Just like in real life social situations, there are certain dynamics you must navigate on social media in order to successfully connect with other people. You understand that you should iron your shirt, comb your hair and brush your teeth before any sort of public function. But how do you exercise proper social media etiquette?
How to Mind your Manners with Social Media Etiquette
1. Complete every section of your profile.
So you know by now that social media marketing is all about fostering online connections with real people. When you reply to a tweet, send a Facebook message or communicate any other way through social media, people need to know who you are.
That’s why you need to complete your profile. The bio section, profile photo, hours of availability—anything with which a social media platform provides you the opportunity to explain yourself, should be filled in. If your photo is the default Twitter egg or the Facebook question mark silhouette and your bio is blank, nobody will take you seriously.
2. Follow platform specific practices.
Just like you’d act differently at a business dinner than you would at the bar with friends, your behavior should vary a bit depending on the social platform you’re using.
For example, LinkedIn is the place people go to seek educational material for their industry, and you should treat it as such. Facebook is a bit more casual, with room for both informational content as well as fun posts. Twitter is similar to Facebook in terms of content, except you can post basically as many times as you want each day, whereas one to two posts per day on Facebook is the limit for most businesses.
3. Don’t be too hashtag-happy.
Hashtags are a wonderful way to categorize your own posts, as well as browse others. But, they should be used carefully.
A hashtag we like to use is #FatGuyApproved. Notice how it’s one clean hashtag with each word capitalized. Something like #fat #guy #approved not only looks odd, but it would get picked up only when people searched “#fat,” “#guy” and “#approved.”
One more key piece of social media etiquette that often goes overlooked: do not use hashtags on LinkedIn. They don’t work, and it makes you look like you have no idea what you’re doing.
4. Respond to comments quickly.
The person to person interaction is what makes using social media worthwhile, so don’t neglect those who message you or comment on your posts. Whether someone compliments you, complains about you, makes a business inquiry or interacts with a funny post you’ve made, respond to them. If you don’t, it’s kind of like leaving someone hanging when they go for a high-five—really awkward and kind of rude.
5. Be respectful in your messaging.
You want your brand to be known as the one that’s always sharing meaningful content, not the one that’s constantly offending people. By exercising a little bit of empathy and thinking before you post, you can avoid a distasteful mistake that makes your brand look bad.
6. Share the content of others.
It may seem counterproductive to share someone else’s content on your social media pages because it doesn’t drive traffic to your own website. However, sharing valuable information, even if it was written by someone else, shows your audience that you have their best interests at heart, and want to educate them. That’s how you build trust with your followers.
An understanding of social media etiquette makes your brand look professional and trustworthy. Since 50 percent of consumers have made at least one purchase based on social media, you should know how to use it!