Social Media Etiquette for Businesses: 5 Critical Rules
Nearly every brand has had a social media mishap. Figuring out what to share and how to interact with followers takes both practice and patience. Social media is its own world, so it comes with new rules of etiquette, as well.
Read the Audience
Take a look at your target market. What do they believe in and with what do they disagree? Everything you share on social media is up for debate. You can’t please everyone all the time, and some negative Nancies and naysayers will always have something snarky to say about your statuses, the GIFs you share, or the products you endorse. There’s no getting around that.
However, you need to respect your key demographic. You want them to talk about your brand. You want people to share and retweet what you have to say. You don’t want them to do so because they’re complaining about you.
Don’t Mix the Personal and Professional
Social media managers are notoriously careful about posting personal updates on business accounts, but it happens with regularity. Not even well-known brands are exempt. NPR recently made headlines when a writer and social media manager accidentally posted a status about his daughter. That turned out well, but mistakes of this nature rarely do.
Ask your social media team to take pains to keep their personal accounts completely separate. Consider providing them with company phones, tablets, or laptops to decrease the risk of accidental updates. If that’s not possible or practical, instruct the social media manager to update company accounts with a social media management platform. That allows users to create separate areas for different accounts and schedule updates to post throughout the day for various social media accounts.
Some platforms allow you to create secure social media accounts, which further decreases the chances of publishing a personal post. All of this aside, make sure that every person who posts to your social media accounts understands the importance of checking and double-checking before hitting “send.” A simple proofread saves a lot of trouble.
Use the Right Phone for the Job
If you do provide your social media employees with devices, pick out the right phones. A sizable screen with a clear, vibrant display is essential. You don’t want to leave any room for excuses if someone posts questionable content. The team can’t miss watermarks, unsavory sources, or the name of the account they’re using if their phone display doesn’t give them room to make errors.
It’s also crucial to choose a phone that has a stable connection, such as the LG V20 on a reliable carrier like T-Mobile. The carrier is also vital for a reliable connection. Your social media platforms won’t do any good if no one’s updating them. On T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, your social media mavens can connect anywhere, even if they’re not on Wi-Fi.
Don’t Share and Share Alike
It’s tempting to share a funny meme that you come across, but will it go over well with your audience? Does it come from a reputable source? In today’s social media landscape, a brand who shares something created by someone problematic is then guilty by association, and it’s not always true that all publicity is good publicity. Avoid anything obscene or even borderline. Stay away from curse words and innuendo, unless it’s on brand. That’s the main thing: stay on brand while maintaining a connection to your target.
Don’t Automate Personal Responses
Social media etiquette asks that managers and team members respond to comments and direct messages. Bear in mind that while it’s fine to schedule posts to publish throughout the day, you can’t automate consumer interaction. Always give customers a personal response. Overly scripted texts won’t go over well—you’ll end up in the spotlight for an awful reason anyway.
Nearly everyone who works in social media has a slip now and again. Most of the time, it ends up being funny rather than unforgivable. It’s altogether better to be proactive and take precautions against making a mistake in the first place, though. Who wants to risk going viral over something negative?
We hope you found this promoted post as entertaining and informative as we did!