. What kind of posts will you put out? (Here are some social media post ideas). What style fits best with your brand? In what ways will you engage with your followers? Decide all of these things and stick to them.
Good strategy is not posting whatever comes to mind at any given time, however it comes to mind. Good strategy requires planning. By setting guidelines, there will be no confusion among your team as to what should and should not be posted. Plus, clear boundaries to work within makes idea generation much easier.
Check out our social media posting guidelines for more help with this.
Hashtags are so effective, but don’t get carried away with them! Follow these hashtag best practices for social media etiquette.
The whole idea of hashtags is to categorize posts on the same topic so that they can be easily searched. Using irrelevant tags strays away from that idea and only creates a mess. This applies to tags that are not topic-specific or just plain gimmicky such as #likeforlike and #followforfollow.
Instead, use only the tags closely related to the topic of your posts. While it may seem more beneficial to use every one you can think of to increase your reach, it’s not necessarily a wise idea. Too many hashtags can be overwhelming and crowd out the most relevant and beneficial tags.
Especially if you’ve coined a special tag just for your business that you want followers to use, you don’t want to be long-winded. If your tags are too long, no one will bother to read them, let alone use them.
Sometimes hashtags with several words can tend to run together. Even worse, they can be misread, which can cause unwanted issues. Just to be on the safe side capitalize the first letter of each word. This will minimize misunderstandings and make for easier and quicker reading.
The above are just some of the many social media best practices and courtesies you can and should stick to. Social media etiquette brings many benefits. Your branding will be more cohesive and memorable, you’ll make it easier for the right people to find you and you’ll be able to build lasting, enjoyable relationships with your followers.
Would you like to experience these benefits? Of course! Don’t let bad social media manners get in your way. Use this post as a checklist to help you make the improvements necessary and give your social media marketing a boost.