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5 Social Media Etiquette Tips
By Kemari Howell, Pubsoft
Scour the web and you’ll find a plethora of social media articles—tips, tricks, and strategies to help you up your game and keep you engaged and connected with your target market (read: customers, clients, readers, etc.). After all, that’s why you’re tweeting, Facebooking, instagramming, Snapchatting, Vining, or pinning—you’re looking to connect with like-minded people—either to build a community, or to drive interest in your brand, company, or product.
You’re competing with everyone else for attention, so you want to keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds. And focusing on them, rather than your company or product, gives the illusion of one-on-one engagement, which makes your customers feel more connected to you. It’s a similar mentality to rubbing elbows with celebrities. You want your customers to feel like they’re running in the same social circle—that as a company or brand, you’re not only accessible but approachable. You do this by conversing directly with your customers.
So how do you sell your product, brand, or company to people without actually selling and being sales-y? You don’t. You engage. You interact. You ask questions. You answer questions. You provide a map pointing to your brand through a genuine connection with your customers, rather than a bunch of neon signs begging for sales at every turn.
As social media transitions to a more prominent means of marketing and selling, certain rules (both spoken and unspoken) become necessary to endear you or your business to the masses. Following social media etiquette is imperative because you don’t want to be considered spammy or annoying by the very people you’re hoping to attract.
Here are 5 social media etiquette tips:
- Use the 80/20 rule: Make 80 percent of your social media interactions be reactive. Meaning you react to your customers’ posts or tweets—answering questions, replying to posts or tweets, retweeting or reposting, etc. The other 20 percent should be proactive selling—without being forceful. So if you post 10 times a day, 8 of those posts should be genuine engagement with customers, the other 2 can be links inviting customers to buy your product or visit your site.
- Refrain from automation: While some automated services will help you socialize more efficiently, things like auto DMs and auto replies only come off as spammy. It clogs up your feed and your customers’ feeds and detracts from the message you’re trying to send: that you’re accessible. It also limits your direct engagement with customers, which defeats the purpose of “social” media in the first place.
- Be nice: Say “please” and “thank you” and return favors in kind. This should be a given (and should probably be number 1), but you’d be surprised how many people and companies forego good ol’ manners, letting their personal opinions and attitudes loose online. Unless being crass is part of your brand, you’ll want to try to use your best behavior and remain professional. Your personality through social media is a direct reflection of your brand.
- Be mindful and responsible: You are what you share. If you’re sharing bad links, retweeting or reposting spam, and/or sending others on wild click-bait chases, you’re going to lose credibility. Be mindful of what you share, whether it’s your own post or someone else’s. The same thing goes for tagging. Be considerate when tagging fans and followers.
- Consistency is key: The foundation of a good brand is consistency. While variety can be great, no one likes to be blindsided by change. Customers like and expect dependability. When you’re consistent, you tell your target market that you have a solid direction, that your company or product offers stability and can be trusted to remain true on a constant basis. Build trust with your customers, fans, and followers by offering a strong, cohesive presence online.
Remember, social media is about socializing. You can never go wrong with the golden rule: treat others how you’d like to be treated.
About Kemari Howell
Kemari Howell is the Marketing Coordinator for Pubsoft.com. She has also worked as an editor for clients ranging from self-published authors to international bestsellers. She’s worked as a contract editor for Amazon’s Publishing imprints and is the editor-in-chief of Em Dash Literary Magazine.
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