The use of social media in the world is pretty much exploding these days. Facebook has over a billion users worldwide, while Twitter and LinkedIn boast hundreds of millions of active users or accounts. From teenagers to senior citizens, all age groups are plugged into their favorite social media apps, whether they are using them for marketing purposes, staying in touch with old peers, or seeking new connections and opportunities.
In such a prolific environment, it is hard to digest the fact that merely ten years ago, social media barely even existed. How did people use to live back then? While social media is great for staying connected with friends and colleagues from any place at any time, it comes with certain risks. One careless tweet or Instagram post can potentially alienate your close friendships or jeopardize your relationship with your boss, putting you at the risk of losing your job.
Although all social media platforms offer increasingly robust privacy settings, it is hard to shield your personality, identity, and thoughts entirely from your network. In fact, what drives most people to social media is their desire to share things with others. But the good news is, there is a solution to this. If you are a regular social media user like many others, following social media etiquette can actually protect you from notorious and problematic social backlashes.
To realize the true significance of knowing social media etiquette rules, you need to know what the term actually means. Social media etiquette for business is the guidelines organizations, and workers use to garner their reputations online. This means when businesses do social media marketing to promote their products and services, they have to be careful in their selection of words, tone, and interaction with potential customers. Suppose the content they post on social media reflects discrimination, violence, infringement of any kind of rights towards the public, negligence of corporate social responsibility, vulgarity, or any other negative connotation. In that case, it will only cause damage to their brand image and reputation.
Therefore, every business must be aware of social media etiquette. In this post, we will discuss a few of these etiquettes in detail so that you can better understand how to apply them in publishing your social media content.
Below, you will find ten essential social media etiquette tips for business.
1. Having Knowledge of Your Audience
Just like we are taught since the early years of our childhood to use words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, as business owners having an outlet on social media, we need to know our audience. Now, what does it mean to know your audience? It actually means to know your product or service enough to know what kind of people will be interested in it or who can benefit from it. This rule for social media etiquette does not bother people who do not fit the buyer persona profile of what you are offering and yourself reaching out to those who do fit that profile. This social media etiquette for business needs focus before you start off your business on social media.
2. Provide Complete Information
Nothing drives potential customers away, like not finding answers easily to their questions on businesses' social media profiles. That is why this is an essential rule for the basics of social media etiquette. Before you start reaching out to your audience or campaigning your products and services, make it a rule of thumb for social media etiquette to check and recheck whether you have provided all sorts of possible information on your business profile. Ask yourself what you would be looking for if you were a potential customer coming to this profile, then ask your peers and friends and ensure the answers to all their questions are provided.
This is a social media etiquette that should not come as a surprise to anyone. It is more of a basic etiquette that needs to be carried on by businesses as social media etiquette. When you talk to people in a way that makes them feel comfortable, they want to continue the talk, even in cases where they might not have much else to talk about. Similarly, if you have a friendly, comforting tone in your social media campaigns. In that case, potential customers will want to look into it further even without the intention of making a purchase. Or they might spread information from your profile through word of mouth to people who do have the intention of buying your product or service.
4. Quality Over Quantity
Some tactics are a significant part of businesses expanding on social media, such as hashtags and consistent posting. And even though you cannot really do without such tactics, the art of social media etiquette for business owners emphasizes the significance of balancing all tactics and never compromising on the value of each thing you put out just for the sake of putting it out.
Contrary to popular belief, people actually find it quite annoying when they have a query regarding a business being represented on social media. Their only outlet for information is an automated reply. It may seem efficient and high-tech, but that is all it is - a show! For the most part, at least. So, it is imperative to avoid programming bots into your profile as part of your social media etiquette and instead be willing to put in the effort to respond personally as well as you can. Further social media etiquette tips regarding the same factor may include:
Schedule a daily time slot to respond to all queries in your inbox or otherwise,
Have a list of FAQs ready for a possibility of providing quick answers,
Make sure your contact channels are made prominent on your social media profile.
Competition in business of any kind is plenty, and with social media having become such a common promotion ground, the competition has become much tighter over the years. The worst thing for a mature business would be to look like a sore loser or even a proud winner. Social media etiquette emphasizes the importance of being a well-rounded good human/business. This includes being nice to people who are ‘in your way’ or ‘not good enough’ for you. That is why it is essential to not only be kind to your customers, your peers and competitors.
7. Avoid Your Opinions
To maintain a peaceful social media presence, our business must present itself as a global citizen. When we get too caught up in our own experiences and opinions, naturally, it becomes difficult to do so. That is why the next social media etiquette on our list is to avoid biasing the content you put out solely off of your own thinking. Always seek a second opinion or word of advice before launching anything linked to your brand. Keep this in mind as basics of social media etiquette.
Make sure to take advantage of your business’s social media presence by frequently networking. If you just exist to throw your product or service in customer’s faces, it will be difficult to gain their trust. That is why networking is part of social media etiquette tips. This social media etiquette will enhance your public image as well-connected and trustworthy.
9. Keep Things Separate
As we approach the end of our list of social media etiquette for business owners, we’d like to make sure you do not mix your business profile with your personal one on social media. Meaning, keep separate devices, timings, and outlets for your business’ social media profile so that you do not run the risk of accidentally posting something inappropriate on your business profile, resulting in the tarnishing of your reputation. This social media etiquette is bound to save you from a lot of trouble.
10. Link to a Real and Professional Website
Many small businesses, when just starting off, create social media pages, and key in a non-existent web address in the field where they are required to provide their company’s official website URL. This breaches social media etiquette and gives a non-professional impression about your company. If you do not have a brand website yet, you can simply leave that field empty.
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