The medium of social media is vast and ever-changing, and for just those reasons it can be very tricky to get a handle on all the etiquette! If you’re just starting out on social media for a business account though, don’t worry – at 21 Digital, we’ve got you covered. One after the other, the rules of social media etiquette altogether make for a very long list. That’s why we’ve decided to keep things simple; so this week, our experts are just giving you the few most important ones.
So – ready for more detail?
This is one of the most common pitfalls we see here at 21 Digital. Right from the get-go, you’ve got to keep your brand accounts separate from your personal accounts.
You’ve got to keep the tone of your messages on-brand, and stop personal issues impacting your business at all costs. This means, for example, not using a business social media account to complain about a service, or post pictures of your holiday.
Above all, remember that you are what you post. It’s OK for your business to take a stance on current issues – especially if they directly affect your sector – but just always be aware of the sort of image you’re presenting to customers when you do so.
At all stages, you’ve got to keep your target audience in mind. A successful social media account is like a successful diet – you’ve got to keep a healthy balance in what you post. Offer valuable, shareable information, and keep it light when discussing your products.
Don’t indulge in self-promotion too heavily – it sounds counter-intuitive, we know, but time and again it’s been proven that people simply get bored of endless streams of promotional posts.
Instead, keep things interesting by factoring in opportunities to engage (which we’ll talk more about below), and reward loyalty with offers and discounts. Remember, it’s all about that balance.
Social media is all about interaction, and building relationships. Look out for what your followers are posting, and think about ways you can engage with them without pushing them away.
After all, by simply being your followers, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re invested in your product, and by extension your business. Take advantage of that by posting content that encourages engagement; ask them questions, and give them opportunities to share their own opinions, memories, or experiences. Not only does this build their trust with you, but it’s almost always valuable market research!
Twitter especially is known for its frequent ‘I follow back!’ profile messages. And while obviously bigger followings are great, they’re not the be-all and end-all. In fact, your messages can lose their value if you’re broadcasting them to an audience that isn’t relevant – or interested.
Instead, follow accounts that produce valuable content you’d consider reposting as part of your own content curation strategy. Examples include brand ambassadors, think tanks and watchdogs in your industry. Active fans you know to be interested in your business, as well as fellow industry professionals are also two other great examples, and will be far more valuable to you in the long run.
This is another big one – so big in fact that we’ve already done an entire blog post on the importance of good communication, which includes social media. If you’re tight for time, though, we’ll sum it up quickly.
In short, open a dialogue with your customers – by staying transparent and accessible, you can project a personable, friendly feel, which makes them more likely to put trust in your brand. Most importantly, it gives them the impression you genuinely care about each one of them, which is sure to reflect positively on your business.
As a side note, this means staying on top of your inboxes! If you’re an SME, you probably won’t need the multiple accounts that some of the biggest global brands have, but it’s still crucial to check it regularly. If you’re not sure you can commit to checking back on it, it might be an idea to set up an auto-response that tells people exactly how long they might expect to wait for a reply (which can take the sting out of any delays).
As we mentioned in our introduction, there’s lots more to it, but to be honest many rules you’ll hear from others all come under the umbrella of the points we’ve outlined above.
Of course, if you’ve got any further questions, we’re always happy to help! We’ve got a long history of success stories with our Social Media Marketing services – you can click here to learn more about them. Or, you can always give us a call on 01254 660 560 to find out how we can help your business make it on the web.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @21Digital_Ltd and Instagram @twentyone_agency