Social Media Manners: Don’t forget your P and Qs

The world of social media is an exciting one. Good social media marketing can lead to more than conversations and engagement – it will promote your brand, and can even generate leads for your business.

Bad social media marketing can be detrimental to your business. A bad reputation is hard to bounce back from, and one wrong move can land you in trouble.

But how do you know how to behave across these different platforms?

Below are basic social media manners to ensure you conduct yourself in the proper way across your chosen site.



-    Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you

Your followers are following you because they are interested in your tweets and the points of view you are expressing, so why would you scare them away with an impersonal message? Followers can spot a spammy message a mile off, and that’s the vibe that auto DMs give off.

If you want to connect with your recent followers, simply send them a public tweet saying hello and thank you.

-    Don’t go wild on the hashtags

Tweets stuffed with hashtags are not easy to read and as a result receive a lower level of engagement than tweets with lower numbers of hashtags. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the content and help your reader, rather than shoving them in the tweet for the sake of it. Come up with your own hashtags that is relevant for your brand.

-    Don’t hijack other people’s hashtags

People use hashtags to tie their content together. It’s to make life easier for the average twitter user, so that they can find tweets relating to the same subject or by the same person. If you see a company using a hashtags successfully, do not attempt to jump on board its popularity and start posting your content. This devalues the hashtags, and affects your reputation, and will probably annoy the hell out of the other company.

-    Don’t pay for or use bots for extra followers

One thing that does not fly with twitter users is vanity. One of the worst ways to get more followers is buying them, or following irrelevant people just so that they follow you back. Instead of using people to your own advantage, be sure to post compelling content that is relevant to your brand and product. Twitter followers who follow you because of great content will be sure to interact with you.

-     Don’t promote your own stuff constantly

When posting content to twitter, remember the rule of thirds. A third of your content should be your own, self-produced content, such as Slideshares or blog posts. Another third should feature other producers or informative and relevant information. And the final third should be conversation with your contacts. Too much self-promotion can overwhelm followers when they look over your timeline and see no interaction.

-    Don’t overdo the keywords

Of course it’s important to use keywords within your social media campaigns to boost your SEO rankings. But if your tweets sound like a robot, you need to find a better balance.



-     Don’t Like your own post/picture/link

Chances are, if you’ve posted something on Facebook, you like it. But don’t physically Like it. It looks desperate, and as though you don’t know how to behave on Facebook. Keep your content relevant, fresh and informative, and the Likes will come.

-    Don’t ignore questions and comments

If you’re churning out content, you are hoping to drive engagement. When someone engages with you, whether that is a comment, a question or shares an update with you, it’s only polite to respond; otherwise it looks as though you are ignoring them.

-    Ask permission before posting images of fans, customers or staff

You and your company can get into big trouble if you don’t ask permission from people featured on your page. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Create a simple sign off form, and make sure you have confirmation or a signature from the person you are looking to include.

-     Don’t ask for Likes

Again, looking for Likes appears desperate. Grow engagement through informative posts. Posts including images do get more Likes and shares than those that do not. Try to include some of these if you are aiming to increase your fans.



-     Don’t join groups and then self-promote

There are over 1.5million groups on LinkedIn, and all of them add value to your experience. Don’t dilute and ruin these groups for everyone else by posting self-promotion or spammy content. These types of post will ruin your reputation and your brands.

-    Don’t be too informal on LinkedIn

The content that you are posting on Facebook or Twitter will not be suitable for LinkedIn. There is a professional tone on LinkedIn that is not seen on other social sites. LinkedIn is more suitable for product updates, industry news and leadership discussions – don’t post pictures of your cat.

-      Don’t pester people for recommendations

Recommendations are a great way to boost your reputation and hopefully increase sales, but don’t go too far or get too cheeky. It’s quite normal to ask customers or professional peers for recommendations, but if you’re asking people who have simply engaged with your company, it comes across as desperate, and only in it for reputation.



-      Don’t pin content with broken links

This one sure fire way to annoy your fellow Pinners. Pinterest drives more referrals to your website than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, and for this reason you need to ensure your online customer service is top notch. If you pin pins with bad links, then it looks bad on you, not the creator of the pin. It’s frustrating and detrimental if you’re posting inaccurate content.

-    Don’t spam followers with tonnes of pins

Spread out your pins over a specific time period to remind your followers that you exist. An influx of pins can overwhelm your followers and clog up their home page.

-     Don’t just pin your own content

As with all social sites, followers do not like lots of self-promotion. Repin content from your followers, to show that you are listening and engaging with them. Create other boards for a variety of content; create a board for your own content, and then another for other useful content.

-     Remember to write good descriptions for your pins

By failing to include a good picture description you are confusing your followers. Include a description of the image and how it is relevant to your followers.

-     Don’t steal Pins

As a marketer you know how much time and effort it can take to build informative and engaging content. For this reason, you should treat other people’s content with respect, as you would expect yours. Remember to give credit where it’s due.

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