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Social Media Etiquette for Business: Do's & Don'ts

Social Media Etiquette for Business: Do's & Don'ts
January 23, 2017

Social media is a great new tool for businesses to engage with customers, but it can also be fraught with danger. Any business that is considering a social media campaign for brand awareness, user engagement, feedback, or any other reason needs to be careful, because the mass nature of social media means that one mistake can lose you a lot of customers. This post will discuss social media etiquette and how to craft your social media presence in order to get the most out of your time and effort.

Formality of Social Media

The first thing to note is that while social media is informal compared to a written letter or email, it is not as informal as a text message. Rules about grammar, syntax, spelling, and proper English should still apply. Afterall you don't want to look ignorant in front of your customers. A light and casual tone is best so write as if you were speaking to a friend. It is essential though to keep some professionalism and avoid being too jokey or loose with the rules of English. That is a pitfall that can turn people off to your brand.

Feedback

Social media management is a good way to harvest feedback from your customers, but it needs to be done in the right way. Ensure that you have a respectful and open tone when speaking directly to other users of social media. Customers like to have a close connection to their brands and companies, but that does not conflict with the advice above about proper English. The right balance is a tone that seems approachable, engaged, and thoughtful. Your customers should feel that they can come to you with both complaints and compliments and you will respond positively: they want to know that their feedback will have an effect on your business practice (which it should). Be sure to respond to all comments in an appropriate time and manner.

Using Software

While social media tools encourage the use of automation and software shortcuts, those simply don't give you the same results as actual engagement with the customers. You need to sit down and really spend the time to converse with them, not let a machine handle it. The customers will be able to tell that something is amiss, and the quality of the relationship will suffer. That said we encourage you to use Social Media tools to schedule posts and check your analytics.

Be Considerate

Despite the importance of getting your posts, tweets, and comments to be liked and shared around, you can't try to beg your users for their support. Amplification of content needs to come naturally due to the content's quality, not because you asked people to share it all over. Let your users absorb the content and decide for themselves if it is worth sharing. 

Remember Old Friends

A social media campaign is all about building trust and relationships. That means that you need to work to maintain old customers as well as gain new ones. Don't obsess over your follower and fan count's growth rate at the expense of paying attention to the people who have been with you since the start.

In Summary

Social media management is a powerful tool for businesses and marketers, but only if it is used correctly. Failing to obey the rules of social media etiquette can backfire in a big way, because the same channels that let you spread the word about your brand can also let others spread negative news about the brand. Think carefully before every post, because once it is out on the Internet, there is no way to take it back.

For more information about Social Media and digital marketing, feel free to contact us.



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